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PointsPlus Quinoa and Tomato Salad

PointsPlus Quinoa and Tomato Salad

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The simple ingredients in this recipe make it a perfect complement to spicy main dishes. Serve this as a prelude or accompaniment to a healthy main such as steamed fish or grilled chicken.


*Note: If desired, substitute 2 large tomatoes for the grape tomatoes.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes *
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives


Calories Per Serving204

Folate equivalent (total)93µg23%

  • 1 cup quinoa, washed well and drained
  •  1 1/2 cups water
  •  3/4 lb fresh green beans, in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb very ripe Roma tomatoes (3 to 4)*
  • 1 bell pepper, any colour, in 1-inch dice**
  • 4 green onions, in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp toasted pecans

Step 1

1 Combine quinoa and 1 1⁄2 cups water in medium pot bring to a simmer on medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
2 Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on high heat, add green beans and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until barely tender. Remove from heat and drain green beans in a colander. Place colander in ice water to preserve the beans’ bright green colour and stop them from cooking further.
3 Using a sharp knife, cut tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out and discard seeds. (It's unnecessary to remove skins.) Cut tomatoes in 1⁄2-inch dice.
4 In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions and basil. Season with salt, olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle with pecans. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

The Best Quinoa Salad

Three reasons to love this recipe:

  1. This quinoa salad recipe is also very easy to toss together, especially if you use leftover quinoa (see recipe note). The recipe uses my preferred quinoa cooking method, which yields fluffy quinoa every time.
  2. This salad packs great for lunch, picnics, road trips and plane rides.
  3. Bring this allergy-friendly salad along to your next potluck—it’s vegan/dairy free, gluten free, and nut free, for all to enjoy.

This recipe doesn’t taste “basic,” but it has a lot of merits that make it a staple recipe in my kitchen. I hope it becomes your go-to quinoa salad recipe, too! Please let me know how it turns out for you in the comments.

Watch How to Make Quinoa Salad

My summer has been punctuated by fun, casual get-togethers with friends. Spontaneous afternoons at the pool, walks around the park, and potlucks—yes to all of the above. It’s nice to have supplies at the ready. My pool bag is packed with magazines and sunscreen, and my fridge is stocked with quinoa salad and Bota Box Wine (thank you, Bota Box!).

The “Bota Mini” size is super portable and easy to grab for an evening picnic at the park. The small boxes are convenient because you don’t have to remember to bring a bottle opener, and the empty boxes are lightweight and recyclable. Each 500 mL mini contains three glasses of wine, or just over half of a standard wine bottle. I recommend pairing their light, crisp Sauvignon blanc with this refreshing summer salad.

Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I love hearing from you and hope this quinoa salad becomes your favorite, too.

Craving more fresh and delicious salads? Here are a few more:

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, and rinse under cold, running water until the water no longer foams. Bring the quinoa, salt, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Once done, stir in the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley to serve.

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This is one of the best recipes I've ever made, which surprises me, because I expected it to be good, but not *that* good. The lime dressing is everything. I will make the dressing by itself for tossed salads, it's so good. I did a couple of tweaks due to the ingredients on hand: I roasted some grape tomatoes instead of using chopped tomato. I used all olive oil in the dressing. And I didn't have cilantro, so I used a small bit of fresh parsley + a sprinkle of dried coriander powder. I think I also sprinkled a little garlic powder. Anyway, it was amazing from the first taste. I will make it again this very week. I think I might try using half the amount of black beans and adding some fresh steamed shrimp. This would also be good with basil leaves and some baby mozzarella balls in a takeoff of salad caprese. As long as you keep to the base, it's the kind of recipe you can play with.

Delicious and easy. We used dried beans and cooked them up, which added a little flavor. Would be great with some garlic in there too!

Delicious and so easy! Don't omit or substitute for the lime and lime zest -- that's what really makes this dish.

Great simple recipe that highlights the natural flavors of each ingredient. I substituted olive oil for the butter but I also like the coconut oil idea. I also added corn and avocado. Great fresh taste!

I'm not a huge quinoa fan but this recipe was really good. I'll definitely make it again. The cooking process looked a little laborious so instead I just brought the 2 cups of water and the cup of quinoa to a boil, covered, turned to low and cooked for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and leave covered for 5 more minutes (without peaking). It was perfectly cooked.

I've made this many times, and now, as suggested by others, I melt the coconut oil with a little butter or EVOO and the lime juice and toss that into the salad. Yum.

Very quick and easy to make. I got lazy and didn't do that steaming suggested at the end but it was good anyway.

I make this frequently and my family loves it and asks for it. Last time I made it I substituted melted coconut oil for the butter and it was great. Definitely a different flavor profile but equally as good as the original and it makes the dish vegan and dairy free.

A weekly staple in our home, this recipe is fantastic and super easy to make your own. Add whatever veggies you like and mix up the dressing, and you have a new salad every week. Love it.

This was delicious and ready to eat in 20 minutes! I also followed the directions on the quinoa box ( no rinsing, draining or steaming). Skipped the butter, too much work when you can add extra olive oil. Also added avocado. Yum!

Absolutely delicious. Kids loved it too. I went with the recommendation below and used rice wine vinegar instead of butter. Turned out fantastic.

This is a phenomenal recipe. My friend made it for me but substituted the butter with rice wine vinegar. I can't eat it any other way.

Added extra lime juice, can of niblets corn, purple onion, garlic, oregano, and a little bit of Cholula (Mexican hot sauce) - very yummy!

So delicious - I couldn't stop eating the quinoa with just the dressing, before adding all the other good stuff!! Definitely a keeper! I also just followed standard cooking directions on the quinoa.

I made this: earlier in the week and was disappointed. But this recipe, on the other hand, is perfectly balanced and flavourful. I substituted mint (which grows abundantly in my garden) for the cilantro in this case since I had run out of the latter, and I also used black-bean cooking water (about half of my water) in the water for this (this is something I do when I have leftover cooking water, to impart more flavour as well as hopefully absorb any vitamins/minerals that are left in the cooking water).

So yummy! Very filling, will make again!

This is our family's go-to camping salad. Love it.

This is a great vegetarian recipe. I prepared it with a citrus marinated grilled chicken for the meat eaters. No need to wash the quinoa. I used red quinoa, added avocado, grilled corn kernels, and sauteed the scallions. The entire family loved it!

STOP the quinoa-washing madness! I almost never wash my quinoa and it's fine. It has become my go-to carb - whole grain, fast, tasty and healthy. I only use 1 1/2 c water to 1 c quinoa, otherwise it takes too long to cook. This is a super easy and tasty recipe. A winner.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe. We make it all the time, sometimes making a double batch so we can eat off it all week long. I use 1/4 of a red onion, diced, instead of the scallions. I also skip the complicated quinoa directions and follow package instructions (1 cup quinoa boiled with 2 cups water, simmered for 15 minutes covered, taken from heat and left covered for another 5 minutes). YUM!!

This is a keeper! Based on my daughter's recommendation, I used mangoes instead of tomatoes. Next time, I would add a little more lime juice. Perfect recipe for a BBQ side dish.

Excellent recipe. Made it for Cinco de Mayo with Carnitas (from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking) and corn on the cob with cilantro/lime/chile butter and margaritas. This provided a healthier option to beans and rice and the flavors were perfect.

totally excellent as written. after making it a couple times I have changed it some and would like to share that version. the quinoa suits us just fine with being rinsed well and cooked 1cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid for 15 min. Perfectly fine. I know when I have fresh lime on hand it is the way to go but we tried using some key lime juice in the bottle out of the fridge ..3Tbsp and it stood in just fine! Another substitution I made that was good was a can of organic tomatos with green chiles instead of fresh. Surprisingly good. We also like to kind of coarsely mash about half the beans too. Oh, and running short on green onions I threw in some finely chopped red onion and it was perfect! So many things you could do with this basic recipe to make it your own. I love it!

This was so easy and delicious, i avoided the butter and oil.I can eat this everyday.

Simple Quinoa and Cherry Tomato Salad

We&rsquore loving this simple side salad filled with sweet cherry tomatoes and cilantro right now, but if you&rsquore not a fan of cilantro, try substituting a handful of chopped fresh basil or baby spinach.


  • 2 cups prepared quinoa
  • 1 (10 oz.) container of cherry tomatoes, each halved
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped or leaves with stems removed
  • 1 medium lemon, zest + juice
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. While preparing the quinoa, assemble the cherry tomatoes, cilantro and lemon zest in a large bowl.
    Spread the hot quinoa over the tomato and cilantro mixture and let it set for about 3 minutes before mixing. This will warm up the tomatoes and slightly wilt the cilantro.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and drizzle olive oil over the top.
  3. Toss the entire mixture together and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Nutrition Information offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 cups water
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10-12 large basil leaves, cut into thick ribbons
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium pot over high heat, bring the quinoa, garlic, water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa has fully absorbed the water, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. After the quinoa has cooled for 15 minutes, chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

In a serving bowl, toss the chilled quinoa with the olive oil, basil, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a salad or a side.

This tangy quinoa salad could be prepared as a light meal for 3 or a side for 6. It's fresh and colorful and perfect for potluck occasions, too. What really makes the salad rock is the use of fresh picked tomatoes and fresh squeezed lemon juice. I've made other quinoa salad recipes with lemon juice from concentrate, but it doesn't have the same "Wow! That's good!" punch. Stick with all fresh ingredients for this recipe and you'll be quite happy with it.


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 small purple onion (2/3 cup), finely chopped
  • 2 beefy red tomatoes or 3 cups grape tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup yellow pear tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup salad oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon table salt

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl, transfer to a serving dish. Can be eaten right away or chilled.

How To Make A Tomato Chickpea Salad

Yes, I could have kept both the chickpeas and tomatoes raw, but I wanted to give them a little something more.

I switched on the oven and lined two sheet pans with parchment paper.

For the chickpeas, I tossed them with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Then I drizzled the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.

I roasted the chickpeas and tomatoes together at the same time.

While they cooked, I cooked quinoa to bulk up the salad and make it more filling.

In a large bowl, I folded together the chickpeas, tomatoes, quinoa, arugula and scallions.

Since the tomatoes were warm, they broke up a bit while I stirred them with the rest of the ingredients. Their juices took the place of dressing.

The salad is best served warm or at room temperature. The chickpeas will lose their crisp bite if you let them sit too long.

When the weather starts to warm up, you can find me outside, taking advantage of the sunshine. I especially love a good outdoor summer BBQ, and this creamy Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes is perfect for the occasion. It’ll definitely be a hit. Some other delicious macaroni salads that you should try are this Summer Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes and Zucchini , BLT Macaroni Salad , and Mayo-less Tuna Macaroni Salad .

This tomato macaroni salad recipe is my favorite way to make it. I use light mayonnaise and less of it than most recipes to cut calories. I don’t add any sugar, but I do add tomatoes, onions, and black olives for more nutrition. You can also use whole wheat pasta for more protein and fiber or gluten-free macaroni for a gluten-free salad.

Macaroni salad is great with any grilled meat topped with my homemade BBQ sauce . Some of my other favorite side dishes for BBQs are Lemon-Parsley Potato Foil Packets , Corn Tomato Avocado Salad , and Potato Salad with Apples .

This easy macaroni salad is excellent for parties. You can make it the day before to save time the day of your event. All you have to do is cook the pasta and then stir everything together. I usually mix the summer tomatoes in with the other ingredients in a bowl while the pasta cooks. The tomatoes release their juice and make the sauce creamy and saucy.