Jul 12

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Kalamata Olives & Mint Recipe


Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Kalamata Olives & Mint Recipe

If you loaded the amount of quinoa our family eats in one year into a small boat, that vessel would sink to the bottom of the sea faster than you could say “healthy mini grain” five times fast. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is actually healthy; I didn’t just make that up. It is a complete protein source, plus it packs a punch with its fiber and iron content. Not too shabby for a grain that only takes 20 minutes to cook and can be livened up with flavors such as lime and chipotle peppers or cumin and orange.

With a mint plant that is trying its darnedest to bust out of its pot, we started to use the fragrant leaves in drinks, salads and desserts (think Watermelon Mojito Sorbet). In this recipe, it is mixed with protein-rich chickpeas and briny kalamata olives to make a light salad that can be served either as a side dish or vegetarian entree.

The recipe:

In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well and drain.

See it on Amazon: truRoots Organic Quinoa

In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa and transfer to a cookie sheet, spreading the quinoa in a thin layer, to cool.


In a large bowl, mix together cooled quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes and kalamata olives. Stir well.


For the dressing, whisk together white wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. While whisking constantly, slow pour in olive oil until combined.

See it on Amazon: White Wine Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad, toss to coat and stir in fresh mint. Serve.


Other quinoa salad recipes:

Cookin’ Canuck’s Black Quinoa Salad with Orange & Cumin Dressing
Cookin’ Canuck’s Quinoa with Black Beans, Corn with Chipotle Pepper & Lime Dressing
Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Radishes, Cucumbers & Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette
Family Fresh Cooking’s Quinoa with Blood Orange and Basil
Gluten-Free Goddess’ Quinoa Salad with Blueberries, Strawberries & Watermelon

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Kalamata Olives & Mint
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck.
Serves: 4 to 6 as side dish
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups quartered cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted and sliced kalamata olives
The Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp honey
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large mint leaves, thinly sliced
  1. In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well and drain.
  2. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa and transfer to a cookie sheet, spreading the quinoa in a thin layer, to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together cooled quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes and kalamata olives. Stir well.
  4. For the dressing, whisk together white wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. While whisking constantly, slow pour in olive oil until combined.
  5. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad, toss to coat and stir in fresh mint. Serve.

Disclaimer: This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina July 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm

This salad sounds so yummy! Great recipe. Mmmm.


2 Heidi / foodiecrush July 13, 2011 at 12:34 am

Hey! That recipe looks familiar, and I know personally that it’s delish too. Your photo looks divine, great light, composition and styling too. Your workshops have certainly paid off!


3 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) July 13, 2011 at 7:09 am

Thanks so much, Heidi. Yes, you got to taste test this one personally.


4 Kim Beaulieu July 13, 2011 at 12:41 am

I made quinoa awhile ago and loved it. It had almost a nutty taste to it. Really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing with us.


5 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) July 13, 2011 at 7:09 am

You’re right, Kim – quinoa does indeed have a nutty taste, which adds a nice element to a lot of dishes.


6 Ruth July 13, 2011 at 1:19 am

Great combination of ingredients! Thanks for sharing!


7 Maris(In Good Taste) July 13, 2011 at 3:43 am

Simple yet so flavorful and healthy. Love this recipe!


8 Jessica @ How Sweet July 13, 2011 at 4:45 am

Love everything in this quinoa!


9 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen July 13, 2011 at 5:24 am

I’m right there with you on the massive quinoa consumption, it’s so good!


10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) July 13, 2011 at 7:10 am

Sylvie, I’m trying to remember what we used to eat before discovering quinoa. It is such a staple of our diets now.


11 Heather (Heather's Dish) July 13, 2011 at 5:46 am

so light and summery and Mediterranean! i think i’m in love :)


12 Blog is the New Black July 13, 2011 at 6:14 am

Love love love quinoa! This looks awesome.


13 KalynsKitchen July 13, 2011 at 7:48 am

I can testify to how delicious this is, loved it!


14 Jenny Flake July 13, 2011 at 7:49 am

This is my favorite type of salad to eat, I could eat this everyday and be so happy! Really beautiful Dara!!


15 Lori @ RecipeGirl July 13, 2011 at 8:22 am

I’m so happy to see a recipe for Quinoa! I’m using it a lot more these days. You can do so much with it!


16 Lauren from Lauren's Latest July 13, 2011 at 8:37 am

I just bought some quinoa to make a salad too! Great minds think alike! Haha!


17 Maria July 13, 2011 at 9:43 am

I know I love this recipe:)


18 Annalise July 13, 2011 at 9:51 am

You can’t have enough quinoa salad recipes! It’s my go-to summer dinner dish. Looks like I’ve got another to try, thanks for sharing!


19 Barbara | Creative Culinary July 13, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hehe…I JUST told someone I have to find more uses for quinoa since buying a bag of it at Costco. I’ll be making quinoa for years. Thank you for hearing my thoughts and providing this answer within moments Dara! Beautiful salad I just happen to have all the ingredients for. Yay!


20 judee @ Gluten Free A-Z July 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

I always forget about making quinoa eventhough I know how healthy it is and how good it tastes. This looks like a very inviting recipe that I will have to try. Thanks for the reminder about quinoa. Great Pics.


21 Radhika @ foodfor7stages July 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

My family loves quinoa too. I use it as a substitute for rice and serve it with Indian curries. They are so flavorful that I no longer miss rice.


22 carolinaheartstrings July 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I have never tried quinoa, but this sure makes me want to. Looks wonderful.


23 Wendy @ Cooking Quinoa July 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm

This looks so amazing Dara! I love the addition of mint and honey – not something you see in every quinoa recipe :) I will definitely be giving this a try. Your pictures are amazing…I’m just dying for a DSLR but even then it would take me years of practice (and probably not having 5 & 6 year old boys under foot) to come up such amazing shots.


24 claudia lamascolo/aka pegasuslegend July 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

This is such a delcious healthy meal I just love chick peas!


25 A Canadian Foodie July 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Simple – economical, delicious – nutritious – and absolutely stunning… this is my mantra and you are singing it proud!
A beautiful summer dish! YUM!


26 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com July 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Love quinoa! Massive consumption in salads and entrees, and not gonna lie, we ain’t missing rice :)


27 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum July 14, 2011 at 6:09 am

Awesome! I love that there is mint in this salad – I actually have some mint sitting around right now that it begging to be used in something delicious like this!


28 wizzythestick July 14, 2011 at 7:19 am

If you’re wondering how much quinoa my family eats the answer would be none:-( I’ve been reading how healthy it is but it’s still an impossible item to find in my country-bummer:-(


29 kelley July 14, 2011 at 8:04 am

Hey reader, I can tell you that this salad is delicious! I was lucky enough to try it!! Another great recipe and, girl, your photos are something else!


30 Sally July 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

So pretty (and so are the photos!)


31 Tracy July 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Oooh, I love the mint in there! I just got a whole bunch of it from my CSA so I will have to make this!!


32 The Food Hunter July 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

this looks great…i’ve tried quinoa but haven’t cooked it myself yet.


33 Charissa July 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Hey there fellow Canadian!
This looks amazing…just saying!
Now I’m super inspired to make a serious quiona salad…thanks for the inspiration!


34 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) July 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Thanks, Charissa. Where in Canada are you from?


35 Kate@Diethood July 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Iā€™m just getting into eating more quinoa and this dish sounds amazing! I love the inclusion of chickpeas and mint… delicious!


36 Sasha (Global Table Adventure) July 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I need to get on the quinoa bandwagon again. I fall off occasionally – my mom didn’t make it growing up so I often forget about it. I love it though! :) Nice recipe!


37 Roxana GreenGirl July 15, 2011 at 8:31 am

We are getting close to eating quinoa as much as you :) There are so many ways to throw in these delicious nutty seeds. Love the pairing with the mint, perfect for summer.
Thanks for sharing Dara


38 Dana July 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Dara, this is funny! I just posted a similar recipe on my not-so-foodie blog.
Yay for summer salads!


39 melissa@IWasBornToCook July 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Looks delicious, and contains some of my favorite ingredients! Yum.


40 Maureen July 16, 2011 at 12:48 am

I’ve gotta make this salad — it looks so fresh and delicious!


41 marla July 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

Dara, we love quinoa too. Bet our boat will sink quicker than yours šŸ˜‰ You combine so many great flavors in this dish. My kids LOVE kalamata olives and all the other ingredients you use here. Gotta bookmark this for sure! xo


42 Aggie July 16, 2011 at 9:06 am

This is great Dara. We (I) love quinoa so much…have to start making more with it! This is a great salad, I like quinoa cold in a salad so much more than warm. This looks delicious!


43 Skylar July 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

Looks delicious. I love quinoa because it can really go together with anything I can pull out of the garden, it’s wonderfully versatile.


44 Katrina July 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

I’m having the same love affair with this stuff! šŸ˜‰


45 HeatherChristo July 16, 2011 at 11:54 am

I love Quinoa! I always mean to make it more often- this is a great recipe to get started!


46 Carolyn July 18, 2011 at 5:17 am

Such a great, healthy summer salad. Wonderful!


47 Jeanette July 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

What a nice light protein complete summer salad – love the mint too!


48 carlyn July 28, 2011 at 8:21 pm

made this tonight and it turned out great!! we have fresh tomatoes and mint from our garden that i was looking to use. i doubled the olives and i cooked the quinoa in the microwave(so i used 2 1/2 cups of water). delish!! thanks for the recipe.


49 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) July 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed this. It sounds like you have the same penchant for olives as I do!


50 JenE August 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm

SO good. I added corn cut off of one cob and garnished w/ avocado. Forgot to add the mint but MAN O MAN O, is this good! Possibly favorite summer quinoa salad so far.


51 Mel August 13, 2011 at 11:06 am

I doubled this recipe for a summer party – The only changes were that I added 2 whole cut-in-small-cubes fresh garden cucumbers, 1 cup very finely diced red onion, both 15 thinly cut leaves of fresh basil & fresh mint – there was no more salad left after about half an hour into the party – a definite keeper.


52 JenE August 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Made this again tonight. Again w/ avocado. Lime juice instead of lemon. Oh, baby!


53 Monica Del Rosario March 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm

This was soooo good!! I didn’t have cherry tomatoes so I didn’t add it and I only had red wine vinegar so I added one tbsp of that instead of two for fear of tasting bad.. and it is DELICIOUS! CAME OUT DELISH!!


54 RuthAnn Funderburk March 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

These are *wonderful*! I added some ground flaxseed, some flax meal, some oatmeal (which I pulverized in my blender), some grated carrots, and some grated apples


55 RuthAnn Funderburk March 17, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Oops! Clearly I meant to post this to ANOTHER recipe.

Here’s my comment on THIS recipe:
Loved it! I added an array of veggies to it: zucchini, onions, broccoli.


56 Missy May 15, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Just made this fir dinner and LOVED it! I didn’t have any tomatoes but used cucumber instead and it came out great. Thanks for sharing!


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