This gluten free salad is made with quinoa, fresh sun dried tomatoes, basil, balsamic glaze and EVOO is super easy and flavorful.
A few weeks ago my niece, her husband and two boys came to visit. Since I was still at a point where I couldn’t stand for too long, I opted for burgers on the grill along with a few quick salads like this Sun Dried Tomato Balsamic Quinoa Salad.
Her oldest “D” is 5 and the youngest “M” is 18 months. They are ADORABLE and I’m not just saying that because I’m their great aunt. Even before I had my accident, “D” would Facetime my husband and I on his own just to say hi, tell us a funny joke or show us something he was excited about.
Since the accident, he calls more frequently just to check up on me to see how I’m feeling. Yes, he is only 5 years old!
The morning they were coming, he woke up and told his mom that he was “SOOOO excited because today was the day he was coming to visit Aunt Carrie and Uncle Don!” My kids are too young to have families of their own so it’s nice to spend time with little ones again.
Anyway back to this salad. My family has been cutting out excess gluten and dairy so they asked if I could make a quinoa salad. I’ve made a few others before like Tomato & Cucumber Quinoa Salad, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad and Avocado Quinoa Salad.
All were delicious I might add, but I didn’t have the ingredients to make one of these this time. I found some fresh sun dried tomatoes and our basil plant is growing like crazy so I used those to make this simple, healthy salad.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a seed that is naturally gluten free, rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. One cup of cooked quinoa contains approximately 200 calories, 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
How to Cook Quinoa?
When cooking quinoa you’ll need to double the amount of liquid to quinoa ratio. So for 1 cup of dry quinoa, you’ll need 2 cups of liquid. When making a salad, you’ll want to prepare the quinoa ahead of time; then allow it to cool completely before adding other ingredients.
About 1 hour in the refrigerator should be fine and you can prepare this up to 24 hours beforehand. The quinoa should be light and fluffy when separated with a fork before adding other ingredients so it doesn’t “clump” together.
How do you make Sun Dried Tomato Balsamic Quinoa Salad?
For this recipe you’ll need quinoa, water, sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic glaze and EVOO. I used the glaze instead of the vinegar since it’s what I had, but you can also use white distilled vinegar.
Start by adding the water to a medium saucepan; then add the quinoa and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Allow the quinoa to cool completely before adding the remaining ingredients.
When cooled, add the quinoa to a large bowl along with chopped sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic glaze and EVOO. Mix well until the quinoa is coated; then refrigerate until ready to serve.
You can serve this salad with any number of grilled recipes including Honey Mustard Balsamic Grilled Chicken, Short Ribs in a Sun Dried Tomato BBQ Sauce, burgers, Honey Roasted Garlic Grilled Pork Chops or Lemon Basil Grilled Shrimp.
This recipe for Sun Dried Tomato Balsamic Quinoa Salad makes 6 cups and will serve 12 people as a side salad. It was deliciously flavorful for only having a few ingredients. ~Enjoy!
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More Gluten Free Salad Recipes
- Lentil Salad
- Asian Cucumber Salad
- Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
- Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
- Lemon-Basil Three Bean Salad
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- Start by adding the water to a medium saucepan; then add the quinoa and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Allow the quinoa to cool completely before adding the remaining ingredients.
- When cooled, add the quinoa to a large bowl along with sun dried tomatoes, basil, balsamic glaze and EVOO. Mix well until the quinoa is coated; then refrigerate until ready to serve.