Go Back

Lemon Basil Quinoa Salad

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time26 mins
Author: Angela Marinelli, M.S., M.Ed


For the Quinoa

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups less 2 TBS water
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • large pinch coarse sea salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil chiffonade (optional)
  • additional sea salt to your taste

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh basil packed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Makes about 1 cup


Cook the Quinoa

  • Bring the water and lemon juice to a boil.
  • Once they've come to a boil add the large pinch of coarse sea salt and pinch of red pepper flakes (for the quinoa).
  • Add rinsed quinoa and stir.
  • Reduce the heat to medium or medium low, cover to and let quinoa come to a simmer.
  • Cook covered for 16-18 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes covered.
  • Remove cover and fluff with a fork.

While Quinoa Cooks

  • Put all ingredients for the dressing in a food processor and whiz until blended or fully emulsified.
  • Chiffonade (or chop) the additional 1/4 cup of basil. (Additional basil is optional.)


  • Gently stir in 3/4 - 1 cup of the Lemon Basil dressing into the quinoa.
  • Add a few pinches of sea salt to your taste as you mix in the dressing.
  • If using the additional basil, let the quinoa cool a little before adding so the basil doesn't completely wilt and turn brown.


  • I also reserve some of the dressing as the quinoa cools because it's easier to taste the flavors and adjust seasoning once the salad cools a bit.
  • You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate. Just let come to room temperature, toss and adjust seasoning before serving.
  • You can store this salad for 5-7 days in the fridge.


Copyright: Angela Marinelli, M.S., M.Ed., Nourishment Connection 2013