Refreshing, Spicy Quinoa Salad

This salad was quite a hit at my 4th of July barbecue! Cilantro and lime give it a really fresh taste. The jalapeno spices it up just enough without being overpowering.

1 cup quinoa (I used white, but use whichever type you prefer)
3 cups water
2 cups diced cucumber
2 cups finely diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Place the quinoa in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to soak for 15 minutes. Drain through a fine mesh strainer & rinse thoroughly.

2 Bring 3 cups of water with 3/4 tsp salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.

3 Add the quinoa. When the water comes back to a boil, reduce the heat. Covered loosely, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until all the quinoa “sprouts a tail.”

4 Transfer the cooked quinoa to a fine mesh strainer to drain any excess water. Rinse with cold water, drain, and return to the saucepan.

5 Sprinkle salt over the finely diced cucumber and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse and drain well.

6 Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, vinegar and lime juice in a bowl. Season with a bit of salt.

5 Mix the olive oil with the quinoa. Then combine all ingredients. Toss until well mixed.

Serve at room temperature.

This recipe was adapted from “Spicy Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad” from the NY Times’ website’s Fitness & Nutrition section in July 2010.


  1. YUM!

    Comment by Jaime on June 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

  2. This quinoa dish is fantastic! So refreshing and light, it is the perfect summer side dish.

    Comment by Pete on July 4, 2012 at 1:57 am

  3. Thanks, Pete. Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

    Comment by Valerie on July 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm

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