This Greek-inspired salmon quinoa salad is easy to prepare and dressed in a light, tangy homemade red wine vinaigrette. It’s packed with 25 grams of protein per serving and perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner or meal prep!
Best Greek salmon quinoa salad
I have a soft spot for Greek and Mediterranean cuisine—Is anyone else on the same page? I think it’s my favorite type of food! The flavors are bold and tangy, yet the dishes remain light and refreshing. Personally, I can’t get enough of this Greek pasta salad, these Greek chicken meatballs, and this simple Greek spinach salad. Naturally, it inspired me to create yet another Greek-inspired masterpiece!
I’m so excited to share this salmon quinoa salad with you! It has all those delicious, bold Greek flavors, has lots of protein from the salmon, and whole grains from the quinoa. The flaky salmon sits on top of a bed of crunchy romaine, fluffy quinoa, and an array of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, feta, and onions—all tossed in a light, tangy red wine dressing.
Best of all, you can cook the salmon however you want. You can air fry it in under 11 minutes, sear it on the stove, or even bake it in the oven. I’ve got you covered with easy preparation techniques suitable for cooks of any level.
Here’s the best part – this salad is delicious when served cold and warm, making it ideal for meal prep. It’s secretly healthy, gluten-free, and easily adaptable to be dairy-free. I cannot wait to hear what you think of this delicious Greek salmon quinoa salad. Trust me, you’ll lick the plate clean – it’s that good!
Why you’ll love this easy recipe:
- High Protein: Each salad has over 25 grams of protein.
- Healthy: Featuring salmon, quinoa, and fresh vegetables for a wholesome and well-balanced meal.
- Whole Grains: Quinoa is the perfect healthy grain, full of fiber.
- Mediterranean Flavors: The salad has kalamata olives, feta, and the best tangy red wine vinaigrette.
- Quick & Easy: Simple and straightforward instructions make this recipe accessible for all levels of cooks.
- Customizable Greens: Tailor the salad to your liking by choosing between arugula for a peppery kick or romaine for a classic touch.
- Quick Salmon Cooking Options: Flexible cooking methods – skillet or air fryer – to suit different kitchen setups and time constraints.
- Refreshing & Light: A satisfying yet light dish, perfect for those seeking a refreshing meal without feeling overly full.
- Try this blackened salmon Caesar salad or this tuna pesto pasta next!
This crispy salmon quinoa salad dressed in a simple, tangy red wine vinaigrette calls for simple, healthy ingredients. You need fresh or frozen salmon filets, tomatoes, feta, quinoa, and a few other ingredients. This recipe is gluten-free! Here is a list of everything you need so you are prepared:
- Quinoa: A nutrient-dense whole grain that adds a hearty and protein-rich base to the salad. I love using tri-color quinoa, but you can use any variety.
- Salmon: A high-protein source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can use fresh or frozen filets!
- Avocado or Olive Oil: Used for cooking the salmon, adding a healthy cooking fat and enhancing flavor.
- Arugula or Romaine: Provides a fresh and crisp base for the salad, adding texture and nutrients.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Adds a burst of sweetness and vibrant color to the salad.
- Kalamata Olives: Brings a rich, salty flavor, contributing to the Mediterranean profile of the dish.
- Feta Crumbles: Introduces a creamy and tangy element, enhancing the overall taste and texture. You can use low-fat or regular feta.
- Red Onion: Adds the perfect kick and a pop of color.
- Cucumber: Offers a refreshing and hydrating crunch to balance the other flavors.
- Fresh Dill: Used as a garnish for a hint of herbaceous freshness.
- Simple Dressing: You need olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, water, and dried oregano to create a flavorful and tangy dressing that ties the ingredients together.
Kitchen tools needed
Here is a list of kitchen utensils you will need to make these quick and easy salmon quinoa salads:
- Skillet or Air Fryer
- Whisk + Tongs
- Cutting Board + Sharp Knife
- Salad Plates or Bowls
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
How to make salmon quinoa salad
This Greek-inspired salmon quinoa salad is so delicious and easy to make. Here are detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for visual reference so any level cook can make it. The full recipe and ingredient measurements are at the bottom of this page in the recipe card.
Start by cooking the quinoa according to the package instructions.
Cooking tip: ½ cup dry quinoa should yield about 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa.
Then, thinly sliced red onions and soak them in cold water while you cook the salmon and quinoa. This helps mellow the onion flavor. Let them soak for 10-15+ minutes.
Whisk together extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, water, and dried oregano in a small bowl to create the dressing.
Then, drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of the dressing over each salmon portion to season them, and then rub the dressing over the salmon to coat.
If you’re cooking the salmon on the stove top, heat about one tablespoon of oil in a skillet and sear the salmon for 4 – 5 minutes on the top side. Flip the salmon and finish cooking to your desired doneness (approximately 3-5 minutes more).
If you’re cooking the salmon in the air fryer, preheat your air fryer to 380°F, add your seasoned salmon fillets into the basket, and the air fryer for 8 – 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. I recommend checking at the 6-minute mark to ensure the salmon is cooking properly.
Now, assemble your salads on plates by portioning out arugula (or romaine), cooked quinoa, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and olives. Then, drain the soaked red onions and add them to the salad.
Place the cooked salmon on each salad and crumble feta over the salads. Finally, drizzle the salads with the prepared dressing and sprinkle fresh dill. Enjoy!
Expert recipe tips
- Time-Saver Tip: Use microwavable quinoa for a quick and convenient prep.
- Frozen Salmon: No need to stress – frozen salmon works just fine. Thaw it in the fridge overnight or use the microwave’s defrost setting.
- Air Fry or Sear Choice: Take your pick – air fry for crispiness or sear it in a hot skillet for a tasty crust. Both methods bring their own vibe to the salmon.
- Salmon Temperature: Cook the salmon your way. Whether you like it a bit pink in the middle or fully done, tweak the time until it’s just right. About 4-5 minutes on each side usually does the trick for medium doneness.
- Meal Prep Tip: Make life easier by prepping components in advance. Cook the quinoa and salmon ahead of time, store them separately, and assemble your salad just before digging in. It’s a time-saving move for a quick and tasty meal.
- Dairy-Free Option: Go dairy-free by replacing the feta with vegan cheese or skipping it altogether.
Ingredient substitutions and variations
Here’s a list of the best ingredient substitutions and recipe variations. I only recommend changing 2 or 3 ingredients based on the list below.
- Dressing: Try this avocado green goddess dressing, Caesar dressing, the yogurt dill one, or a store-bought Greek dressing.
- Quinoa: Replace with brown rice, couscous, bulgur, or farro for different grain textures.
- Salmon: Substitute with grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu for alternative protein options.
- Greens: Try spinach, kale, or mixed salad greens for variety.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Use grape tomatoes or diced regular tomatoes.
- Kalamata Olives: Replace with green olives or omit for a milder taste.
- Feta Crumbles: Substitute with goat, blue, or vegan cheese.
- Red Onion: Use sweet onions, green onions, or shallots for a different onion flavor.
- Cucumber: Try Persian cucumbers, zucchini, or bell peppers for added crunch.
- Fresh Dill: Substitute with parsley, cilantro, or basil for alternative herb flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best substitute for quinoa?
Try brown rice if you’re gluten-free, or couscous, bulgur, or farro if you’re not.
Can I use frozen salmon filets?
Yes, you can use frozen salmon fillets. To defrost them, place the frozen fillets in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave. Alternatively, you can seal them in a plastic bag and submerge the bag in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until the salmon is thawed.
Can I bake the salmon instead?
Yes! You can bake the salmon in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 12-15 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork.
Can I grill the salmon instead?
Absolutely! Grill the seasoned salmon on a preheated grill for 3-4 minutes per side until it easily flakes, adding a delightful smoky flavor to your Greek Salmon Quinoa Salad. Adjust the time based on fillet thickness, ensuring it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), and make sure to oil your grill so the salmon doesn’t stick.
What’s the recommended internal temperature for cooked salmon?
The FDA recommends cooking salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Use a food thermometer to ensure it reaches this safe temperature.
Is quinoa gluten-free?
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it a safe and nutritious option for individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Absolutely! This recipe is great for meal prep. Simply store the undressed salad in an airtight container. Dress the salad when you’re ready to enjoy it so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy. You can heat the salmon individually or enjoy it cold. I prefer enjoying the salmon cold.
Storing: Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, keeping the dressing separate until serving to maintain freshness. To extend the salad’s crispness, consider storing components separately and assembling them just before consumption.
Reheating the Salmon: Reheat salmon by placing it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. Alternatively, use a microwave on low power in short intervals, checking for doneness between bursts to avoid overcooking. Don’t heat the salad!
If you love this recipe, try these next!
- Everything Bagel Crusted Salmon
- Crispy Salmon with Pesto
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon Bites
- Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad
- Teriyaki Salmon Buddha Bowls
- Greek Chickpea Pasta Salad
- Greek Chicken Meatballs
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Salmon Quinoa Salad
- ½ cup dry quinoa, I like tricolor
- 4 salmon portions, 4-6 oz each, skin removed
- 2 tbsp dressing, recipe below
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil, for cooking salmon
- 3 – 5 cups arugula or romaine hearts
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup kalamata olives
- ½ cup feta crumbles
- ⅓ cup very thinly sliced red onion, soaked in cold water for 10-15 minutes
- 1 large cucumbers, sliced
- Fresh dill for garnish
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Prepare Quinoa: Cook quinoa according to package instructions. ½ cup dry quinoa should yield about 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa.
- Soak Red Onions: Thinly slice red onions and soak them in cold water while you cook the salmon and quinoa. This helps mellow the onion flavor. Let them soak for 10-15+ minutes.
- Make Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, water, and dried oregano to create the dressing.
- Prepare Salmon: Drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of the dressing over each salmon portion. Rub the dressing over the salmon to coat.
- Cook Salmon in Skillet: Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and sear the salmon for 4 – 5 minutes on the top side. Flip the salmon and finish cooking to your desired doneness (approximately 3-5 minutes more).
- Cook Salmon in Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 380°F, add your seasoned salmon fillets into the basket, and the air fryer for 8 – 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. I recommend checking at the 6-minute mark to ensure the salmon is cooking properly.
- Assemble Salads: Portion out arugula (or romaine), cooked quinoa, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and olives onto plates. Drain the soaked red onions and add them to the salads. Place the cooked salmon on top of each salad and crumble feta over the salads. Finally, drizzle the assembled salads with the prepared dressing and sprinkle fresh dill on top. Enjoy!
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