Skip to content

Quinoa Salad with Bell Pepper and Cilantro

January 6, 2016

By Kath Dedon


This Quinoa Salad with Bell Pepper and Cilantro is from the America’s Test Kitchen’s The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook. They wanted to give the salad a “Latin flavor” in a nod to quinoa’s Peruvian roots.

I loved the simplicity of this salad. It was quick and easy to make. Leftover salad was still great the next day so it would be perfect packed in a lunch.

America’s Test Kitchen developed a way to cook the quinoa so that it would not be overcooked and it would not clump together. I thought it worked quite well and I’ll be using their method whenever I cook quinoa in the future.

I was really pleased with the way this Quinoa Salad with Bell Pepper and Cilantro turned out. But, really, consider this just a quinoa salad template. You could increase the vegetables a bit, or add cooked black beans or leftover cooked chicken. Make it your own!

If you’re interested in learning more about quinoa, check out this interesting article on Well-being Secrets: 27 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Quinoa.


Quinoa Salad with Bell Pepper and Cilantro


Quinoa Salad with Bell Pepper and Cilantro

(Adapted from ATK’s recipe in The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook)


(print the recipe)


Be sure to buy prewashed quinoa. If the package does not say that it’s prewashed, you’ll have to rinse it well to remove the saponins that coat it so it won’t be bitter. But it will be difficult to toast the wet quinoa, so I suggest buying prewashed quinoa which is available in most grocery stores.


Serves 4

1 cup prewashed white quinoa

1½ cups water

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine

½ jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Additional sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan and toast over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often.


  1. Stir the water and salt into the quinoa. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 12 minutes. The quinoa will have absorbed almost all of the water and will be almost tender.


  1. Spread the quinoa out on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside for about 20 minutes. The quinoa will absorb the rest of the water and become tender.


  1. While the quinoa is set aside, chop the vegetables and put them in a large bowl. When the quinoa is done resting, stir it together with the vegetables.

Chopped vegetables in my stainless steel mixing bowl

red pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro


  1. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic, and cumin together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well so it’s evenly distributed.


  1. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

quinoa salad


Quinoa Salad with Bell Pepper and Cilantro 2


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: