Sesame Mandarin Quinoa Salad

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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.

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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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49 Responses
  1. Kelly

    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?

  2. Marian

    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!

    1. Jenny

      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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful day!

  3. Kim Wresh

    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!

  4. Carol

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

  5. Doris

    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’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Nicole

    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!

  7. Andrea

    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!

  8. Nicole

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

  9. Chris

    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!!

  10. Desiree

    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!

    1. Rebecca

      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!

  11. Nicole

    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!

  12. Fallon

    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!

  13. Beth

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

  14. Shannon Abdollmohammadi

    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!!!

  15. Veronica M.

    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!

  16. Kari

    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.

  17. Kimmy

    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. Andrea

    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!

  19. Liz - Meal Makeover Mom

    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!

  20. Anne

    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!

  21. Jamie Cooks It Up!

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

  22. elizabeth

    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!!!

  23. Krystle

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

  24. Risa

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

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