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This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is light yet satisfying, bursting with fresh flavors and vibrant textures! It’s a simple, healthy dish with tangy sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, creamy feta, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The best part? This small batch recipe is perfect for one or two, so you can enjoy this delicious salad without any leftovers.

Craving more delicious and convenient salad options? Explore our other single serving and small batch salad recipes! We have a classic Italian Chopped Salad bursting with fresh flavors, a hearty Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad packed with protein and fiber, a creamy Caesar Salad for a touch of indulgence, and a crunchy Broccoli Salad perfect for a satisfying side.

Why You’ll Love This Quinoa Salad Recipe

  • Flavorful: You’ll get a burst of bright, Mediterranean flavors with every bite.
  • Healthy: Loaded with fresh veggies, protein-rich quinoa, and healthy fats.
  • Easy to Make: No fancy cooking skills needed – just a few simple steps!
  • Versatile: Enjoy it as a side dish, light lunch, or add your favorite protein for a complete meal.
  • Small Batch: No more leftover salad languishing in the fridge!

Ingredients

a bowl of feta, tomatoes, olives, spinach, quinoa, olive oil and vinegar on a wooden cutting board.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small batch quinoa salad recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Quinoa: Nutrient-rich white quinoa is the base of this salad. It’s crucial to rinse the quinoa unless it’s pre-rinsed, to remove the natural saponin coating which can be bitter or soapy in taste. I typically use Bob’s Red Mill brand for its quality. Consider using extra quinoa in Chicken Tagine or a Shrimp Quinoa Bowl.
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes: Their rich flavor enhances the salad. If you’re using oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, they’re ready to go. For dry-packed, rehydrate them in boiling water first. If you’ve got a handful of extra sun-dried tomatoes, add them to a creamy Tuscan Chicken. Alternatively, fresh cherry tomatoes can be used instead.
  • Spinach: Loaded with antioxidants and beneficial for brain health and blood pressure management, spinach adds nutrition and color. Use 2 cups of finely chopped fresh spinach. Got extra spinach? Use some in a Spinach and Orzo Salad or Chicken Tortellini Soup.
  • Red Onions: Add a sharp bite; sweet onions are a good milder alternative. Leftover onions can be used in Chicken Shawarma or Macaroni Salad.
  • Kalamata Olives: Their briny, salty flavor is perfect here, but feel free to substitute with black or green olives if you prefer. If you’ve got a few extra olives in the jar, use them in Mediterranean Chicken or a Greek Salad.
  • Feta Cheese: Made from sheep’s milk, feta adds a traditional Mediterranean touch. It can be bought in chunks or crumbles. Consider adding extra feta to a refreshing Avocado Salad.
  • Pine Nuts: Known for their buttery flavor. Toasting enhances their taste: Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan, add the pine nuts, stir until golden, and then immediately remove from heat to prevent burning. Extra pine nuts can be added to a small batch of pesto or Sausage Stuffing. Feel free to swap pine nuts with walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
  • Seasonings: Simple salt, black pepper, and dried basil do the trick.
  • Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar: The foundation of the salad dressing. Extra virgin olive oil is preferred for its pure flavor and nutrient content, but lighter olive oil can be used as an alternative.

Recipe Variations

  • Hearty Protein Boost: Add chickpeas, grilled chicken, or crumbled tofu for an extra protein punch, making it a complete meal.
  • Mexican-Inspired: Swap the feta for cotija cheese, add black beans, corn, and a squeeze of lime. Season with cumin and chili powder for a zesty twist.
  • Crunchy Cucumber: Add diced cucumber for a refreshing crunch and even more Mediterranean vibes.
  • Roasted Veggie Medley: Toss in roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant for a warm and flavorful variation.
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How To Make A Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

These step-by-step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make this quinoa salad. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Rinsing Quinoa: Place 1/2 cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cool running water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you don’t have a mesh strainer, put the quinoa in a bowl, cover with cool water, swirl it around, then drain and repeat.
  2. Cooking Quinoa: In a 1-quart pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa and let it return to a boil. Then cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer until the water is absorbed, which takes about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork, cover it again, and let it sit for 10 minutes. This step helps the quinoa to become fluffy. Once done, transfer the quinoa to a medium-sized bowl and let it cool.

Pro Tip: Quinoa can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

cooked quinoa in a white bowl.
  1. Assembling the Salad: To the bowl of cooled quinoa, add chopped spinach, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Mix everything together.
quinoa in a white bowl along with chopped spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
  1. Adding Pine Nuts and Dressing: Add the pine nuts to the salad. In a separate small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, and pepper to create the dressing. Pour this dressing over the quinoa and spinach salad and toss everything together for an even mix.
quinoa salad in a white bowl with spinach, pine nuts, and feta mixed in.

Expert Tips

  • Rinse Quinoa: Always rinse quinoa under cold water to remove its natural coating, which can be bitter.
  • Toast Pine Nuts: Lightly toast the pine nuts for an extra flavor boost.
  • Balancing Flavors: Taste as you go and adjust seasonings and dressing to your liking.
  • Protein Addition: For a protein-packed meal, add grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
  • Serving Temperature: Enjoy this salad warm, or chill in the refrigerator for a refreshing cold dish.
  • Make Extra Quinoa: It’s a great base for other meals throughout the week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this quinoa salad ahead of time?

Yes, it stores well in the fridge for a 3-4 days.

What can I use instead of spinach?

Arugula or mixed greens are great alternatives.

Is this Mediterranean quinoa salad suitable for meal prep?

Yes! The cooked quinoa and chopped veggies store well in the fridge, making it easy to assemble a fresh salad throughout the week. Just add the dressing right before serving.

What’s the best way to store leftover quinoa salad?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

a quinoa salad tossed with feta cheese, olives, and onions in a bowl next to half of a red onion and a green and white napkin.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Have you tried this small batch Mediterranean quinoa salad or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen? If so, please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

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Because you’re worth it

Small Batch Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
You'll love this flavor-packed Mediterranean quinoa salad with feta, fresh vegetables, and salty olives. Enjoy this quinoa salad as a side next to your favorite entree or as a hearty lunch. It's a simple and healthy small batch vegetarian recipe.

Ingredients 
 

  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups spinach leaves -finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped red onions
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes -chopped
  • 8 pitted kalamata olives -sliced
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts * see notes below
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • teaspoon dried basil
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
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Instructions 

  • Rinsing Quinoa: Place 1/2 cup of quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cool running water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you don't have a mesh strainer, put the quinoa in a bowl, cover with cool water, swirl it around, then drain and repeat.
  • Cooking Quinoa: In a 1-quart pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa and let it return to a boil. Then cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer until the water is absorbed, which takes about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork, cover it again, and let it sit for 10 minutes. This step helps the quinoa to become fluffy. Once done, transfer the quinoa to a medium-sized bowl and let it cool.
  • Assembling the Salad: To the bowl of cooled quinoa, add chopped spinach, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Mix everything together.
  • Adding Pine Nuts and Dressing: Add the pine nuts to the salad. In a separate small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, and pepper to create the dressing. Pour this dressing over the quinoa and spinach salad and toss everything together for an even mix.

Notes

  • Rinse Quinoa: Always rinse quinoa under cold water to remove its natural coating, which can be bitter.
  • Toast Pine Nuts: Lightly toast the pine nuts for an extra flavor boost.
  • Balancing Flavors: Taste as you go and adjust seasonings and dressing to your liking.
  • Protein Addition: For a protein-packed meal, add grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
  • Serving Temperature: Enjoy this salad warm, or chill in the refrigerator for a refreshing cold dish.
  • Make extra quinoa: It’s a great base for other meals throughout the week.
 
To Toast Pine Nuts
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Heat oil on medium-low for 30 seconds.
  • Add the pine nuts and stir frequently until they are golden brown.
  • Immediately transfer the nuts to a plate to stop the cooking process and to prevent burning.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 468kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 307mg, Potassium: 800mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 3033IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 151mg, Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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6 Comments

  1. Lisa says:

    Excellent! The flavor-packed light lunch I wanted. The fact that this was a great way to clear out my fridge was a bonus. However, I’ll be adding all the ingredients back on my grocery list because this is worth repeating this week.

    Thanks Joanie!

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  2. Emily Baker says:

    This is a great recipe! I was in a rush and tossed it in some Greek vinaigrette…really good! Will try it with homemade dressing neext time.

  3. Nadine tourtillotttt says:

    This is one of the best quinoe salads I’ve made and I’ve made a few! I made this a couple of weeks ago and had to sub fresh for sundried tomatoes. Pecans for pine nuts and Romain lettuce for spinach and it turned out great. Tonight I had all the ingredients called for and it’s awesome! I love quinoe its so Seay to cook with and it goes with any ingredients to make a super meal anytime. One thing I want to share Thai I think you’ll like. I buy a sundried tomato and Basel feta cheese at aldi’s it goes with this salad perfect. And I did use Greek olive oil. Thank you for a salad recipe I’ll use over and over!

  4. Sharon says:

    This salad is super simple to pull together and is ABSOLUTELY delicious! I will be making this again and again and again!!!

  5. Linda says:

    Perfect for lunch and will add chicken for dinner. Finally, I’ve found a
    recipe I know my granddaughter will love. Will substitute
    fresh tomatoes when mine ripen. I enjoy the Cooking for One cookbook
    and had to buy one for mom. It’s changed the way we cook; less food waste, yet
    plenty of variety.
    Thank you.