Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad

A month or so ago I bought a box of quinoa. I’ve been dying to make something with it since I tried a cucumber salad containing quinoa at a barbecue last year. The salad I had tried was a little lacking in flavor as the ingredients were basically cucumber, cilantro and quinoa, so I’ve been looking for something tastier ever since.

Enter the monthly event I host called The Secret Recipe Club. In this club food bloggers get together, their blog names are thrown into a virtual hat, then the names are distributed amongst the members randomly, like a Secret Santa. No one knows who has their blog until the reveal date, and this month my blog assignment was Tessa’s, The Cooking Chemist. Tessa is a pharmacist by trade, so her blog name makes total sense!

I had a lot of fun looking through Tessa’s blog, and actually still have some recipes bookmarked. When I saw her Summer Garden Couscous Salad I knew I could easily substitute quinoa and play around with some of the other ingredients as well.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Turkey Cobb Salad Wraps

For my salad, I substituted some smoked gouda cheese for the feta, and made my own dressing using some rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. I also used grape tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. I like their petite size better. The results are a highly colorful salad with a mild dressing that is perfect for all tastes. Thanks for the recipe inspiration Tessa!

Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad
adapted from Summer Garden Couscous Salad
printable version
1 15-oz can chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, cooked and cooled
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup diced smoked gouda cheese
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, packed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, about 4 turns

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Greek Marinated Pork, Tomato Fritters, Greek Salad and Greek Loaf

Combine chicken broth and quinoa in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover simmered for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Place in refrigerator while you make the rest of the salad.

In a large bowl, combine the corn, cucumber, tomatoes, gouda cheese, red onion, and fresh parsley.

Toss gently to combine.

Add quinoa and toss again.

In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, both vinegars and mayonnaise. Add salt to taste and pepper. Whisk to combine.

Pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Test it for flavor, add more dressing if desired. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.


  1. Ali says

    That looks fantastic Amanda. I have never tried cooking with quinoa before, but I've eaten it a few times and it is delicious. I am a fan of smoked gouda so I like your substitution on that. :) Looks like a great side dish for lighter Summer dinners.

    Thank you so much for hosting the Secret Recipe Club & being our fearless leader! :D Have a wonderful week.

  2. Jeanette says

    Amanda – thanks for hosting this lovely event again! Love how you substituted quinoa in this healthy recipe.

  3. Marla says

    Amanda I am loving the SRC & I am so happy to be a part of it. This quinoa looks great. Please submit it to this weeks side dish theme for our Get Grillin' event.

  4. Lisa says

    That looks so healthy and fresh. I love the Secret Recipe Club and am so glad I get to be a part of it.

  5. Liz@HoosierHomemade says

    Looks like a great Summertime salad! Thanks for sharing! I'm so excited to be in the Secret Recipe Swap this month!

  6. Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy says

    This looks like a yummy way to fix quinoa. I'm loving the Secret Recipe Club!

  7. Bizzy says

    This is a wonderful idea, Amanda and now, I am going to have more fun, checking out the recipes.

    I have been using more and more quinoa, this year, and it looks like this recipe is going to be added to my list of quinoa delights.

  8. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather says

    That looks like the perfect summer salad. I especially love the corn in there. So sweet and tasty this time of year.

  9. Dan says

    I've always had trouble getting my eldest son to try quinoa. I have no idea why. I think it's too much like rice (which he likes), but then it makes it not enough like rice because it's different.

  10. Barbara | Creative Culinary says

    I shop at Costco. I bought quinoa at Costco. You know what this means, right? I need a LOT of recipes for it…that 4lb bag is going to last FOREVER! This looks like the perfect summer salad…great idea!

  11. BigBearswife says

    What is quinoa? The recipe does look mighty good :)

    This is my first The Secret Recipe Club month, and I am loving it so far. :)

  12. Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! says

    Marvelous way to use up some of that quinoa I have sitting around. Love that you have your protein and veggies in one dish, too!

  13. Chris says

    This is a wonderful salad! I am a huge fan of quinoa and its versatility. Tip – because quinoa goes rancid easily, I keep mine in the refrigerator and/or freezer.

  14. Katrina says

    I love quinoa! (Still can't convince my family, but that leaves it all for me when I make something with it. I'll even make me some quinoa when I make something with rice for them. Great substitutions!

  15. Nutmeg Nanny says

    This looks great! I have some quinoa in my pantry right now and I'm always looking for new recipes. Yum!

  16. says

    Thanks for Hosting Secret Recipe Club. It's so much fun! I love Quinoa. I can's wait to try this new recipe!

  17. Sara says

    This looks so yummy! I am super into quinoa lately…makes such yummy salads and I love that it has so much protein…perfect for making vegetarian meals. Yum, and thanks for hosting this month – what a great set of recipes! :)

  18. Amy says

    I just discovered your blog because of the Secret Recipe Club. What a wonderful concept! So creative.

    This salad is so beautiful and looks refreshing. Can't wait to make one in my kitchen!

    BTW, I'm your newest follower and sure will be back.

    Please stop my to check out my blog if you have time. Take care and have a good day.


  19. Anonymous says

    A big thank you Amanda for doing the Secret Recipe Club. You did a wonderful job and I am sure it is a whole lotta work. So a big thank you. I had 8 comments today I was thrilled. And thank you for the help you gave to me. Unsteady on my feet with the computer. but give me a cookie recipe and I'll make it with no prolbem! Andi

  20. Jo says

    Another thanks to our wonderful host! I had such a fun time stalking my secret blog and cooking from it, I eagerly await my next stalking victim!

  21. Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) says

    What a lovely looking salad. I enjoy quinoa but find it gives me a stomach ache. But I've bookmarked this anyway and maybe will give it another attempt. It is delicious…and this recipe is super pretty!

  22. Lisa~~ says

    This salad looks delicious and I've added it to my must make list. Thank you for hosting the Secret Recipe Club, I had so much fun deciding on and making my recipe, can't wait for next month.

  23. Angie A says

    Hey Amanda! First off thanks for hosting the Secret Recipe Club! Second this recipe is SO unique and healthy, what a great way to mix up summer salads! Enjoy your week!

  24. Peggy says

    This salad looks so colorful and vibrant! love all the ingredients used too =)

    I bought some red quinoa a little while back and haven't used it yet… but I think that's about to change!

  25. Tami says

    I've been looking for more summer salad recipes. I've added this one to my list. I think that everyone in my family would eat this. :)

    Thanks for another great month of SRC!!

  26. Biren @ Roti n Rice says

    Hi Amanda, this is my first time here. I came here from a link to The Secret Recipe Club. Sounds like fun!

    I have tasted but have never cook quinoa. Your summer vegetable quinoa salad looks very colorful and delicious! I will have to get some quinoa soon.

  27. Sanjeeta kk says

    Thanks for introducing the club, Amanda..glad to be a part. Getting to know many wonderful foodies out here. Love this Quinoa salad, simple, healthy and quick to make. Happy to follow your space.

  28. Rachel says

    It was fun being a part of tis club this time around as well. As for the salad, a great choice from the blog.

  29. Katherine Martinelli says

    Amanda, thanks so much for hosting! This is my first time participating in src and I just love it! Quinoa is one of my favorite foods and I'm loving this fresh, summery salad.

  30. EKR says

    Looks beautiful!! I love how colourful it is. I have also been meaning to try something with quinoa… now maybe I will!! :)

  31. Kristen says

    I have just recently convinced my family that quinoa is delicious. This is a perfect salad for this time of year.

    Thanks so much, Amanda, for doing so much work to make this "club" a success.

  32. Megan's Cookin' says

    This is a great Summer salad!!! We don't do potato salad much and this is a great alternative. So fresh!
    Thanks for letting me be the flake this month. I promise it wont happen next month! I'm gonna make my dish right away and schedule that post! ;)

    Thanks Amanda, your the best!

  33. amanda @ fake ginger says

    This looks like something my husband would love! Perfect as a side dish for ribs or BBQ chicken!

  34. Marla says

    Amanda this quinoa looks awesome! Can't wait for the next SRC!
    It is vegetarian week at Get Grillin' we would love if you submitted up to any 3 recipes (they don't have to be grilled) to our link up. This one would be perfect!
    This week we have a ManPans giveaway.

  35. Helen in Houston says

    The was the first Quinoa recipe that I had ever tried, and I’ve been making it on a regular basis ever since you posted it. I take it to a monthly potluck for women, most of whom are over the age of 55, so I do omit the onions. Even though I’m not a vegetarian and do not have any gluten intolerance, I wanted to take a dish that might be enjoyed by everyone. It has been a big HIT. Would love to see more quinoa recipes.

    • says

      Thanks Helen, I’m so glad it was enjoyed by all! I love quinoa too and you’re right, I need to add some more recipes. I’ll get on it! :)


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