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I'm always looking for new lunch ideas and this quinoa salad with feta and pomegranate is the best quick fix for lunchboxes.
I find quinoa is the best gluten free couscous alternative and the tangy feta works so well with the sweet bursts of pomegranate.
Coated liberally in fresh coriander and flaked almonds, it's a delicious salad which can be enjoyed warm or cold.
I often have this on its own with a side salad in my lunchbox, or it pairs really well with grilled chicken too.
This quinoa salad is also an excellent side dish for a BBQ or salad spread - it's naturally gluten free so won't feel like a 'special' option.
Everyone is guaranteed to tuck in and it is lovely with some fresh-off-the-barbecue chicken, steak or burgers.
The best thing is that this quinoa salad is SO quick to make, you'll wonder why you've never tried it before!
Is quinoa gluten free?
Despite looking like (and being consumed in the same way as) a grain, quinoa is actually a seed.
It's completely gluten free and an good source of protein too - I love using it to bulk up my meals.
Quinoa has always been my gluten free go-to replacement for couscous, something I really miss.
I always boil it up and use it in the same way as couscous as it has a sort of similar texture, but a more nutty taste.
Quinoa is 100% gluten free but some packs have a 'may contain' warning depending on the way it's manufactured.
However, there are a lot of gluten free quinoa brands out there so it's worth shopping around - you can generally find a gluten free variety in most larger UK supermarkets.
An easy gluten free lunch idea
I know finding interesting gluten free lunch ideas can be really hard.
And it can be even more difficult to find salads which are a little bit different and more substantial than the norm.
This quinoa salad is just so versatile in that it pairs with pretty much everything.
And as well as being a gluten free lunch it's also bread free - perfect if you're fed up of gluten free sandwiches!
I do like to mix things up through the week and this is a really easy lunch to prepare in advance and make several days' worth.
It means you can then have a few evenings without worrying about what you'll take to work to eat the next day!
I try to keep my fridge stocked with a few days' worth of salads like this and my Mexican corn salad, as well as cooked chicken or salmon.
It means I can then quickly throw something together when I'm in a hurry without too much thinking - or cooking!
How to cook quinoa
Cooking quinoa is actually really easy - it's simply a case of rinsing it off and then boiling it.
I could try and make it sound a lot more complicated but that's essentially it.
Firstly you want to chuck the quinoa in a sieve and rinse it well in cold water.
This helps to create a much nicer texture when it's cooked.
Add the quinoa to a pan and then add double the volume of water.
So if you use a cup of quinoa, add two cups of cold water on top of this.
Then it's a case of heating it to the boil and cooking it until all of the water is absorbed.
This usually takes around 10-15 minutes - when it's done, fluff it up and it's ready to eat!
In this recipe I cook my quinoa with some gluten free vegetable stock.
I find this gives it a great flavour - it's how I always used to cook couscous so I've transferred this to my quinoa cooking too.
It works well with chicken stock too, but I tend to always have a veggie stock cube on hand.
My gluten free quinoa salad recipe
This easy quinoa salad makes enough for two people but feel free to scale the recipe up or down as much as needed.
And if you loved it, please do leave a review to let others know you loved it too! It would mean the world to me.
- 100g uncooked quinoa
- 400ml vegetable stock
- 100g feta cheese
- 80g pomegranate seeds
- 50g flaked almonds
- Handful fresh coriander (chopped)
- Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse well with cold water - don't skip this step as it really helps with the texture of the quinoa as it cooks!
- Add the rinsed quinoa to a small saucepan and pour over the vegetable stock. Place on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and place a lid on the pan. Leave to stand for a further 5 minutes so the quinoa can finish cooking in the steam. All of the water should be absorbed after 5 minutes so there should be no excess to drain off.
- Once cooked, crumble the feta cheese into the pan and add the flaked almonds, pomegranate seeds and most of the coriander. Stir really well to combine.
- Pour out into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the extra coriander and some extra flaked almonds and feta to serve. Optional - serve with lemon wedges which can be squeezed on top before eating, yum!
This salad is lovely hot or cold - keep in the fridge and have it the next day for lunch cold! Want to make it vegan? Use the Violife Greek Block instead of feta!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 516Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 1163mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 9gSugar: 10gProtein: 21g
Need some more gluten free meal inspiration?
If you want to have a go at some of the other easy gluten free dinner recipes on the blog, why not give some of these a try?
They’re perfect for creating delicious comfort food when you need it!
And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next!
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