Quinoa with Feta

This dish uses warm quinoa, wilted parsley and onions and garlic cooked in olive oil. Everything is topped with feta making it much like tabbouleh.

This dish uses warm quinoa, wilted parsley and onions and garlic cooked in olive oil. Everything is topped with feta making it much like tabbouleh.

I love a good grain salad. This one wilts parsley into hot quinoa that has been previously cooked just a little with some onion and garlic sweated in olive oil. I finish the hot side dish with some lemon which, when warm, is more mellow than bright and clean.

This salad reminds me of a tabbouleh, which I love to eat in the summer, but this red quinoa variation is great any time of year. Quinoa is an interesting grain, but it is very easy to cook and becomes quite flavorful when cooked in the chicken broth.

Crumbly feta cheese is the perfect finishing touch for what I’m claiming to be one of my favorite side dishes ever.



If you want to try real tabbouleh, head over and check out my recipe for kid-friendly Greek tabouli.


Quinoa with Feta

  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6


This dish uses warm quinoa, wilted parsley and onions and garlic cooked in olive oil. Everything is topped with feta making it much like tabbouleh.


  • 12 oz. (340g) of quinoa, the regular kind or the Red Inca variety
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus for to finish at the end
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth, vegetable broth, water or a mixture
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 and ½ cups chopped fresh parsley, plus a bit more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled.


  1. Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and put it into the sink. Douse it in lots and lots of fresh cold tap water. Leave it to drain for a few minutes while you do the next step.
  2. In a medium saucepan that has a lid warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally until translucent, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic and cook while stirring for 30 seconds or so.
  5. Add the drained quinoa and stir for a moment before splashing in the broth or water and the salt. Bring it to a boil over high heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low, stir and cover letting it almost bubble for 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. If the liquid was not all absorbed, drain the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and then return it to the hot saucepan for a minute or two to help it dry out a bit.
  7. Add the lemon juice, parsley and a bit of olive oil. Stir it and taste it. Add more salt if it’s a bit bland and more olive oil if it’s a bit dry. Stir again.
  8. Serve warm topped with the feta cheese and a bit more chopped fresh parsley.


This post originally appeared in January, 2013 and was revised and republished in May, 2018.

19 responses to “Quinoa with Feta”

  1. Jenna says:

    My trainer has suggested that I include quinoa and kale and oats into my diet and I don’t know if I have ever been this miserable. LOL. Anyways, I am looking for quinoa recipes, and trust me, this is the first one that looks appealing. Gonna print this out and try it for Monday routine. Will come back and share thoughts, dear. Thanks.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Hey Jenna, quinoa can be really great if you combine it with the right things. I’ll tell you that my simplest trick is to mix 1 cup of hot quinoa with 1/2 teaspoon (or as much as 1 teaspoon) of ghee. Ghee is clarified butter and you can buy it at the regular grocery store near the cooking oils. It has an amazing flavor and goes really well with quinoa. Good luck!

  2. […] Winter Tabbouleh with Red Inca Quinoa and Feta Cheese […]

  3. You know I was actually thinking of how I could make a winter version of tabbouleh the other day as well! I miss it too and was thinking I could make a seasonal version to enjoy now.

  4. I love that you “winterized” this dish. Brilliant!

  5. I love that you used quinoa in this–such a good idea! My husband isn’t crazy about traditional tabbouleh, but I bet I can win him over with this one. :)

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Thanks Kiersten! If you try it and he loves it, let me know. (lol. If he doesn’t love it, let me know also. I’m always up for constructive criticism).

  6. […] —Warm Winter Tabbouleh with Feta (Cook the Story) […]

  7. […] —Warm Winter Tabbouleh with Feta (Cook the Story) […]

  8. This looks fantastic and like the perfect hearty dish for winter! And I never say “no” to anything involving feta cheese :)

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Kelly, I couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing like a bit of feta to make even the blandest, healthiest, most boring dish sing.

  9. I love tabbouleh and i think that serving it warm and with quinoa is the perfect twist. Sounds so good!

  10. Katerina says:

    I miss watermelon and I cannot really substirute it with anything so I just wait with patience for the summer to come! Your tabbouleh’s cousin looks so delicious!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      We get watermelon all year here. When I see it at the store I’m always tempted by it but I know that it’s not as good in the winter. Makes me crave it even more!

  11. Ice cream is the best and all you have to do to make it winter-friendly is change the flavors! Or not. Either way, it’s a winner….

    Love the look of this tabbouleh!

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Oh, I agree! I love having ice cream in the winter. My favorite way to winterize it is to drizzle it with maple syrup. Mmmm!

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