Quinoa Salad with Zucchini & Lemon ♥ Recipe

Quinoa Salad with Zucchini & Lemon
Today's grain salad recipe: Quick-cooking quinoa tossed with sautéed zucchini and brightened with lemon. Low carb. Weight Watchers 0 points. Vegan.

For anyone feeling less than svelte after the holidays, this easy grain salad pairs two of my favorite ingredients, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) and zucchini (pronounced zoo-KEEN-ee). You might say that I'm 'keen' on quinoa and zucchini, yes? (Ha. I hear you groaning now.)

Quinoa is a high-protein grain. It's also lighter tasting and faster cooking. And easier to digest. Zucchini is available year-round, inexpensive and easy to chop.

Toss quinoa and zucchini together into a salad with a little lemon, whaddaya get?
A great refrigerator salad for dieters, high in protein, low in calories, easy to keep around
A lovely grain salad, low in fat and high in protein, easy to carry to a potluck, say

Honestly, this salad may not knock off your socks. It's not even a salad that people will look up and say, "Who made this? I'd like the recipe."

But it deserves its status as a staple in my house with added virtues of simplicity and adaptability. In fall, cubes of roasted cauliflower, sweet potato or butternut squash could be added. In summer, stir in kernels of corn sliced right off the cob, also some halves of grape tomato. Yes, you could say, I'm keen on it.

"Even with my bungle, a yummy recipe!" ~ My Domicile Style


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Makes 6 cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then cut cross-wise every half inch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2-1/2 cups water
1-1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed under running water
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 bulb fennel, chopped fine
3 - 4 scallions, white and green parts both, chopped
Zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons) of a lemon
Chopped parsley (or dill or another fresh herb)

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on MEDIUM until shimmery. Add the zucchini and salt, toss to coat with fat. Let cook, turning every couple of minutes, until zucchini pieces are crisp-tender. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Add the water, quinoa and salt to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is cooked through but still a little chewy. If needed, drain, then add to the mixing bowl.

Stir together the cooked zucchini, cooked quinoa and remaining ingredients. Serve warm or, my favorite, room temperature. Lemony flavor will develop over 24 hours.

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~ Tomato & Zucchini Salad ~
~ Zucchini Lemon Honey Salad ~
~ Zucchini Carpaccio ~
~ more zucchini recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Quinoa Black Bean Salad ~
my absolute go-to quinoa salad recipe
~ Acorn Squash with Quinoa & Cherries ~
~ more quinoa recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

Looking for healthy ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous Alphabet of Vegetables. Healthy eaters will love the low carb recipes and the Weight Watchers recipes.
© Copyright 2010

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This is a great winter salad that doesn't feel like a winter salad. Lemon is great for lightening things up!

  2. Quinoa is like a new years resolution all by itself. Complete protein with calcium and iron, quick cooking, very adaptable, just asks for creativity. 2 new quinoa recipes in the blogs today...thanks!

  3. I was JUST thinking about a salad like this early today. Quinoa and Zucchini..plus some shredded carrot,and finely diced red bells, tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. Oh, and I was going to add some lentils...not quite the same, but Quinoa and Zucchini seem like Kismet.

  4. I just built this into the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder and it came out as 2 points

  5. Mebs ~ Hmmm, I'm away from my computer and the ability to double check but I will, as soon as I can. Is it possible that we're using different serving sizes? Thank you for being so alert and letting me know!

  6. Karen, Miami FLJanuary 04, 2010

    Thanks! this sounds perfect, and my CSA box this week had zucchini, yellow squash, fennel bulb, parsley and dill - it is meant to be. After sauteing/removing the Zuke, I'll add and stir the quinoa for a few minutes to get it a little brown and toasty before adding the water - a nice flavor enhancer! (credit to Didi Emmons' "Vegetarian Planet")

  7. how funny. i went to the fridge to get something for lunch and saw nothing with protein that could be reheated. it was too cold for a smoothie so i cooked up some quinoa, and added left over roasted veggies. i didn't squeeze any lemon, but that would have been tastier. i love grain and veggie combos, so tasty and nutrient dense!

  8. My quinoa turned out a little mushy. I was reading on sites and a lot of them recommend 2:1 ratio of water. Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid the mushy trap?

  9. Two ways - don't expect the pot to go dry, just plan to drain it once the quinoa is cooked to your liking. But after that, return the quinoa to the hot pan and and dry-cook it for a minute or two to remove excess moisture. Hope this helps!

  10. Thanks! I think I overcooked it and should have watched it a little closer. Even with my bungle, a yummy recipe! I blogged about it on Wed.

  11. I've been eating various quinoa salads over the last few weeks (even blogged about one!), and cannot believe I missed this one! I'll save it for later, however, for when I can use zucchini from my own back yard!
    I use 2:1 ratio (volume) of water to quinoa and it never comes mushy!

  12. This quinoa and zucchini recipe looks and sounds delicious. I've added a link to it from a post I just did for a southwest quinoa salad. Love that you include all the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna