Zesty Quinoa Salad with Mint

Memorial Day is coming up and while we can’t celebrate like we usually do with all our friends and family, why not celebrate virtually? Virtual Memorial Day still requires delicious summer food, so give my minty, Zesty Quinoa Salad a try!

large bowl of quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers and mint leaves

Pair this quinoa dish with my spinach and feta turkey burgers and fresh watermelon for a yummy Memorial Day cookout – Mediterranean style!

Or if you’re looking for another side dish, my watermelon feta orzo salad is another goodie for summer cookouts.

The Perfect Summer Quinoa Salad

One of my favorite summer flavor combinations is mint + citrus. They complement each other so well! The refreshing mint with the bright citrus flavors makes anybody’s taste buds jump for joy.

Do you have a favorite summer flavor combo? Let me know below! I can always use inspiration for future recipes!

In the summertime, I love easy and healthy salads that I can have already prepped to have throughout the week or take with me to gatherings. This zesty salad recipe is perfect for either option. The quinoa salad doesn’t take long to put together, and it’s super simple to throw together. Plus, it’s packed with plant-based protein!

close up of salad tongs scooping quinoa salad with chopped mint sprinkled on top

Vegan with Plant-Based Protein

Quinoa is a great source of protein if you’re vegan or don’t eat much meat. Quinoa provides all the essential amino acids, which we need to get in our diet since our bodies can’t produce them.

It’s a great pantry staple to have on hand and use in a variety of ways from salads, wraps, soups and more. I love cooking up a pot of quinoa to have for the week ahead to bulk up meals with protein and nutrition.

So, if you’re looking for a vegan salad with plant-based protein, this is it!

How to Make Quinoa Salad

If you’re new to using quinoa, a key step to making it flavorful is cooking it in broth. Quinoa is very plain, so it needs some flavor boosters! In this recipe, we use vegetable broth to add flavor and salt.

The quinoa will take on the flavors of whatever it is mixed with, similar to tofu. So, the zesty citrus and mint will be noticeable.

Cooking Tips:

  • Cook covered to allow the steam to help the quinoa cook quickly and absorb the liquid.
  • You’ll know the quinoa is done cooking when all the liquid is absorbed.
  • Allow the quinoa to sit for a bit after cooking to finish absorbing the liquid.

Recipe Instructions

Only a few steps and you got a delish Mediterranean quinoa salad! Start by cooking the quinoa. While the quinoa cooks, chop up your veggies and mint. I use one of the small .5 oz containers of fresh mint. Next, in a large serving bowl, add the cooked quinoa, drained beans and chopped veggies.

Time for adding the flavor! Zest the lemon and lime over the quinoa salad before juicing them. Add the oil, vinegar, mint and juice. Mix well and enjoy!

Serve the salad cold or chilled and give it a good stir if it’s been sitting for a while to help get the flavors remixed.

Zesty Quinoa Salad with Mint

Minty & Zesty Quinoa Salad is the perfect summer salad or side dish with refreshing mint and bright citrus flavors! Vegan and full of plant-based protein!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword gluten free, summer, vegan
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 people
Author Monica Nedeff


  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cucumber quartered
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes sliced
  • 1 15 oz can drained garbanzo beans
  • .5 oz mint leaves chopped (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 large lemon for juice and zest (around 4 tablespoons juice)
  • 1 large lime or 2 small limes for juice and zest (around 2 tablespoons juice)


  • Bring 4 cups vegetable broth to a boil and cook 2 cups dry quinoa for 15-20 minutes. Once all the liquid is absorbed, the quinoa is done cooking. Set aside to cool.
  • Chop the cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, and red bell pepper.
  • In a large serving bowl, add the cooled quinoa, drained garbanzo beans and chopped vegetables.
  • Zest the lemon and lime over the bowl and pour the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, and chopped mint – mix well.

If you ever make a recipe, tag me @monicanedeff.rdn on Instagram. I love seeing your creations and sharing them with the community! Please comment and give this recipe a star rating if you’ve made it as it greatly helps support this blog and my small biz, thank you!

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