Quinoa, lentil & feta salad

Quinoa, lentil & feta salad

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(30 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
Quinoa, a protein-rich seed, makes a great substitute for rice or couscous

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal286
  • fat9g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre2g
  • protein16g
  • salt1.48g
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  • 200g quinoa



    Tiny, bead-shaped, with a slightly bitter flavour and firm texture, quinoa may not be a…

  • 1 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 shallot or ½ onion, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 2 tbsp tarragon, roughly chopped



    A popular and versatile herb, tarragon has an intense flavour that's a unique mix of sweet…

  • 14oz 400g can Puy or green lentils rinsed and drained



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • ¼ cucumber, lightly peeled and diced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • zest and juice 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 1 tbsp red or white wine vinegar


  1. Cook the quinoa in a large pan of boiling water for 10-15 mins until tender, drain well, then set aside to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan, then cook the shallot or onion for a few mins until softened. Add the tarragon, stir well, then remove from the heat.

  3. Stir the softened shallot and tarragon into the cooled quinoa along with the lentils, cucumber, feta, spring onions, orange zest and juice and vinegar. Toss well together and chill until ready to serve.

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Comments (30)

dave6376's picture

I liked this but my wife hated it. Very odd since we usually have similar tastes.

rubseb's picture

Really lovely, light and nutritious recipe. My main comment is that this will not feed 4 people as the recipe indicates (as should be obvious from the nutritional info - 285 kcal does not a meal make). I typically double the amounts to yield 4 servings. Also, to my taste there could be more cucumber and a bit less spring onion.

Todd2209's picture

Made in the evening and had for lunch the next day - by then the flavours were a little bland. Had enough still for lunch the next day so we added celery, capers and coriander - and that made a great lunch :)

robso.car's picture

Loved this!

Listened to the tips and left out the orange but added some veggie stock to the quinoa. Also left out the onion as my husband can't stand the taste (did use spring onion, though) and it came our wonderfully.

I think the trick with quinoa is to treat it kind of like couscous - don't add too much water.

Will certainly make again!

maacka's picture

Didn't have any tarragon, so used dried thyme and oregano instead. Also instead of orange, I used zest and juice of a lemon and no added vinegar.
Cooked fresh lentils, not from a can….
Overall, very good quinoa salad, really enjoyed it with the BBQ, will definitely make this again.

GwenKat's picture

Bland and stodgy.

zbozo271's picture

I used about half of the orange as suggested in the comments. I also added salad leaves, avocado and beetroot to make it more substantial as a main course. Was delicious!!

SallyLukemire's picture

Added lemon juice the next time I made it, rather than orange zest and was delicious. Also the quinoa was a bit overcooked. I always cook for 10 mins then stand for 10 mins when cooking quinoa. Good easy-cook method here www.lovequinoarecipes.com. Kept well for a couple of days too so good for packed lunches.

missymisfit's picture

REALLY disliked this. Orange just didn't go, not enough cheese. Couldn't taste the tarragon etc. Needed to mix salad cream in for it to be edible :-S loads left over now!

usyins1804's picture

Lovely combination of textures and flavours - didn't have spring onions or fresh tarragon but did used dried tarragon (1 Tbspn) instead. Can't say that I found the orange zest jarring with the mix as some have, possibly because the orange juice was delightfully sweet which in addition helped soften the sharpness of the vinegar, so it all seemed to work for us. Added steamed asparagus to veg this up. Will definitely make again.

apostrophoebe's picture

Quinoa is just delicious but it's little known that the grain has become so fashionable and desirable that the people who rely on it as their staple food can no longer afford it... Worth considering...

Nurie's picture

This dish has been a favourite in our house for the last year. It's tasty every time; perfect for a light lunch, for barbecue and as a side dish to veggies or meat. I don't add spring onions as my partner doesn't like them however I'd say it's still tasty. Would recommend!

lynnyc3's picture

Tastes great and healthy. I didn't have any tarragon so used thyme and little fennel. I didn't use orange zest either because of some of the comments on here. Will definitely make it again.

zemfira's picture

A fantastic Dish!
I changed the recipe slightly, having taken the advice above about not zesting the orange in and glad I did so as I do think zesting a whole orange would make it too sharp, considering the tarragon already adds a bit of sharpness to the salad.
The combination of flavour is surprising! I must admit I was a bit dubious about this salad 'till I made it.

The only other thing is that I don't think it quite makes 4. It just about stretches to 3 people. May it would feed four of me, but my boyfriend need a more substantial amount, so if you're making this for four people I'd advise on using bigger volumes of ingredients. Or add some mixed salad on the side for variety.

minkaotic's picture

Lisae - Quinoa wise I've made the best experiences with cooking it in exactly as much water as it needs (usually 2.5 cups water per cup of quinoa), simply cooking it until the whole water is soaked up, so you don't have to drain anything. That way it gets just right and is never left too wet - although I'm keen to try MrsWilba's suggestion as well to mix things up a bit.

mrswilba's picture

Tasty! I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. A nice combination of flavours and I had no problem with the orange zest. I have used quinoa in salads before and find if you rinse it with cold water after cooking and then drain, it makes it light and fluffy. You could substitute a can of mixed bean salad for the lentils.

destinystar123's picture

I really enjoyed this, it was very refreshing, light and healthy. I felt it needed a little salt though - maybe the stock cube would have helped? Would definately make again, maybe more as a side dish or for lunch at work than a main meal and would probably add more vinegar too.

lisae74's picture

Tried this but was quite disappointed. The quinoa seemed to hold too much water even though I drained it forever. Has anyone tried this but substituting the quinoa with some other grain? I loved the rest of it, the feta, spring onion and lentils went really well together. Oh, I substituted the orange for lime and it worked well with the rest of the ingredients. Suggestions please! x

cjcarman's picture

very nice. made fresh puy lentils instead of using canned. a hit with the family.

littlemisspoog's picture

I made this over the weekend and while I love all the separate components, I wasn't convinced about them all combined - but then my quinoa was quite soggy (left it in the pot too long) so I might give it another go and see if that makes it a bit better!


Questions (1)

missymisfit's picture

Butternut squash soup

Tips (2)

SallyLukemire's picture

If you like your quinoa al-dente rather than mushy, I'd suggest simmering it for 10 mins, then standing for 7-10 mins instead. Good easy-cook quinoa method here www.lovequinoarecipes.com. Plus other yummy recipes.

Henny's picture

I rarely follow recipes to the "t" and make more than usual. This recipe was no exception to the rule, as I didn't have all the ingredients required. Omitted the cucumber and tarragon. Added red beans and sautéed sundries tomatoes with the onions. The orange juice and red wine vinegar really gives it a nice taste. Enjoyed this a lot.