Quinoa and Zucchini Salad Recipe

Served chilled, Quinoa and Zucchini Salad is a refreshing and satisfying meal accompaniment in warmer weather. It is not quite a complete meal, as the protein and iron level are a little low.

Quinoa and Zucchini Salad can also be served warm or at room temperature on cooler days, especially in autumn. It can be made a day ahead to boost the Moroccan spice flavours.

Dinner plate with quinoa and zucchini salad, lime, falafel and hummus

Quinoa and Zucchini Salad

Serves 4


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ¼ low salt vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 3 cups chopped spring onions
  • ½ cup currants
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped parsley and coriander
  • Finely grated lime or lemon rind
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Place quinoa in a pot with water. Add stock cube and bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until water has been absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Stir the quinoa every 5 minutes to avoid it sticking to the pot as it absorbs the water. Cooked quinoa is firm but not crunchy. Add the cooked quinoa to a serving bowl.

Whilst the quinoa is cooking you can start cooking the vegetables and spices.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a pan on low to moderate heat. Add the pine nuts. Occasional turn the nuts so they are evenly heated and browned. This takes about 5 minutes. Remove the nuts and place on a plate to add later.

Add the remainder of the oil to the pan. Continue on low to moderate heat and add the cumin seeds, ground coriander and onions. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add zucchini and currants. Cook the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes. Aim to warm and soften the zucchini without losing its firmness. Cooking time will depend on the size of the zucchini pieces and the heat of your pan.

I like to prepare the zucchini by cutting it lengthways into halves. I then cut each of these halves lengthways again. With the flat size on the chopping board I thinly slice the zucchini.

Take the vegetable mix off the heat.

If you are going to eat the salad at room temperature or chilled, let the mix cool before gradually adding it to the cooked quinoa. I usually add the vegetables in four batches.

Mix through the pine nuts.

Mix through the chopped herbs and citrus rind.

The salad may be served warm, at room temperature or chilled. It is ideal for summer and autumn when zucchinis are in season.

Just before serving stir in the citrus juice.

This salad is perfect for any time of the day. It goes well with falafel, vegetable burgers, grilled meat or chicken. You may also serve it with a tomato or green leaf salad to create a colourful, flavoursome and satisfying meal.

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