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Falafel-ish Quinoa Salad in a large, pink serving bowl. A woman's hands hold the bowl up off of a white surface. Surrounding the salad are a linen napkin, & some lemon wedges.

Falafel-ish Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2-4 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes, Entrée Salads & Bowls Recipes
  • Method: Stovetop, No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Greek & Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Falafel-ish Quinoa Salad! A light & healthy quinoa salad packed with all of the fresh flavors of falafel. The perfect light plant-based lunch, & doubles as a great side dish for summery dinners or potlucks. Naturally Vegetarian & Gluten-Free, easily Vegan & Dairy-Free.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 12-ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 small cucumber, finely diced
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • optional: 4 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves & tender stems, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves & tender stems, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

for the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zested & juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ground black pepper or crushed red pepper flake, as desired

Instructions

PREP:

  • Cook the quinoa: Add 1/2 cup dry quinoa and 1 cup water or stock to a small saucepan with a lid. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil (uncovered) over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low or medium-low, bringing the quinoa to a slow simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat & let stand (covered) for 5 minutes. Uncover & fluff with a fork. Set aside, or store in an individual airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Chop the veggies: Finely dice the cucumber & red onion. Halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes. Set aside, or store in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Mix the dressing: Add all listed ingredients to a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake to combine. Set aside, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Falafel-ish Quinoa Salad Assembly & Serving:

  1. Assembly: Combine the quinoa, chickpeas, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, feta (if using), & chopped herbs in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over top. Toss to combine, ensuring all of the quinoa is well coated in the dressing. Taste, seasoning with additional salt or ground black pepper as desired.
  2. Serving: Serve it on its own for the perfect light + fresh vegetarian meal, or add a generous spoonful to your summer dinner plate. This salad is an awesome side dish for grilled chicken, burgers, beer brats or grilled sausage. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage: This Falafel-ish Quinoa Salad is best when served within 3 days of assembly, though it’ll keep for up to 5 days. Store the assembled quinoa salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  • Meal prep: If you’d like to do just a little prep in advance to help cut down on the active prep time when you make your Falafel-ish Quinoa Salad, there are a couple of different routes you can go:
    • 15-minute meal prep: Chop the fresh herbs & veggies, & make the salad dressing. Prep the lemony dressing according to Recipe Directions, above, & store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Finely dice a cucumber & red onion. Halve or quarter some cherry tomatoes. Finely chop fresh parsley, cilantro & mint. Store the chopped veggies & herbs in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
    • 20-minute meal prep: Cook the quinoa according to Recipe Directions, above. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (5 minutes active prep)

Keywords: falafel-ish quinoa salad, cold salad, side dish recipe, easy, healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian, easily vegan, meal prep, summer, spring