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Simple Quinoa and Cherry Tomato Salad

Spring has finally sprung here in Ohio, and for our family, it brings with it a dizzying sports schedule, jam-packed with t-ball, softball, baseball, and soccer. I love that my kids are active, but my talent for getting dinner on the table in a hurry is certainly stretched to its limit by all of these activities!

Dinner becomes a tag team effort, with my husband manning the grill, while, I throw together a quick and simple side and one of our older kids slices up some fresh fruit.

One of our favorite sides for busy nights is quinoa. Have you jumped on the quinoa bandwagon yet? I was a little iffy on whether my family would take to it, but it’s definitely become a favorite, and I serve it several times a week.

Written by: Tara Kuczykowski of Unsophisticook

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, not only is it tasty, but it packs a fantastic nutritional punch. Though it’s typically prepared like a grain, it’s actually a seed. It’s higher in protein than most grains and is also gluten-free.

Quinoa cooks up in about 20 minutes on the stove top, or if you prefer a more hands-off method, you can actually cook quinoa in a rice cooker — my preferred method. While I own a Zojirushi Umami Rice Cooker with all of the bells and whistles, even a simple rice cooker will suffice. This set-it-and-forget-it method is priceless for a busy mom.

While we often eat quinoa plain, it’s also a super versatile mix-in ingredient. Experimenting with adding fresh veggies and greens from our weekly CSA delivery is always a joy, because you really can’t go wrong.

We’re loving this simple side salad filled with sweet cherry tomatoes and cilantro right now, but if you’re not a fan of cilantro, try substituting a handful of chopped fresh basil or baby spinach.

Pair this simple quinoa and tomato salad with Katie’s Grilled Citrus Chicken Kabobs for a quick, yet filling, weeknight meal.

What’s your favorite way to serve quinoa?

Simple Quinoa and Cherry Tomato Salad

Simple Quinoa and Cherry Tomato Salad

Yield: 4 servings

We’re loving this simple side salad filled with sweet cherry tomatoes and cilantro right now, but if you’re not a fan of cilantro, try substituting a handful of chopped fresh basil or baby spinach.


  • 2 cups prepared quinoa
  • 1 (10 oz.) container of cherry tomatoes, each halved
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped or leaves with stems removed
  • 1 medium lemon, zest + juice
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. While preparing the quinoa, assemble the cherry tomatoes, cilantro and lemon zest in a large bowl.
    Spread the hot quinoa over the tomato and cilantro mixture and let it set for about 3 minutes before mixing. This will warm up the tomatoes and slightly wilt the cilantro.
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and drizzle olive oil over the top.
  3. Toss the entire mixture together and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 66Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 184mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 1gSugar 7gProtein 0g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Monday 26th of April 2021

I haven't made it yet but am curious to know how far in advance is possible.


Tuesday 27th of April 2021

I wouldn't make it more than a day or two ahead of time.

Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs

Thursday 11th of April 2013

Yum! I'm so glad that spring is finally here! This recipe looks awesome- perfect for a healthy weeknight meal. Thanks for the post!

Joshua Hampton (Cooking Classes San Diego)

Wednesday 10th of April 2013

I also love the simplicity of this dish. You mentioned making it as a side. I think it can work well as a meal on its own too, for no-fuss lunches, at least.


Wednesday 10th of April 2013

I love that this is so simple. It really lets the quinoa shine!! Can't wait to make it!

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