Quinoa Salad with Cucumber and Olives

I want to thank my cousin Alexander for this recipe. When we were younger, I got into cooking first. He wasn’t far behind though. Both of our moms are Armenian and they taught us how to cook. Whenever we have a family gathering, the food is the main attraction. Alexander is a master at grilling marinated meats and vegetables. His presentation is always on point because he pays close attention to detail. My sister is vegan and this quinoa salad is always her favorite dish on the table. We’ve been eating this salad at Alexander’s house for years and I wanted to share this awesome recipe with all of you. The reason I like it is that it’s delicious. However, not only is this salad delicious, it’s also vegan, gluten-free, and anti-inflammatory! Like I said, this quinoa salad goes great with grilled meat and vegetables. Here are some recipes to pair this quinoa salad with:

Chicken Souvlaki with Grilled French Bread and Tzatziki

Greek Lamb, Tomato, and Onion Kabobs (Island of Crete)

Skillet Chicken with Lemony Mustard Greens and Olives

Quinoa is high in protein (1 cup of cooked quinoa has more protein than an egg), high in fiber (1 cup gives you about 20% of your daily fiber needs) and is a naturally gluten free food.  Quinoa is also an anti-inflammatory food and fits well into most diets.  This recipe gets the full anti-inflammatory seal of approval.  Also, because it is low in calories and high in fiber, it is a food that is great if you are trying to lose weight.

Quinoa is also one of the simplest grains to cook.  Simply bring water and quinoa to a boil (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa) and turn burner to low.  Cook quinoa uncovered until the water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and cover until you are ready to serve.  Fluff with a fork when serving.  Enjoy!

quinoa salad with cucumber and olives (Armenia)


Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad with Cucumber and Olives

George Zikos
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 534 kcal


  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can black olives, drained and finely chopped


  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Wash the quinoa in a strainer. Add the quinoa and water to a saucepot and bring to a boil. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn to low and cook covered for 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes covered after you turn the heat off.
  • Blend up the oil, vinegar, dijon, and lemon juice in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, whisk very well until everything is completely immulsified.
  • In a bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa, diced vegetables, and dressing (you can decide how much of the dressing to use, I usually use most of it). Salt and pepper, to taste. Serve the salad immediately or let it cool in the fridge.


Calories: 534kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 5gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 34gSodium: 1076mgPotassium: 287mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 316IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 2mg
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About the Author: George Zikos
George studied International Business in Greece in 2015 for three semesters. His family is from the island of Crete, and he lived with them for a whole summer. During that time, he started working for Mediterranean Living and contributing his firsthand experiences of the traditional Cretan diet. He learned fluent Greek along the way, being fully immersed in a traditional Cretan village. He is since graduated with a business degree from Worcester State University. George loves language and traveling, so he completed a TEFL certificate program at the Boston Language Institute in order to teach English abroad and travel the world. He currently works full-time blogging, recipe formulating, and social media marketing for Mediterranean Living. His passions include language, gardening, hiking, skateboarding, and watching sports. He dreams of living in Crete one day, after he travels the world learning as many languages and cultures as possible.


  1. Henrietta February 8, 2022 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    5 stars

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. February 12, 2022 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Thank you!

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