This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Olives, Basil and Sun-dried Tomatoes is perfect for a picnic, side dish or even a marvelous vegetarian entree! You’ll love this combination of Mediterranean flavors!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
This week’s Sunday Supper theme threw me for a loop: Free for All. We were to share recipes “free” of a common dietary restriction. Could I make something without butter or sugar or flour? Those are my staples. The challenge was on. I love using quinoa as a substitute for other grains. A complete protein, quinoa packs more powerful nutritional benefits than ordinary white rice, barley and pasta. Impressed with how this Quinoa Risotto with White Beans and Roasted Brassica used quinoa to make a dreamy risotto, I decided to make a loaded Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. All I’d do is substitute orzo with quinoa in an old favorite pasta salad recipe!
A Twist on a Favorite Pasta Salad
I took a favorite picnic salad, Orzo with Everything, and tweaked it to make it gluten-free. I’d eaten a delightful quinoa salad at a recent luncheon and turned to this super-grain of the Andes as a substitution for the orzo. I found a certified gluten-free organic pearl quinoa at Whole Foods. Note that quinoa is naturally gluten-free, but is often cross-contaminated during processing. Make sure to check your label carefully.
Adding flavorful ingredients such as kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan and basil along with a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, gave a powerful flavor punch to this exotic grain. I added artichoke hearts to this batch and am dreaming of a version with bocconcini (mini fresh mozzarella balls). But no matter, it was sublime just the way I made it. Be sure to give quinoa, and this amazing Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, a shot.
Scroll down and see all the wonderful contributions from the Sunday Supper team, all reflecting a specific dietary need.
Thanks to Bea, of The Not So Cheesy Kitchen, for hosting us this week. Due to medical issues, she knows first hand the challenges of following a dairy free diet. Reading labels, making substitutions, finding out what your family will and will not eat. It’s a long journey. Check out the amazing line up of dishes that are just plain tasty, but also could fit your needs if you have certain dietary restrictions:
- Gluten Free Nothing Missing Manicotti by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Gluten Free Pizza by Cravings of a Lunatic
- Dairy, Egg & Nut Free Balsamic Portobello Burgers by Curious Cuisinere
- Dairy, Egg, Gluten & Nut Free Mushroom Risotto Bake by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Dairy, Egg & Gluten Free Vegan Mac and “Cheese” by Webicurean
- Dairy, Egg & Nut Free Creamy Mushrooms on Pasta by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Gluten Free Persian Cucumber Yogurt by Shockingly Delicious
- Gluten Free Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Olives, Basil and Sun-dried Tomatoes by That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!
- Dairy Free Farro and Fruit Salad by Magnolia Days
- Dairy, Egg, Gluten & Dairy Free Fattoush Salad by From the Bookshelf
- Gluten Free Chickpea Fritters by The Lovely Pantry
- Dairy, Egg, and Gluten Free Black Bean and Mango Salad by Soni’s Food
- Dairy, Egg, Gluten, and Nut Free Grilled Fennel Salad by Food Lust People Love
- Dairy & Gluten Free Crunchy Almond Sesame Crackers by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Dairy & Gluten Free Individual Chocolate Pavlovas by The Girl in The Little Red Kitchen
- Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies by Juanita’s Cocina
- Dairy, Egg & Gluten Free Apple Almond Butter Cookies by What Smells So Good?
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almond Flour by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Dairy Free Chocolate Gelato by Growing Up Gabel
- Dairy, Egg, Gluten & Sugar Free Cantaloupe, Strawberry, & Coconut Gazpacho by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Gluten Free Meringue Kisses with Dulce de Lece by Basic N Delicious
- Dairy & Egg Free Vegan Everyday Chocolate Loaf by Gotta Get Baked
- Dairy, Egg, Gluten & Soy Free Tastes like Chocolate Ice Cream by Cookistry
- Gluten Free Enoki Mushroom & Pine Nut Quinoa by Family Foodie
- Gluten Free Mousse & Cookies by Ninja Baking
- Gluten Free Brown Butter Snickerdooles by Pies and Plots
- Gluten Free Lemonade Dip by The Messy Baker
- Nut & Fat Free Chocolate Angel Food Cake by Table for Seven
- Gluten & Dairy Free Honey Bear Smoothies by Neighborfood
- Sugar Free Strawberry Meyer Lemonade by The Weekend Gourmet
More Quinoa Recipes You’ll Love:
- Slow Cooker Lentil and Quinoa Chili from Aggie’s Kitchen
- Caribbean Salmon Quinoa Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette from Foodness Gracious
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Crockpot Chicken Veggie Quinoa Soup from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Used in This Recipe:
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Olives, Basil and Sun-dried Tomatoes
A Quinoa Salad with a Mediterranean twist!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Salad, Vegetarian
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- 1-1 1/2 cups quinoa (use a certified gluten-free brand)
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, optional, to cook quinoa
- 1/3 cup (packed) chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup artichoke heart quarters (marinated)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Cook quinoa in a pot of boiling salted water (or chicken stock) as directed on package (mine suggested twice as much liquid as quinoa). Drain well. Place in large bowl. Add sun-dried tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and olives and toss to blend. Let stand until cool.
- Mix pine nuts, chopped basil, Parmesan, and garlic into orzo mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Be sure to come back on tonight for all the amazing “Free For All” recipes! We would love to have you join our Twitter #SundaySupper chat party starting at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag throughout the day to see the amazing recipes. Be sure to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and photos.