Warm Arugula Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese

Appetizers and Snacks, Healthy Eating, Lunch, Side Dish, Side Salads, Vegetarian | 17 comments

Whenever someone asks me why quinoa, one answer always jumps to the front of my mind. Versatility.

To me, quinoa is one of those ingredients that goes with everything. From savory appetizers to sweet desserts, I’ve tried it all, and although not all of my dishes are successful, playing around with quinoa has made gluten-free cooking so much more fun.

Warm Arugula Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese - Queen of QuinoaWritten by: Alyssa Rimmer of Queen of Quinoa

Lately on Queen of Quinoa, my recipes have overwhelmingly gone in the sweet direction. I have a major sweet tooth, so I’ve been trying to create healthy treats that I can eat guilt free.

But like everything in life, there needs to be balance. It’s important to remember that with all sweet things there must be savory dishes to counteract those indulgences, even as healthy as they may be.

I’m the first to admit it, I enjoy dessert every single night. Whether it’s a raw truffle or a healthy cookie, I just love ending my night with a little something sweet. And I’m not planning to stop little habit any time soon. I’m a firm believer that it’s all about moderation and making healthy choices as much as possible.

Warm Arugula Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese - Queen of Quinoa

Which is why I make it a point to eat greens at every one of my meals, including breakfast. I love green smoothies and juices in the morning, great big salads for lunch, and you can often find a pile of roasted veggies on the side of my dinner plate.

And one of my favorite things to do is to combine a giant bowl of greens with my oh-so-lovely quinoa. Quinoa helps to make your already healthy salad, into a supercharged bowl of nutrients by adding protein, fiber, vitamins and healthy carbs.

Warm Arugula Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese - Queen of Quinoa

In my mind, this salad is the epitome of everything I love about quinoa. Arugula is one of those ingredients that needs something soft and mild to it balance out. Quinoa pairs perfectly with this bitter green because it’s gentle flavor lets the arugula shine, while mellowing out the spiciness that can sometimes overwhelm the dish.

The dressing, which is just a simple squirt of lemon juice, brightens the dish even more and is especially nice with the creamy, tang of the goat cheese. I could just go on and on about how awesome this salad is, but I think it would be more fun for you to just try it yourself!

Do you have a favorite way to use quinoa?

Warm Arugula Salad with Quinoa & Goat Cheese

Yield: 2

Prep Time: 5

Cook Time: 10

Total Time: 15

A bright salad that is perfect for lunch or dinner and is loaded with healthy ingredients. Naturally gluten-free and simply delicious, this salad will sure to please your whole family!

Print Save Recipe


1/2 cup white quinoa
1 cup water
3 cups arugula
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 of a lemon, juiced
Salt & pepper to taste


Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Cover and reduce to low. Let simmer for 10 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Keep covered for another 3 minutes, then fluff with a fork and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Add the arugula to the bowl with the hot quinoa and stir until the greens have wilted a bit. Squeeze the lemon juice over the salad and mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the salads to two bowls and top with crumbled goat cheese bits.
Serve immediately.


There are lots of additions you could make to this salad. It would be delicious with chopped nuts or cranberries, or topped with some grilled fish or chicken for added protein. Or enjoy it as is for a light, healthy lunch or dinner!

Alyssa Rimmer

About the Author:

Alyssa is the quinoa-obsessed girl behind the gluten-free blog, Queen of Quinoa. She loves experimenting with nutritious and whole-food ingredients and hopes to show the everyday home chef that cooking and eating gluten-free can not only be healthy, but also delicious and fun. Want to learn more about cooking and baking with the superfood quinoa? Check out Alyssa's eBooks.

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  • 1
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - March 06, 2013 @ 5:54 am

    This looks so tasty! Love this idea!


  • 2
    Erika - March 06, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

    his sounds so good!!! Is it 1/2 cup of lemon juice?


    • Erika replied: — March 6th, 2013 @ 3:34 PM

      Or is it 1/2 of a lemon’s juice?

    • Alyssa Rimmer

      Alyssa Rimmer replied: — March 6th, 2013 @ 3:35 PM

      Hi Erika – it’s actually 1/2 of a lemon juiced. Sorry about the typo! Hope you enjoy the salad :)

    • Erika replied: — March 7th, 2013 @ 6:43 AM

      It was delicious!!! Thank you!

  • 3
    Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs - March 06, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

    Alyssa, this sounds amazing- you’ve combined three of my favorite foods into one dish! I like mixing quinoa with roasted veggies in the winter. Yum!


    • Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa replied: — March 12th, 2013 @ 7:19 AM

      Me too! That’s one of my favorite meals of all time. And then grilled veggies for the summer!

  • 4
    Katy @KatysKitchen - March 09, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

    Love it! So simple and easy, yet so delicious. I think I wouldn’t be able to resist throwing some avocado in there :)


    • Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa replied: — March 12th, 2013 @ 7:20 AM

      You know, avocado is a splendid idea. I think this would also be great tossed in a creamy avocado dressing. Mmm….now you’ve really got me thinking ;)

  • 5
    Loretti - March 10, 2013 @ 7:41 am

    I just made this for dinner last night… SO DELICIOUS!! I sauteed some yellow & green bell peppers & red cabbage at high heat for added color & variety. I also toasted my quinoa prior to cooking & then put a beef boullion cube in while it boiled to give it an intense burst of flavor. And it was soooo good! Will make again for sure! My mom loved it too :) didn’t need any salt or seasonings, just used garlic & herb goat cheese. Gosh what a delicious meal!


    • Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa replied: — March 12th, 2013 @ 7:22 AM

      Wow Loretti, your salad sounds delicious! I love all the add-ons that you threw in there. I’ll have to give toasting the quinoa a try and see how it changes the flavor. I usually only do that with my baking, but I’m sure it would be absolutely divine with a bright salad like this.

  • 6
    Rana@PrettyintheKitchen - March 22, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

    I recently just started my own food blog and always love checking out other food blogs for inspiration. Quinoa salad with goat cheese! YUM!! I have to make this soon!


  • 7
    Jordan - April 03, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    Delicious! Just made it for my parents and siblings and everyone loved it. I added kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and artichoke hearts to the salad instead of nuts or dried fruit and served it with salmon. Really good!
    Thanks so much for the recipe. I’ll definitely recommend it.


  • 8
    7x7xMommy - April 23, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

    I can’t wait to try this tonight – I might just have to throw some toasted pine nuts on top as well – yum! Thanks for posting :)


    • Heather Davis 'Organic Mom' replied: — June 13th, 2013 @ 5:41 PM

      I think toasted pine nuts would make this already awesome dish over the top good!!

  • 9
    Heather Davis 'Organic Mom' - June 13, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    I just made this, holy cow LOVE IT. Picked arugula from my little garden :) , ohhh YUM.
    Thank you for discovering this awesome dish


    Organic Mom (Facebook) aka Heather


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