What a party flavor: Feta cheese and a light lemon dressing complete the Mediterranean quinoa salad

This side salad features quinoa mixed with a colorful variety of veggies: red peppers, parsley and cherry tomatoes

Published September 25, 2019 8:26PM (EDT)

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (Skyhorse Publishing)
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (Skyhorse Publishing)

Excerpted with permission from The Healthy Kids Cookbook: Prize-Winning Recipes for Sliders, Chili, Tots, Salads, and More for Every Family by Team Nutrition USDA. Copyright 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

If you’re looking for a collection of delicious, nutritious recipes that kids will love, look no further than The Healthy Kids Cookbook! In these bright pages with full-color photographs, you’ll find thirty health-conscious recipes for a wide variety of delectable foods, and with fun names such as Porcupine Sliders, Smokin’ Powerhouse Chili, and Squish Squash Lasagna, even picky eaters are sure to love this cookbook’s meals.

The recipes within serve six, include no more than fifteen commonly available ingredients, and are easy for families and home cooks to prepare. Even better, all of these healthy meals are low in total fat, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium, and each one features foods that children and adults alike should eat more of, including nutrient-rich vegetables, beans and peas, and whole grains. They’re perfect for growing kids, health-conscious families, and anyone who enjoys tasty food that’s good for you! 

Team Nutrition, an initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, which originally put the book together, supports national efforts to promote lifelong healthy food choices and physical activity by improving the nutrition practices of the Child Nutrition Programs.


Bellingham, Massachusetts

Our Story

Bellingham Memorial Middle School in Bellingham, Massachusetts, serves over 800 students in grades 5-8. The school seeks to establish itself as an exemplary middle school by developing programs that are responsive to student needs.

The recipe challenge team held an afterschool cooking class. After a discussion on the value of healthy eating and a lesson on basic nutrition, the students went to work to create a recipe. The end result was a tasty side salad featuring a nutritious whole grain called quinoa, mixed with a colorful variety of vegetables, including red peppers, parsley, and cherry tomatoes. Feta cheese and a light lemon dressing complete the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. What a party flavor!


Recipe: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Bellingham Memorial Middle School

School Team Members

school nutrition professional: Jeanne Sheridan, SNS

chef: Rodney Poles (Whole Foods Market, partner chef from Chefs Move to Schools chefsmovetoschools.org)

community members: Karen Ring (Healthy Eating Specialist, Whole Foods Market) and Lauren Marciszyn, RD, LDN (Youth and Community Wellness Director, YMCA)

students: Dylan B., Elizabeth B., Taylin S., John G., and Nick D.


  • 1 cup Quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups Low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Ground white pepper
  • ¼ cup Fresh red bell peppers, seeded, diced
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh green onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh red onions, peeled, diced
  • ½ cup Fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp Black olives, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped


1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, not cloudy. Combine quinoa and chicken broth in a small pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer until broth is completely absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. When done, quinoa will be soft and a white ring will pop out of the kernel. The white ring will appear only when it is fully cooked. Fluff with a fork. A rice cooker may be used with the same quantity of quinoa and water. Cover and refrigerate.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt, and ground pepper to make dressing.

3. Combine red peppers, green onions, red onions, tomatoes, and olives in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

4. Add dressing to vegetable mixture. Mix in cooled quinoa. Fold in feta cheese and parsley. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Serve chilled.

¾ cup provides 1/8 cup vegetable and 1 oz equivalent grains.

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Makes six ¾-cup servings  

Nutrients Per Serving:

Calories 166

Protein 7 g

Carbohydrate 23 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Total Fat 6 g

Saturated Fat 1 g

Cholesterol 3 mg

Vitamin A 414 IU (24 RAE)

Vitamin C 12 mg

Iron 2 mg

Calcium 42 mg

Sodium 278 mg

Like this recipe as much as we do? Click here to purchase a copy of The Healthy Kids Cookbook: Prize-Winning Recipes for Sliders, Chili, Tots, Salads, and More for Every Family.

By Team Nutrition USDA