Simple Quinoa Salad

Simple Quinoa Salad

I have been wanting to try quinoa for awhile, but to be honest, it made me a little nervous. I’d heard that it’s healthy, and I’ve had friends tell me they thought I would like it, but still…it just sounded so “out there.” I mean, I didn’t even know how to pronounce it correctly! (keen-wa for anyone else out there who is as clueless as me).

Quinoa is a protein-rich seed that has a fluffy, chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor when cooked. I tried it for the first time at blogHer Food when the Bob’s Red Mill people were kind enough to offer up a sampling of this quiona salad. I loved it so much I made the same salad at home the very next week! (with quinoa samples Bob’s Red Mill sent home with me – thanks!!)  I made a few substitutions based on what I could find, and the salad was just as good as I remembered. I don’t think Mike liked it quite as much as I did (he wasn’t quite sure what he was eating), but he did happily eat a few servings of it. This salad would be perfect paired with freshly grilled meat or fish, or even by itself as a light lunch. Give this simple salad a try and let me know what you think of quinoa!

Simple Quinoa Salad

Simple Quinoa Salad

Yield: Makes 10 Servings


2 cups uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup craisins
~1/4 cup red wine vinegar
~1/4 cup olive oil


Boil 4 cups of water; add quinoa and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain the water and spread the quinoa on a cookie sheet and let cool to room temperature. Do not rinse. After the quinoa is cool, place in a bowl, add the hazelnuts, green onions, craisins, and mix together. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil to taste (I didn't use the full 1/4 cup) and season with salt and pepper.

adapted from Bob's Red Mill

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  1. I've been looking at this quinoa that we got at BHF not sure what to do with it. Thanks for the inspiration Megan. Can't wait to give this recipe a try. Looks and sounds delicious.

  2. I am pleased for you that you've learned to love quinoa. I must get to the Whole Foods bulk bins and get some.

  3. I love quinoa! I have a fantastic quinoa pancake recipe. This looks good, I don't think I have ever cooked (or baked) with hazelnuts, but I've always wanted to. Thanks for sharing, Megan!

  4. this looks perfect! we have recently embraced quinoa in this house and we love it!

  5. Glad you liked quinoa! It is so good!

  6. I love to eat it, but I never get it right. This looks great

  7. Yum! This looks perfect for summer. Light and healthy 🙂

  8. Hazelnuts and craisins in quinoa… that's got to be goooood!

  9. I've been a bit nervous to try quinoa also…I'll have a to give it a whirl 😉

    Your salad looks great!!

  10. I like adding quinoa to other grains for a tasty salad. Now I'll try with hazelnuts and craisins!

  11. I am still so bummed that we did not meet at BHF. I am a huge quinoa fan!

  12. This recipe looks unbelievable, I'm gonna try it really soon.
    I recently wrote an article on the health benefits of quinoa, check it out.


    Mike @TheIronYou

  13. Funny I have been wanting to try this salad ever since we came back from BlogHer but just didn't get a chance to do so. Today I pulled that packet we got in Atlanta out and sat in front of the computer looking for the same recipe that we had tried and you popped up in google search results. You are popular my friend 🙂
    Will be trying the recipe today and will let you know how it came out!

  14. I first tried Quinoa last year, and I loved it…However, I had just had teeth pulled, and the little hulls got caught in the ‘holes’ in my mouth!:) I used tweezers to extract a few, but all is well now. I eat Quinoa now with no problem. Just thought I’d share!

  15. Pingback: Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and Southwestern Quinoa Casserole » Rachel Cooks

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