Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese

My quinoa salad brings fresh, nutty, and tangy notes to the tongue, with so much satisfying crunch! This is a wonderful dish that feels light but is so filling.

It’s suitable for all times of the year. In January, you can enjoy it as a light, crisp salad on its own. In the summer, you can serve it out on the patio with barbecued meat and sangria. It’s loaded with fresh, Mediterranean flavor.

Quinoa salad with avocado, goat cheese, arugula, tomatoes, and more

Let’s Get Started with Ingredients

First things first, you’ll need to get together the following:

For the Salad

Ingredients for the quinoa salad
  • Quinoa – 1 cup dry quinoa (uncooked)
  • Cucumber – 1 seedless cucumber
  • Bell Pepper – 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper (Try not to use a green bell pepper as we want the slight sweetness that comes in the red/orange/yellow varieties in the salad. That slight sweetness is not present in the green bell pepper.)
  • Red Onion – 1/2 medium red onion
  • Goat Cheese – 4 oz creamy soft goat cheese (about 115 grams) (You can add more to taste, up to 8oz)
  • Arugula – 2 cups arugula/rocket
  • Cherry Tomatoes – 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • Avocado – 2 medium avocados

For the Salad Dressing

Salad dressing ingredients
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon – 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and the zest of one lemon
  • Garlic – 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Mustard – 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Oregano – 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt – a pinch of kosher salt
  • Pepper – a pinch of ground black pepper
  • Fresh Parsley (optional) – a handful of fresh parsley (about 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley)

How to Make the Salad (with Photos)

Step 1 – To a pot over medium heat, add 2 cups of hot/boiling water and 1 cup of quinoa (about 175 grams). Bring to a simmer and let it simmer (adjust the heat if needed) until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).

Making the quinoa

Step 2 – After the water is absorbed, remove the pot from the heat, cover it with a lid, and let the quinoa steam for about 10 minutes. Afterward, fluff it up with a fork and wait until it cools down completely.

Step 3 – Make the salad dressing. Add all the salad dressing ingredients (extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, mustard, dried oregano, finely chopped fresh parsley (optional), salt, and pepper) to a small jar with a lid and shake it until the dressing is emulsified. If you don’t have a jar, you can also whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl instead.

Salad dressing for the quinoa salad

Step 4 – Prepare all the ingredients to assemble the salad. Chop the cucumber and bell pepper. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice the red onion. Cut the avocados in half and chop them.

Chopped/ready ingredients for the quinoa salad

Step 5 – Combine all the salad ingredients (except the avocado and goat cheese) and salad dressing and toss to combine. As the avocado and goat cheese are softer than the other ingredients, we’ll add them in the next step and only lightly mix them so that we don’t smash them too much.

Mixing all the ingredients (except avocado and goat cheese) for the quinoa salad
Tossing the quinoa salad (minus the avocado and goat cheese)

Step 6 – Add the chopped avocado (scoop it up with a spoon) and goat cheese (crumbled), and give the salad a light mix.

Adding the chopped avocado and crumbled soft goat cheese to the quinoa salad.

Step 7 – Serve the salad in a large bowl. You should get 4-6 servings for a main or 8-10 side salads.

Quinoa salad in a large bowl

Look at those gorgeous, rustic colors. What I love about this salad is that so many of these ingredients I had in the refrigerator or the pantry.

Quinoa salad in a large bowl

You’ve got creamy, crunchy, and chewy texture in every bite. The chopped veggies taste so refreshing, while the goat cheese and zesty dressing deliver some really rich flavor.

Quinoa salad with avocado and goat cheese

Stick a big spoon in the bowl and let your family or dinner guests help themselves! It might look like a big bowl of salad, but you’ll be surprised how quickly it shrinks!

Quinoa salad with avocado and goat cheese

Need Some Serving Ideas?

So, there really is no end to the fun when it comes to quinoa salads, like this. There are so many ways to enjoy it.

If you want to keep things simple, you can easily enjoy a plate or bowl of it on its own. For something on the side, serve up some fresh bread.

Quinoa salad with avocado and goat cheese (individual serving, main dish)

You can easily serve a side of this salad with my chicken tenders or a simple grilled salmon fillet or grilled chicken breast.

How About Some More Salads Recipes?

If you’re looking to add more salads like this to your menu, I have plenty of recipes on the site. Try my Romaine salad with feta, toasted walnuts, and tomatoes, or my tomato, feta, and mint salad for lighter, herby, and refreshing salads.

I’ve also put lots of my salads into one roundup for you to scroll through and see what takes you fancy. Take a look here for salad recipes.

Salad recipes (four salads)

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Quinoa Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 main salads or 8-10 side salads
Author: Doina Johnson

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa uncooked
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper red, orange, or yellow
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 4 oz creamy soft goat cheese
  • 2 cups arugula/rocket
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 medium avocados

For the Salad Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and the zest of one lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley optional

Instructions

  • To a pot over medium heat, add 2 cups of hot/boiling water and 1 cup of quinoa (about 175 grams). Bring to a simmer and let it simmer (adjust the heat if needed) until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
  • After the water is absorbed, remove the pot from the heat, cover it with a lid, and let the quinoa steam for about 10 minutes. Afterward, fluff it up with a fork and wait until it cools down completely.
  • Make the salad dressing. Add all the salad dressing ingredients (extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, mustard, dried
    oregano, finely chopped fresh parsley (optional), salt, and pepper) to a small jar with a lid and shake it until the dressing is emulsified. If you don't have a jar, you can also whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl instead.
  • Prepare all the ingredients to assemble the salad. Chop the cucumber and bell pepper. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice the red onion. Cut the avocados in half and chop them.
  • Combine all the salad ingredients (except the avocado and goat cheese) and salad dressing and toss to combine. As the avocado and goat cheese are softer than the other ingredients, we’ll add them in the next step and only lightly mix them so that we don’t smash them too much.
  • Add the chopped avocado (scoop it up with a spoon) and goat cheese (crumbled), and give the salad a light mix.
  • Serve the salad in a large bowl or on individual plates as single servings. You should get 4-6 servings for a main or 8-10 side salads.

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Quinoa salad with avocado and goat cheese
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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