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Basil Cucumber Quinoa Picnic Salad {with a light, lemony dressing, dried cherries, and goat cheese}

Basil Cucumber Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad is summery and fresh!  
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Prep Time :20 minutes
Cook Time :20 minutes
Total Time :40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1/2 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 persian cucumbers thinly sliced with mandoline, vertically (these are the little ones you get at Trader Joe's)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard


  • Rinse quinoa well in a colander with cold water. Add to medium pot, cover with water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  • To a large bowl, add cherries, red onion, basil, goat cheese, cucumbers. Pour quinoa on top.
  • Whisk together or blend olive oil, agave nectar, lemon juice, garlic, dijon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour over salad ingredients and fold to combine. Taste, and add salt if needed. Divide into jars and keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days.