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Cold Quinoa Salad

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  • Author: Julie (PB Fingers)
  • Yield: Seven 1/2 cup servings 1x


Cold quinoa salad will quickly become a spring and summertime staple in your house thanks to the bright, refreshing flavors of cucumber, pineapple and cilantro. This recipe for cold quinoa salad makes a perfect side dish for a cookout with friends or a simple meal at home. Top it with grilled chicken or shrimp for a delicious and nutritious lunch or dinner!


  • 3 cups chilled cooked quinoa
  • 1 English (seedless) cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits + 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper


  1. Place diced onion in a small bowl of ice water for approximately 10 minutes. (This will remove the bite from the raw onion. Do not skip this step!)
  2. Remove leaves from cilantro bunch, discard the stems and chop remaining leaves.
  3. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drain the water from the onion and add the onion to the mix. Add chopped cilantro. Toss everything to combine.
  4. Serve chilled and refrigerate remaining leftovers in an airtight container.


Ingredient Notes:

  • Approximately one cup of uncooked quinoa yields three cups of cooked quinoa. This recipe calls for chilled cooked quinoa but before cooking your quinoa, try toasting the quinoa lightly in a dry skillet to give it a more roasted flavor before boiling it.
  • Regular cucumbers may be used in this recipe but I prefer English/seedless cucumbers to avoid any cucumber seeds in this dish.
  • For an incredibly fast shortcut, simply combining the cold quinoa with Whole Foods’ pre-made pineapple salsa (the kind without tomatoes) and adding peeled, chopped cucumbers and a sprinkle of feta cheese works well in a pinch!
  • Our local grocery store sells cans of pineapple tidbits but if you have trouble finding them, finely diced pineapple (fresh or canned) will also work.
  • For an added dose of healthy fats, try dicing up an avocado and tossing it in the salad immediately before serving.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 133 calories
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 221mg
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 4g