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California Quinoa

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time26 mins
Servings: 6 Serves 6-12
Author: Angela Marinelli, M.S., M.Ed.



  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 3 cups water less 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • large pinch sea salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • One ripe avocado chopped
  • One ripe tomato chopped
  • Additional salt and pepper to your taste


  • 1/2-3/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup high quality red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • sea salt to taste


Ahead of Time

  • Rinse quinoa.

Cook the Quinoa

  • Bring the water and red wine vinegar to a boil.
  • Add the pinch of sea salt and red pepper flakes.
  • Add the rinsed quinoa and stir. Cover and reduce 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.

Make Marinade

  • Put all marinade ingredients in a high powered blender and whiz until combined.

Gently Toss

  • Gently toss all quinoa and about 1 cup of the Red Wine Vinegar Marinade.
  • Let it cool to room temperature.
  • Chop your avocado and tomato and add to your room temperature quinoa. If quinoa is too warm avocado may brown and tomato may get too soft.
  • Adjust seasoning to your taste. Lightly stir and serve.


  • You can make this in advance and store this salad for 5-7 days in the fridge. Just let come to room temperature, toss and adjust seasoning if needed before serving.


As a whole meal, this recipe will serve about 6. As a side dish, it can serve 12 or more. Enjoy!