This bright and flavorful Caprese Quinoa Salad is made with toasted quinoa, cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fresh basil. With added protein and nutrients, it takes the classic Caprese salad to the next level.
Juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fragrant basil – is there any combination more reminiscent of summertime? I don’t think so! We wait a long time for tomato season to finally arrive so when it does, I like to keep the flavors simple so that the ripe tomato flavor can really shine.
This fresh Caprese quinoa salad is extremely versatile. You can have it as a salad for lunch, a side dish for dinner, or make extras and enjoy it throughout the week! We love to have it as a side with grilled chicken, but it’s truly filling enough to have as a meal all on it’s own.
Frequently asked questions:
How do you maximize the flavor of cooked quinoa?
While on its own quinoa can be a bit bland, I’ve discovered a few easy ways to maximize the flavor. First, instead of cooking it in water I like to use chicken broth. If you don’t have chicken broth, add a pinch of salt to the water. Another easy tip? Toast the quinoa in a little olive oil for about 60 seconds to add a warm, nutty aroma to the quinoa.
Benefits of adding Quinoa
Toasted quinoa is added to the traditional salad to boost the protein and other nutrients without sacrificing any of the classic Italian caprese flavors you crave. Quinoa also adds fiber and is ideal for a gluten-free diet.
How to Store Caprese Quinoa Salad
Serve immediately, or store for up to 3 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
You really can’t beat fragrant basil when it comes to fresh herbs. I love to sprinkle on a little more right before serving.
This fresh Caprese Quinoa Salad is a satisfying and flavorful addition to your summer menu, and it’s ready in just 20 minutes!
Your fork is waiting.
Fresh Caprese Quinoa Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella
- 10 leaves basil (cut chiffonade)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium pan, heat half of the olive oil (one tablespoon) over medium-high heat, toast the quinoa for 3-4 minutes until lightly brown and fragrant.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes then remove from heat. Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add cooked quinoa, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, lemon juice, remaining one tablespoon olive oil and salt/pepper.
- Toss salad to combine and check for seasoning before serving.
Want more healthy recipes? Head over to Pinterest!
53 thoughts on “Caprese Quinoa Salad”
I am going to make this for a party tomorrow night. I had been thinking caprese with balsamic dressing, bc I just love those flavors. This sounds wonderful and more of a side or entrée salad with the quinoa, which will make an even better addition to this “pot luck” gathering. Do you think balsamic dressing would add in well or should I just let it be and do Hasselback caprese later in the season when the temps rise?
Add it in- sounds amazing! Great idea!
This may be a dumb question but they always advise rinsing quinoa. Are you rinsing the quinoa before toasting or does the toasting take away the bitter taste?
New to cooking quinoa.
I buy quinoa that has been pre-rinses/washed. But if you don’t, I would treat it like rice and always rinse before cooking.
How do you fix up the leftovers? I found it not as tasty when cold and when I microwaved, the mozerella melted.
Hmmm..I ate it cold as leftovers. The melted cheese actually sounds good to me!! Another idea would be to fry them into quinoa patties similar to my Hummus Quinoa Cakes. Let me know if you come up with something!
Oh, yes! I absolutely love caprese salad, this recipe is amazing!
You and me both!! I’ve been craving a caprese pizza…
Mmmm… Thank you Liz for the delish make ahead recipe! Light..refreshing.. and sooo tasty (how can it be good for me?) Thank you for sharing. Love you!
So great to hear from you Aunt Janice! I hope you like this salad – it was a huge hit in our house!! Miss you guys – love you! xo
I absolutely love this! The fresh basil and mozzarella balls sounds like an amazing combo. What a perfect side dish!
Thank you Alexis!! It was so good!
I didn’t realise low-sodium chicken stock came in vegetarian varieties
Love that you combined caprese and quinoa! Perfect summer salad!
Thank you Jessica!! It seemed so obvious!!!