Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad

This simple to prepare dish offers a wonderful combination of veggies and herbs that can be mixed and matched to create a healthy, gluten-free meal in no time.

Quinoa salad is a lunchbox staple that changes with the seasons and whatever is in the fridge. This is less of a recipe and more a guide to quantities and method. Quinoa can be soaked, cooked and then frozen, or kept in the fridge for a day or two, so that you always have the base for a quick supper or packed lunch.



  • 150g cooked quinoa or 60g dry quinoa, soaked overnight in plenty of water
  • 60ml water
  • Dash of vinegar or lemon juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper


  • A handful of any of the following: cooked chicken, roast beef or roast lamb, ham, tuna, sardines, anchovies, chickpeas, Puy lentils, butter beans, chorizo, hard-boiled eggs or feta.


  • Two handfuls of any of the following: raw cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, celery, baby spinach, watercress, rocket, radishes, grated carrot and beetroot, onion, garlic, cauliflower florets, mushrooms, bean sprouts, micro greens, roast carrots, parsnip, beetroot, aubergine, pepper (capsicum), cherry tomatoes, squash, steamed peas, beans, broccoli, sweetcorn, or sweet potato.

For the herbs

  • Rocket, basil, parsley, dill, coriander, chives, mint, thyme leaves and flowers, oregano, leaves and flowers, or marigold flowers.

For the dressing

  • Olive oil; lemon juice or wine vinegar.



Step 1.
To cook dry quinoa, if using, drain, rinse well and put into a saucepan with water, vinegar or lemon juice. Bring to the boil, cover tightly and turn heat down.

Step 2.
Cook for 10-15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and grain is soft. Leave covered for 5-10 minutes, fluff with a fork. If you are using frozen quinoa for a lunchbox, just add it frozen – no need to thaw.

Step 3.
Next, decide on your protein source – a handful should be about right. Use something you had the night before – shredded, flaked or chopped, and/or crumble in some feta or add a few chunks of chorizo.

Step 4.
Choose your veg, ideally something in season. Roast veg are a deliciously sweet and soft option. Fresh herbs add interest and nutrients.

Step 5.
Chop or slice your veg and protein and combine with the quinoa in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, bearing in mind whether you’ve added feta, anchovies, olives or other salty things. Dress with olive oil and either lemon juice or vinegar, or shake up a vinaigrette in a little jar.

Serves 1


Gluten Free River Cottage Cookbook Edited extract from
River Cottage: Gluten Free by Naomi Devlin
Published by Bloomsbury, hardback RRP $45.