Recipe: $8.87 | Per Serving: $1.47 | Yield: 6 servings
Today we are sharing another delicious summery side featuring the popular yet humble grain-like seed: quinoa! This side dish is perfect for BBQs and cookouts, or paired with some protein and packed in your lunch.
How beautiful is that? Using colorful red, yellow, and orange grape tomatoes take the rainbow factor to the next level!
Cold quinoa salads and warm quinoa bowls are some of my favorite weeknight dishes, and adding lemon makes this super refreshing – and perfect for these hot days to come. I love that this can be taken to a cookout or a socially distanced picnic – versatile and delicious!
For this recipe, I like to cook the quinoa with the lemon zest to really infuse the flavor, but you can also make this with any leftover quinoa! The dressing is super flavorful so you won’t be disappointed.
What Is Quinoa?
I discussed quinoa at length in this post titled Quinoa Nutrition, Recipes, and How to Cook Quinoa, but here’s the short of it:
- quinoa is a grain-like seed
- quinoa is used like a grain, but is nutritionally similar to a seed
- it is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than most culinary grains
- quinoa is 100% gluten-free!!
This easy quinoa side dish is great when paired with some grilled chicken and veggies, or just boosted with a can of chickpeas and maybe a healthy dose of feta cheese.
You can toss this whole dish together in about 20 minutes.
Can You Use Pre-Cooked Quinoa for This Recipe?
Yes! I have definitely used leftover quinoa and just added in the lemon zest with the dressing.
You could also probably use pre-cooked frozen quinoa here, but you may need to thaw it over a strainer / colander first since frozen quinoa can sometimes get a bit soggy.
Paleo: No – quinoa is a grain-like seed that isn’t Paleo. You could try toasted cauliflower rice instead.
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This lemon and parsley quinoa dish is the perfect side salad for summer barbecues and dinner parties! Pair with grilled chicken or chickpeas for added protein and enjoy!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1.5 cups water*
- pinch of salt
For the Dressing:
- 1/2 cup finely minced parsley
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of 1 large lemon)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
For the Salad:
- 1 pint halved grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup chopped or slivered almonds
- parsley, for topping
- chopped greens, like arugula or romaine, are great here also!
- Rinse and drain quinoa.
- Place in pot with water, lemon zest (if you have it), and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a food processor or large jar and pulse or shake well.
- Pour dressing over cooked (and cooled) quinoa and stir well. You can dress the quinoa while still warm if time is short! ;)
- Add the tomatoes, parsley, and chopped almonds. I like to line them up for a pretty display, but you can combine everything together.
- Serve as is or with avocado, feta, red onion, or shredded chicken.
- Many recipes and packages recommend 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water. This may work for warm dishes, but when you’re using quinoa in cold dishes, it is important to use 1 cup of quinoa and just 1.5 cups water.
- This recipe makes 6 servings if you’re just planning to add some protein and serve as is. However, it makes quite a lot, and can serve up to 12 as a grain-based side.
- Category: Side, Salad
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: gluten free, dairy free, quinoa, quinoa salad, lemon