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Appetizers and Sides

Sesame Mandarin Quinoa Salad


Good Thursday! This week is flying. How’s everyone’s healthy eating going so far? I am so excited to share this healthy salad with you. I can’t stop eating it.

So on my shopping trip earlier this week I picked up a massive bag of this Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa at Costco. I was determined to find a tasty recipe for it and I absolutely did. This recipe is a cold salad that is so refreshing and practically guilt free. I keep it in the fridge and snack on it throughout the day. I found that quinoa is so easy to make, 12 minutes and it’s done. It has the consistency of couscous, but is healthier for you! It is a win win if you ask me.

Go pick up a bag at any health food store like Whole Foods, Sprouts or Fresh and Easy type stores. You’ll find that this salad is so yummy! Let me know if you give it a whirl.



Sesame Mandarin Quinoa Salad

1 Cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Grain Quinoa

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar substitute, like splenda or something similar

2 Tablespoons sesame oil

Pinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

1/2 Cup sweet peppers, chopped (found a big bag of these at Costco, they are small and very mild. Great flavor)

1/4 Cup chopped green onions, the green part

1/4 Cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 Cup crumbled feta cheese

1 Cup mandarin oranges

1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. In a small bowl whisk the oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar substitute, sesame oil, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour over cooled quinoa and mix to combine. Add the sweet peppers, green onions, parsley, feta and mandarin oranges. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

4 servings

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51 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1

    I love quinoa! I have never seen it at my Costco. I need to look!

  2. 2
    jeanette says:

    This sounds so good. I love mandarin oranges in anything.

  3. 3
    Risa says:

    How much was your costco bag? I’ve been dying to try quinoa but it’s $5/ small box at my grocery store!

  4. 4
    Krystle says:

    Yum! I am starting a new healthy cooking kick too and this looks wonderful! I love adding mandarin oranges to cold salads!

  5. 5
    Maria says:

    I love quinoa. Great source of protein and it fills me up quickly. Love your recipe!

  6. 6
    Jenny says:

    Love quinoa. This looks like a good recipe to try! Thank you!

  7. 7
    elizabeth says:

    Never heard of this grain, but the recipe looks delish! I can’t thank you enough for experimenting with healthy recipes and then sharing with us. Will certainly give it a try and report back. Thank you!!!

  8. 8
    Amanda says:

    This sounds delicious! 🙂

  9. 9

    That looks wonderful, I haven’t ever purchased Quinoa, but will definatly look into it!
    Thanks for the tip!

  10. 10
    Anne says:

    MMMM!!! I love these seeds! People often mistake it for grains.. This actually looks delish. I would love seeing more recipes from you with quinoa.Maybe something with balsamic vinegar? Yummy!

  11. 11
    Aggie says:

    I’ve been wanting to make quinoa…this sounds really good!

  12. 12

    Your recipe looks delicious. I love the addition of the Mandarin oranges. I’ve been on a bit of a quinoa jag myself lately. I recently posted three quinoa recipes including one for Crunchy Quinoa with Almonds and Apricots. My 11-year old son really loved it (even though he’s a great eater, I was still a bit surprised). The trick with quinoa is to rinse if VERY well to remove any bitter flavor. Look forward to more recipes from you w/ quinoa!

  13. 13
    Toni says:

    Yummy! I really need to get some quinoa. Every recipe I’ve seen it in looks so good.

  14. 14
    CookiePie says:

    YUM – that looks so tasty, healthy and refreshing!

  15. 15

    Mmm! Sounds delicious!! I love feta 🙂

  16. 16
    Andrea says:

    I’ve been meaning to try quinoa, because a lot of the health magazines I read mention it, but I was kind of leery until I saw this! I love feta, and mandarin oranges, so I think I’ll give this a go next time I make a grocery trip!

  17. 17
    Kimmy says:

    I too will try it. I love the sweet peppers from Costco. I put them in my “green” container and they last 2 weeks. Thanks for this recipe

  18. 18
    Kari says:

    This sounds great! I can’t wait to try it. If you like Tabbouleh, try it in place of the wheat. It’s amazing! There are lots of great quinoa recipes out there. If you have a Whole Foods nearby, they usually have a lot of dishes on the food bar you can try before trying an entire recipe.

  19. 19
    Jessica says:

    I have become a huge fan of quinoa over the last few months. Here is a link to my favorite recipe – Black Bean Quinoa. I especially like this as a side with fish.

  20. 20
    Veronica M. says:

    The pic reminds me of a orange & chicken couscous dish I make. This is definitely right up my alley–saving it for next weeks meal plan!

  21. 21

    jenny….glad you posted this.

    I too bought a huge bag of the grain at costco and have only been cooking it in my rice cooker and eating it in place of rice. I am going to try you recipe!!!

  22. 22
    Beth says:

    Do you think I could try it with a cheese other than feta? My family isn’t big on this cheese. Maybe queso fresco?

  23. 23
    Fallon says:

    Love quinoa! I like this change being it is a cold salad! Be great to take to work and have during lunch. Thanks for sharing!

  24. 24
    Missy says:

    YUM! Will try this one for sure.

  25. 25
    Nicole says:

    We have THE bag from Costco sitting in my pantry. Will definitely give this a try and will let you know how we like it. Looks delicious!

  26. 26
    Desiree says:

    I am not trying to be a party pooper because this sounds yummy and I do like Quinoa BUT if you have any type of nut allergy at all do not eat quinoa.. We gave this to our son as a protein replacement and he had a severe reaction (ie ambulance called).. The drs are not sure how it is related to nuts but it has been seen recently as a reaction in those folks!!

    Quinoa is yummy with just a bit of butter, sugar and cinnamon too!

    • 26.1
      Rebecca says:

      I think quinoa is actually a seed, so perhaps that is similar enough to a nut to trigger the reaction.

      I have the costco bag too and have been looking for something other than with black beans. Will try!

  27. 27
    Chris says:

    ooooh! This looks wonderful! I want to try this soon. I just posted Meat(less) balls, using Quinoa as the “meat”. This sounds like such a fresh and satisfying dish. Thanks!!

  28. 28
    Nicole says:

    We made this this past weekend and everyone loved it. It was the first time we tried quinoa and it was so good. Thanks!

  29. 29
    Andrea says:

    I made this Saturday and absolutely loved it! I was leery at first on account of the high cost of the quinoa ($10 for the bag) and sesame oil, then when I opened the quinoa the smell was a little…earthy…lol so I wasn’t quite sure how things were going to turn out. I didn’t have the sweet peppers, and did trim some of the oil (olive oil I used 4tbsp as opposed to 1/3 cup, and I reduced the sesame oil down to 1 tbsp) to make it a bit healthier on the calorie/fat side, and I thought it was still moist & delicious! Thanks so much for posting this!

  30. 30
    Nicole says:

    I made it last night and my hubby and I had it for lunch today. It was great. I’m not a huge fan of sugar substitutes. I used it like the recipe called for. I think next time I’ll just skip the sugar all together. The oranges give it a nice sweet taste as is! The feta really makes the dish! OVERALL, GREAT recipe! I’m thrilled that I’ll be eating a healthy lunch all week!

  31. 31
    Doris says:

    I had this packagae of Quinoa from Trader Joe’s sitting in my pantry and could never quite figure out what to do with it until I came across your recipe. Made it this weekend and loved it! My younger daughter wants it to become one of our meal ‘staples’ 🙂

  32. 32
    Carol says:

    This salad looks SO good Jenny! I have been wanting to try quinoa too…this looks like a great recipe to begin with.

  33. 33
    Kim Wresh says:

    I just found your site and I am in love with it! I made the quinoa salad tonight and it is delicious! Such an original concoction!

    BTW My cousin Candace Gilchrist said you used to be in her ward! Small world!

  34. 34
    Radha says:

    Love your blog! Just found it. Recipes look delightful!
    Thank You 🙂

  35. 35

    […] We were too worried about eating it! The kids loved it so much I made it twice in the same week! Sesame Mandarin Salad I found this recipe on a site that is new to me called This gal has some […]

  36. 36
    Marian says:

    I loved this salad! I did what one other person suggested and used less olive oil and sesame oil, but then I doubled the cheese, so I think I counteracted the health benefits of using less oil! I had never tried quinoa before, but had been seeing it come up in a lot of recipes… but this was the recipe that finally inspired me! I got a bag at my local grocery store for $3.99, I think… not expensive at all. I am sharing this recipe and your website with everyone!

    • 36.1
      Jenny says:

      So glad you enjoyed it Marian!! Thanks for reminding me that it’s time I make another batch for myself!! Thanks for sharing on your site too 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

  37. 37
    Kelly says:

    I want to try this salad! I bought some Quinoa @ Sprouts, (In the Bins) So there are no directions how to make it?? How do I make it?

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Tracy says:

    I have made this recipe a few times since I found it on your blog, and it is DELICIOUS!! My husband really loves this recipe too, he tells me to make it every week now, and since its so easy I just about do!
    Also, I think the recipe is really fantastic as is, but I didn’t have enough sesame oil the first time I made this and added 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar and 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil, to get enough liquid. The red wine vinegar goes well with all the other flavors and adds a little kick, if you like that sort of thing.

  40. 40
    Caleb Green says:

    My favorite kind of Salad is none other Potato Salad. it really taste yummy..,:

  41. 41
    Gas Sensor : says:

    potato salad and fruit salad are two of my favorite salads. i also like the tangy taste of chicken salad~’-

  42. 42

    excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not understand this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  43. 43

    I value you sharing this blog article.Genuinely many thanks! Wish more.

  44. 44
    Simone says:

    This recipe sounds fantastic, but my family and I don’t like feta, can you suggest a substitute?

  45. 45

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  47. 47

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  48. 48
    Dawn says:

    My go-to quinoa salad recipe!

Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!