This caprese quinoa salad is loaded with juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and plenty of fresh basil for a delicious salad! Enjoy it as a quick and easy lunch or serve it as a side dish with your favorite pasta!

Caprese Quinoa Salad
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This quinoa salad is a great one because it’s easy to make, and the flavors get even better after a couple of hours in the fridge. It’s a perfect make-ahead recipe. It’s hearty enough to be enjoyed for a quick and easy lunch, but it also makes a great side dish to your favorite pasta recipe! Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse, so I love finding new ways to use it. It contains all the essential amino acids and it’s a good source of protein and fiber.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Quinoa– Quinoa is technically a seed but it cooks like a grain. You could substitute orzo pasta for the quinoa in this recipe.
  • Tomatoes– I used cherry tomatoes but you can use any kind of tomato you like. For slicing tomatoes, chop into 1″ chunks.
  • Mozzarella– I used mozzarella pearls but you could also use fresh mozzarella chopped into pieces.
  • Olive oil– A little high quality olive oil adds richness and flavor.
  • Basil– Fresh basil is an essential component to get the caprese salad flavor. Do not substitute with dried basil.
  • Balsamic glaze– Balsamic glaze is a thick, sweet, and tangy sauce made from balsamic vinegar. It’s made by simmering balsamic vinegar until it reduces and thickens to a syrupy consistency.

How to Make Balsamic Glaze from Balsamic Vinegar

  1. Add the vinegar to the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Bring the balsamic vinegar to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Continue to simmer the vinegar for about 15-20 minutes or until it has reduced by about half and reached a syrupy consistency. You can test the consistency by dipping a spoon into the glaze; it should coat the back of the spoon.
  3. Once the glaze has reached your desired consistency and sweetness, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

How to Make Caprese Quinoa Salad