Pesto Quinoa Salad

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + chilling


4 servings

Updated: Sep. 09, 2023
My daughter-in-law got me hooked on quinoa, and I'm so glad she did! I've been substituting quinoa in some of my favorite pasta recipes, and this dish is the happy result of one of those experiments. I love using my garden tomatoes and peppers in this salad; however, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers are equally delicious. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Pesto Quinoa Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2/3 cup fresh mozzarella cheese pearls (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, optional


  1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil; stir in quinoa. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed, 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. Mix pesto, onion, oil, vinegar and salt; stir in pepper, tomatoes, cheese and quinoa. Refrigerate, covered, to allow flavors to blend, 1-2 hours. If desired, stir in basil.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 183 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 15mg cholesterol, 268mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat.