5 from 3 votes

Cucumber Salad With Crunchy Quinoa and Lemon Vinaigrette

 May 7, 2024

Fresh Persian cucumbers come together with crunchy quinoa and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette for the ultimate summertime salad. This is my Cucumber Salad With Crunchy Quinoa and Lemon Vinaigrette, and it is so simple and easy to make. The best part is: the cucumbers paired with the crunchy quinoa is bursting with delicious flavors and textures! This is the perfect recipe to make when you have leftover quinoa, or anytime that you want a crunchy and delicious salad.

A bowl of the cucumber salad with crunchy quinoa, siting on a countertop with a serving spoon resting in the bowl

Friends, as the summer weather starts to make its way to the Bay Area, I am craving all of the cool, refreshing, crunchy recipes. Specifically: cucumber salads. If you’ve been to my blog before, then you’ll know that I am a huge fan of cucumber salads. Whether that’s a No Mayo Creamy Cucumber Salad with a delicious yogurt dressing, or an Asian-inspired Spicy Cucumber Salad, cucumbers are cool, refreshing, and absolutely delicious. One of my favorite things about a cucumber salad is that, unlike with traditional lettuces, the cucumbers stay crispy, even as they sit in the dressing. I love to make a big batch of this salad at the beginning of the week, so that I always have something delicious to snack on!

This salad is truly satisfying and filling too, because it’s loaded with delicious, crispy quinoa. Quinoa is a delicious whole grain that is loaded with plant protein and fiber, making it a true superfood. This crispy quinoa comes together with just some olive oil and sea salt. And, when it cooks in the oven, it becomes crispy, crunchy, and a crouton-like addition to this salad. It’s truly one of my favorite parts of this dish!

And while this salad can absolutely be enjoyed on its own, I also love pairing it alongside a heartier dish like my Easy Salmon Piccata or my One-Pan Lemon Chicken Orzo for the ultimate weeknight dinner!

What You Need to Make This Crunchy, Tangy Salad

  • Cucumbers: Petite, Persian cucumbers are perfect for this salad. They are small and crunchy, which means that they won’t get soggy in this salad.
  • Red Onion: Sliced red onion adds the perfect amount of tang, and, not to mention, a beautiful bright red color!
  • Fresh Dill: I love the flavor that fresh dill adds to almost any salad recipe, and this cucumber salad is no exception.
  • Feta Cheese: Tangy feta cheese adds a creamy and delicious flavor to this salad. Don’t skip it!
  • Quinoa: Here’s a hack: if you want to make this recipe quickly, use frozen, microwave-ready quinoa. It allows you to skip the time of preparing the quinoa, so you can go straight to crisping it up!
  • Olive Oil: Of course, the magic in this salad lies within the healthy fats, and olive oil is the king of healthy fats! It’s rich, it’s filling, and it makes for the perfect base for the dressing of this salad (and for getting the quinoa nice and crunchy!)
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper: A pinch of salt and pepper adds the perfect finishing touch to this recipe!
  • Red Wine Vinegar: A splash of red wine vinegar helps to form the perfect dressing!
  • Lemon Juice: Of course, it wouldn’t be a lemon vinaigrette without the lemon juice! You’ll need the juice of one whole lemon for this recipe.
  • Italian Seasoning: The flavors in Italian seasoning add the perfect touch to this vinaigrette!
  • Garlic: I always recommend using fresh garlic whenever possible. Not only does it add the best flavor, but as this salad sits, the garlic flavor gets stronger (which, in turn, makes this salad even better!)
A bowl of the lemon vinaigrette, actively being whisked together
Next, prepare the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients (the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, garlic, sea salt, and ground black pepper) and add them to a bowl. Whisk them together until they’re fully combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

How to Make This Perfectly-Crispy Summer Salad

To make this salad, start by preheating your oven to 375 F. Next, prepare the quinoa. Cook the quinoa according to your preferred method, then toss it with the olive oil and sea salt. Add it to a baking sheet and spread it out into an even layer. Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and allow it to cook for 20-25 minutes, being sure to stir the quinoa every 10 minutes, so that it gets nice and crispy.

Once the quinoa is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. Next, prepare the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients (the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, italian seasoning, garlic, sea salt, and ground black pepper) and add them to a bowl. Whisk them together until they’re fully combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Then, prepare the salad. Chop the cucumbers and dill, slice the red onion, and add them to a large bowl alongside the crumbled feta and crispy quinoa. Pour the dressing on top and toss to fully combine. Then, serve and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A bowl of the cucumber salad with crunchy quinoa, siting on a countertop with a serving spoon resting in the bowl

Cucumber Salad With Crunchy Quinoa and Lemon Vinaigrette

5 from 3 votes
Nicole Modic
SERVES 4 Servings
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Fresh Persian cucumbers come together with crunchy quinoa and a refreshing lemon vinaigrette for the ultimate summertime salad. This is my Cucumber Salad With Crunchy Quinoa and Lemon Vinaigrette, and it is so simple and easy to make. The best part is: the cucumbers paired with the crunchy quinoa is bursting with delicious flavors and textures! This is the perfect recipe to make when you have leftover quinoa, or anytime that you want a crunchy and delicious salad.

Ingredients

For the Cucumber Salad:

  • 6 Persian Cucumbers sliced or chopped – according to preference
  • ½ Red Onion thinly sliced
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Dill chopped
  • ½ Cup Feta Cheese crumbled
  • 1 Cup Crispy Quinoa see below!

For the Crispy Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice this is approximately 1 lemon
  • ½ Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Cloves Garlic mashed
  • 1 Pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 Pinch Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  • To make this salad, start by preheating your oven to 375 F.
  • Next, prepare the quinoa. Cook the quinoa according to your preferred method, then toss it with the olive oil and sea salt. Add it to a baking sheet and spread it out into an even layer.
  • Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and allow it to cook for 20-25 minutes, being sure to stir the quinoa every 10 minutes, so that it gets nice and crispy.
  • Once the quinoa is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
  • Next, prepare the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients (the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, italian seasoning, garlic, sea salt, and ground black pepper) and add them to a bowl. Whisk them together until they're fully combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  • Then, prepare the salad. Chop the cucumbers and dill, slice the red onion, and add them to a large bowl alongside the crumbled feta and crispy quinoa.
  • Pour the dressing on top and toss to fully combine. Then, serve and enjoy!

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  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious- I made it last week for dinner and making again this week. Easy to turn into an entree with a protein. Love the lemon & the crispy quinoa