Greek Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill and a Guide for Cooking Quinoa So It Turns Out Fluffy Every Time!

What do you prefer? Mushy quinoa or fluffy quinoa? If you’re like us, fluffy wins every time! But achieving fluffy vs. mushy quinoa can be a challenge, especially if you follow the manufacturers directions stated on most packages. After chatting online with our Facebook fans and Twitter followers, we merged a myriad of suggestions and came up with the ultimate, bottom-line, best-ever technique for cooking quinoa … not that we’re bragging or anything. What follows is our step-by-step Quinoa Cooking Guide and a recipe for Greek Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill.

We’re all about veggie-filled meals and fun, fresh flavors, and that’s exactly what you get with this easy-to-make salad. Serve it as a side dish or a main meal.

Looking for fluff versus mush? Check out our guide for turning out airy quinoa every time:

> Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse very well several times under cold running water. Drain well.

> Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the quinoa in the skillet and “toast,” stirring frequently, until the quinoa is dry and gives off a nutty aroma, 4 to 5 minutes.

> Meanwhile, place desired amount of liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil. We recommend a ratio of 1 cup quinoa to 1½ cups liquid — water, vegetable or chicken broth, apple juice.
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Please note that our ratio is different from what you typically see on package instructions, but trust us, it works. Also, most recipes suggest mixing the liquid with the quinoa and then bringing the mixture to a boil.  With our technique, we recommend boiling the liquid first before adding the quinoa.

> Add the “toasted” quinoa to the boiling liquid and stir well. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Makes 4 Servings

We love this salad as a side dish for grilled fish or chicken or on its own as a satisfying lunch. As for kids … they LOVE it too!

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1½ cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 medium orange bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • A quarter of an English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse very well several times under cold running water. Drain well. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the quinoa in the skillet and “toast,” stirring frequently, until the quinoa is dry and gives off a nutty aroma, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place the water or broth in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the “toasted” quinoa and stir well. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

3. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and fluff gently with a fork every few minutes until the grains cool.

4. Stir in the bell pepper, chickpeas, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, dill, and lemon zest until well combined. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir into the quinoa mixture until the salad is well coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 generous cup): 360 calories, 17g fat (3.5g saturated), 460mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 10g protein, 15% vitamin A, 50% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 20% iron

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Coming soon to the blog …. Almond Cranberry Quinoa Bowl!

What are some of your favorite quinoa recipes? What do you think of our cooking technique? Do tell!!

4 Responses to “Greek Quinoa Salad with Feta and Dill and a Guide for Cooking Quinoa So It Turns Out Fluffy Every Time!”

  1. How smart!! Must try this next time.

  2. So that’s how you do it! I’m a huge quinoa fan, but sometimes it does, to my surprise, turn out mushy and I never know what I did wrong! I will have to try your method, thanks!

  3. Caroline Margolis says:

    Haven’t been able to master quinoa until I saw this technique and now I love it. And, I made the Greek Quinoa Salad for Passover today – delicious! Thanks!!

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