This warm quinoa salad is served on a bed of spinach for a uniquely delicious side dish that is simple to make! Salty feta and juicy tomatoes create a salad that pairs perfectly with your favorite protein!

warm quinoa salad

I love how easily this recipe comes together, but the warm quinoa served over a bed of spinach feels a little unique. The spinach wilts just slightly and the warm quinoa makes the feta extra creamy. It’s a simple combination of ingredients but the result is delicious!

quinoa salad ingredients

Quinoa Salad Ingredients

  • Quinoa– If you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s technically a seed but it cooks like a grain. Think of it like brown rice. It has a fairly neutral flavor but it does a great job of taking on the flavors of the dressing. It’s also a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids, making it a particularly healthy ingredient!
  • Spinach– I used baby spinach but you could also kale or arugula instead.
  • Tomatoes– I used “on the vine” tomatoes but you can use Roma or even cherry tomatoes for this recipe.
  • Red onion– I like the sharp bite of a red onion but if you want a more mild flavor, try a shallot instead.
  • Feta cheese– This crumbly cheese adds a salty bite and a creamy texture to the salad.
  • Lemon juice– The acidity of the lemon juice adds a bright flavor to the dressing.
  • Olive oil– A little healthy fat helps balance out the dish and enhance the overall flavor.

How to Make Quinoa

You can make quinoa on the stovetop but I prefer to make quinoa in a rice cooker. It gives me perfectly fluffy quinoa every time! You can also make quinoa in an Instant Pot. For more tips on how to prepare quinoa, visit this post all about quinoa.

fluffy quinoa

Serving Suggestions

This simple salad can be paired with your favorite protein for a quick meal. Try adding roasted chickpeas or tempeh bacon to make this a main dish. Or serve it with a bowl of lentil soup for a filling combination. Keep in mind, this recipe is best served immediately. If you plan to make it in advance, reheat the quinoa mixture before topping the spinach leaves, so the spinach wilts slightly.

Substitution Ideas

  • I like the sharp bite of a red onion but if you want a more mild flavor, try a shallot instead.
  • If you don’t have any quinoa, you can substitute brown rice, instead.
  • Feel free to use any greens like arugula or kale. If using kale, be sure to remove the steps and massage the kale before using.

More Quinoa Recipes

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quinoa salad

Warm Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This warm quinoa salad is served on a bed of spinach for a uniquely delicious side dish that is simple to make! Salty feta and juicy tomatoes create a salad that pairs perfectly with your favorite protein!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 cups spinach

Instructions

  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small pot. Simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed.
  2. In another bowl, combine the feta, olive oil, onion, tomato, and lemon juice.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and stir into the feta mixture.
  5. Spread out spinach on a large plate and top with the warm quinoa. If you’re not serving immediately, be sure to warm up the quinoa mixture before serving. It’ll make the spinach wilt just a bit.

Notes

This post was originally published in April 2014. Updated December 2021.

Keywords: warm quinoa salad