the basics

The Essential Quinoa Salad Recipe (And How To Cook Quinoa Perfectly, Too)

Meet your new go-to lunch, guys: Once you learn how to cook quinoa perfectly, this quinoa salad will become an essential to your everyday.

It took me a long time to like quinoa. I didn’t like it the first, oh, ten or so times I tried it, but I kept trying it because I knew it was good for me, and everyone else seemed to be crazy about it. I figured I was just missing something. Wrong! I just needed to figure out how to cook quinoa in a way that suits my taste.

I like my quinoa to be more like rice. I often find store-bought quinoa to be too “hard” and crunchy. I’ve also found that I greatly prefer white quinoa over red quinoa; tricolor quinoa is pretty, but the red quinoa has a much stronger flavor than white. White quinoa is much milder in flavor, so it blends well with whatever you’re eating it with.

If this sounds like your quinoa-taste, I’ve got two tips for you:

1. Buy only white quinoa. I suggest getting yours from the bulk section of your go-to grocer.

2. Use this ratio for cooking: 1 cup dry quinoa to 2.5 cups water. This will make softer, fluffier, more rice-like quinoa. 1 cup dry quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked quinoa – perfect for a weekly meal prep.

I use my rice cooker for my quinoa (on normal rice settings), but if you don’t have one of those, you can follow these instructions.


(Serves 6-8)


  • 1 cup white quinoa (dry)
  • 3 cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2/3 cup black olives, chopped
  • 2/3 cup parsley, chopped


  • 3 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, to taste


1. Cook your quinoa in the rice cooker (normal rice setting at 1:2.5 quinoa:water ratio) or on the stove top. Allow to cool after cooked.
2. Chop all veggie ingredients while quinoa is cooking/cooling.
3. Whisk together dressing with a fork.
4. In a large bowl, mix quinoa with chopped veggies, then mix in dressing. Bon appetite!


Share Print

Like us on Facebook!