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Simple Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Easy to make in advance, and highly portable, Mediterranean quinoa salad is perfect for picnics and potlucks. Great as a vegetarian main or a hearty side salad, and ideal for lunchboxes.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: lunchbox salad, picnic salad, potluck salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 587kcal
Author: Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas


To roast the vegetables

  • 1 bunch of baby beetroot leaves removed and scrubbed
  • 1 bunch of baby carrots leaves removed and scrubbed
  • 3 (approx 450g) small sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 medium red onion peeled and cut into eighths
  • 10 (approx 250g) baby yellow squash halved
  • 1 red pepper cut into 2cm pieces
  • Olive oil for roasting
  • Salt & pepper

For the quinoa base

  • 180 g (1 cup) uncooked quinoa
  • 5 - 6 Tablespoons chopped herbs (I used parsley, basil and chives)
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • Salt & pepper


To roast the vegetables

  • Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
  • Place the baby beetroot into the centre of a large sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, and scrunch the foil to enclose the beetroot. Place in the oven.
  • Toss the sweet potato with olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread on a baking tray, and place in the oven. [See note 1]
  • Toss the red onion with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on a tray in the oven.
  • Toss the carrots with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on a tray in the oven.
  • Toss the baby squash with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on a tray in the oven.
  • Toss the red pepper with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place on a tray in the oven.
  • Cook the beetroot for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer easily pierces the beetroot. Remove from the oven, and open the foil packet to allow the beetroot to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beetroot and cut them into quarters. Set aside.
  • Cook the remaining vegetables until softened and lightly browned. My approximate cooking times are:
    sweet potato - 45 minutes,
    baby carrots - 30 minutes,
    red onion - 30 minutes,
    baby squash - 25 minutes,
    red pepper - 20 minutes.
  • Remove the vegetables from the oven once cooked. Some vegetable pieces may cook faster than others, so remove them individually during the cooking time if necessary to prevent them overcooking.

For the quinoa base

  • While the vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa according to the packet directions.
  • Place the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk together. Set aside.
  • Place the cooked quinoa and the chopped herbs into a large bowl.
  • Season with salt & pepper, then toss the herbs lightly through the quinoa.

To finish the salad

  • Add the warm vegetables to the quinoa.
  • Pour the lemon dressing over the vegetables.
  • Toss the vegetables through the quinoa to combine.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


Note 1: I use two large baking trays for this recipe. I place the vegetables that take the longest time to cook in the oven first, and then prepare the next round of vegetables.
I use a portion of the baking tray for each type of vegetable, keeping like vegetables together to make it easier to remove them when cooked.
Other Notes:
  1. The quantities of vegetables are not extremely important here. The salad is highly flexible and will work well with both fewer or more vegetables. Feel free to swap out the vegetables and herbs I have used for your favourites.
  2. The dressing is extremely tart when tasted on its own. This is deliberate, and the sharpness of the dressing will be balanced out by the sweetness of the roasted vegetables.
  3. I can only provide approximate cooking times in this recipe. Exact cooking times will depend on the type and freshness of your vegetables, and the size of the cut vegetables.
  4. Beetroot will turn your quinoa pink. If this bothers you, use more sweet potato and carrots instead.