Make-Ahead Quinoa Salad With Cucumber, Tomato, and Herbs Recipe

An easy make-ahead salad with the flavors of tabbouleh, hearty enough to serve as a light meal. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Loosely based on Middle Eastern tabbouleh salad, this easy make-ahead salad combines grape tomatoes (sweet and ripe any time of year) with cucumber, parsley, mint, and quinoa for a bright and refreshing make-ahead salad that's hearty enough to serve as a light meal.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, split into quarters
  • 1 large cucumber, seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine quinoa and 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 7 minutes. Shut off heat and let rest until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer quinoa to a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until thoroughly chilled. Let drain for 10 minutes.

  2. While quinoa cooks, combine tomatoes and cucumbers in a colander set in the sink. Season with salt and toss to coat. Let drain in sink until ready to combine with quinoa.

  3. In a large bowl, toss drained quinoa, drained tomatoes and cucumbers, shallots, parsley, mint, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or for best flavor, let rest overnight in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Salad can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

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