Summertime Quinoa Salad

For those of you lovely people who have followed The Fig Tree for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I love quinoa. In particular, I love making salads with quinoa. Using quinoa as a base, you can experiment with different dressings and add-ins, and you’ll end up with a different, unique salad every time. This past week, I decided to try a quinoa salad with a savoury garlic dressing. For the add-ins, I used medium Gouda cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds and chopped dried apricot. The combination was fantastic. I loved the sharp cheese along with the sweet apricots. The pumpkin seeds were slightly salty and added the right amount of texture to the salad. The dressing was very simple, but added a nice savoury touch to the quinoa. Quinoa is so great in salads, because as the salad sits, the quinoa absorbs the flavours of the dressing. The end result – delicious! 

I highly recommend this salad as an accompaniment to dinner, a light lunch, or as the perfect dish to bring to a summer BBQ, potluck or picnic.

If you are interested in trying out other recipes with quinoa, please check out the some of my favourites:

Wishing you all a happy Friday + a fantastic weekend! 
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, well rinsed
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons of dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced medium gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup of diced dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup of salted pumpkin seeds, roasted


1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook quinoa on low for 15 minutes then remove from heat and allow quinoa to stand for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Rinse cooked quinoa under cold water and drain well.

2. In a small jar, combine the garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil. Shake well.

3. Mix cooked quinoa, dried apricots, and gouda cheese in a large bowl. Add 1/2 the salad dressing. Taste and decide if more dressing is needed. Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 20 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to set. 

4. Before serving the salad, add the pumpkin seeds and toss. Enjoy!
Source: Canadian Living Magazine June 2012


    • says

      It was really nice! As the salad sat overnight in the fridge, the gouda developed the nicest, creamy consistency! It was soooo good for lunch today! :)

    • says

      Awe, thank you so much! :) I highly recommend this salad. It was fantastic for lunch today! I ate a double serving. *hehe* It’s okay when it’s healthy, right? *hehe*

  1. says

    Oooh, I’m a sucker for quinoa salads! And what perfect timing for this post – I’m beginning a salad-a-day challenge for the month of June (if you read Oh She Glows, you know what I’m talking about) and quinoa salads will definitely be part of it! :)

    Also – I nominated you for an award! Check out my most recent post to find it. :D

    • says

      Thank you so so so much Willow :) So honoured about the award! *Hugs*

      I’ve done really well – eating a salad for each day in June thus far. I’m finding I’m craving salads a lot lately. Love all of the fresh produce lately.

    • says

      Me too! I eat a ton of quinoa every week. So delicious and great in salads! This one is perfect for lunch, as it’s filling. You get tons of protein, healthy carbs and healthy fats from the olive oil + pumpkin seeds. :)

  2. says

    I totally agree with you about quinoa salads! I usually use cranberries or raisins as my dried fruit add-in, but I love the idea of using apricots…I have some in my pantry already, so I will definitely have to try using them in my quinoa next time!

    • says

      Me too! I always use cranberries and raisins in my salads. I loved the apricots! So sweet and they added such a bright colour to the salad. It’s definitely a new favourite salad in our home. We’ve made it twice this week! :) Made some yesterday for a picnic and it was perfect.

    • says

      This salad has quickly become a favourite! We made a huge batch last night and went to the park for a picnic. It’s the perfect picnic salad :)

  3. says

    Found this on Foodgawker and made it tonight. Had to do a few changes–was out of quinoa, so I used Israeli couscous (works perfectly well!), and I added some chicken for my pregnancy protein demands. Was a really lovely, refreshing treat. Thank you for posting it!


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