Monday, April 7, 2014

Pesto Quinoa Salad

Can I just say how much I LOVE quinoa. If you haven't gotten aboard the quinoa train you better hurry up. Quinoa is becoming increasingly popular due to its superfood properties. So much so, that the farmers in South America can barely afford to eat it themselves anymore. In that case, maybe we can get plant based protein somewhere else so there is more to go around. Anyway, let me get off of my soap box. This salad is amazing. I came up with the idea because I saw a recipe for pesto pasta salad and I thought, " Well, why can't I just make the same flavors, but with quinoa. And thus, pesto quinoa salad was born. 
This salad was so easy to throw together. I bought my pesto at the antipasto bar at Whole Foods ( you only need 2 tablespoons,) but feel free to make some at home and freeze the rest. To this amazing pesto party I added feta, chickpeas, and red pepper and onion. Some obvious other mix ins could be chicken, roasted red peppers, fresh motz or cherry tomatoes. Use your imagination! I made this on a Sunday and it made lunch for me for the entire week. Talk about a protein packed lunch! This will keep you full for hours!

Pesto Quinoa Salad

Makes 5-6 servings

1 can chickpeas ( rinsed)
1 cup quinoa ( uncooked)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 Tablespoons store bought pesto ( or home made)
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 red pepper chopped
1/4 large red onion chopped
Salt & Pepper ( Taste it first after you add the feta)


1. Drain chickpeas and rinse in a colander. 
2. Boil quinoa to packaged directions and let cool. 
3. Add remainder of ingredients adding salt and pepper last to taste. 


  1. Looks delish ... and isn't it funny how capitalism really does screw some of the unfortunates of the world? Quinoa has been a life-saving food for the indigenous peoples of the Andes for centuries ... and then the foodies of the world discovered it ... damn! There has to be a happy medium in there somewhere!

  2. Yes Susan and unfortunately I find quinoa rather expensive but it makes a great and healty meal.
    Thank you Leanne for this recipe!

    Eugen @ The Munch Ado Blog

    1. Agreed! Eugen. I tend to buy the 365 brand of Quinoa at Whole Foods and it is about $4 for 3-4 cups. At some places it is $8 for less quinoa than that. It's crazy! Buying in bulk is best for that.