Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing


This Quinoa Salad is another of my new love discovery. I know I’m quite late to get into the bandwagon of whole grains. My mama have been mixing whole grains and legumes in her daily ‘rice’ for the past 7 years, and I used to quietly eat and complain under my breath about the weird rice combination. There’s red/black/brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat, corn, red/black bean, dal, chickpeas, etc.

I started eating millet last year and my love for millet was rather obvious with 3 recipes posted here.

Now move over millet, it’s Quinoa’s time to shine. Chances are you’ve already heard of quinoa benefits or seen quinoa recipes on other blogs. After I getting to know this curious little grain (er, seed), I found it’s an easy ingredient to work with and  there are endless ways to incorporate it into my cooking – breakfast, lunch and dinner. This cute tiny seed (grain-like) is dubbed as a Superfood, and fluffy yet interestingly crunchy.

I love the tahini dressing ingredients from here, and I just throw in the vegetables found in my fridge to make this Quinoa Salad. It took about 15 minutes to cook the Quinoa. While waiting, I prepare the dressing and to throw together a delicious healthy lunch.

I was rather skeptical when I serve this to my man (who don’t like millet because unhulled millet is bird’s feed in his country!). When he asked for more and commented “This is so good & crunchy!” and went for seconds and thirds. Just simply throwing what I have in the fridge turn out to be a jackpot. All the ingredients makes a delicious crunch without me realising.

This recipe is definitely a keeper.

** Updated 27th March 2012 – In my excitement to share this yummy recipe, I skipped out explaining about Tahini, as requested by some readers. Tahini or sesame paste is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in cooking and one of the popular condiment in Middle Eastern cuisine. You can find tahini in Middle Eastern shops in KL, or in the supermarket under the organic section.

I’m participating this post to Your Best Recipe of February 2012 hosted by Spicie Foodie.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ cup Quinoa
  • 1 cup Water
  • ½ teaspoon fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Capsicum - chopped
  • 1 Cucumber - chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
Tahini Dressing
  • 1 clove Garlic - smashed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoon Tahini
  • Zest of half Lemon
  • 3 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoons Hot Water
  • ½ teaspoon fine Sea Salt
  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a small pot, heat the quinoa and water until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluff up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlique in each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain the quinoa in the strainer for any extra water and set aside.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking make the dressing. Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Add a little more hot water to thin the dressing if needed.
  3. Toss the cooked quinoa, cucumber, capsicum, onion, and half of the dressing. Add more dressing if you like and season with more salt to taste. 



  1. I tried this salad in club med.
    I want to make this at home.
    Not easy to go raw…
    I saw many tourist go raw…this salad is recommendated by a German mum to her daughter. I over heard it, I also scoop la.

    • This quinoa salad is really good, love the tahini sauce, buy quinoa & tahini from organic shop. Tahini from middle eastern shop is much cheaper, if you can find middle eastern/arab shop

  2. Shannon, it looks incredible! Thanks for being a part of the YBR 🙂
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie recently posted..Sunday Snapshots: Basil Wrapped Vegan SausageMy Profile

  3. Pingback: YBR – Your Best Recipes of March 2012

  4. Oh, I love a quinoa salad…and the quinoa dressing sounds fabulous!!!
    Liz recently posted..Chocolate Sables…French Fridays with Dorie~My Profile

  5. This is so beautiful!! I really, really love tahini paste, and this sounds delicious!! So glad you added me, i’m already a fan! This has definitely been buzzed! 🙂

  6. Hello Shannon,
    This looks like a healthy and delicious recipe!
    Thanks for dropping by my blog and it brings me to yours! 🙂

  7. What a healthy and delicious treat! Love sesame dressing.
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Pineapple Apple SalsaMy Profile

  8. It looks very yummy! Even I will ask for seconds. Thanks for the recipe!
    Carla recently posted..cheap deals on travelMy Profile

  9. Never tried quinoa before but seen its made into salad many times. Yours is looking delish!!!

    Thanks for stopping over my space…;)
    I’m gonna take a tour into yours now…
    Love2cook Malaysia recently posted..Vegetable Fritters…♥My Profile

    • Thank you for dropping by, am very humbled by your kind words coming from someone who is such a great cook & photographer. I got so lost in time on your blog, in a good way.. and looking forward to learning more from you!

  10. Your photos are absolutely mouth-watering, Shannon. Seriously stunning! I’m so glad that you dropped by and so I could find your blog! I’ve never had quinoa in this way but I can never get sick of finding new ways to have them, thanks for sharing this with us. I think I’m going to have so much fun browsing through your recipe index, am sure your creations are all just as awesome as this =)
    Winston recently posted..Mango Pudding Sorbet RecipeMy Profile

    • Thank you for dropping by my blog and for your kind comments. I’m very humbled, as I just started learning the ropes to better photography, so much to learn. I’m also accumulating more recipes for quinoa. Hope you get to try this quinoa salad soon.

  11. Beautiful salad! I recently have been collecting tahini recipes, as I’ve found it can be used in more than just hummus. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Yum! I’ve just discovered quinoa recently & like them with salad. These colorful salad dish sounds really good especially with tahini dressing! Lovely! 🙂
    Kit recently posted..Banana & Poppy Seeds CupcakeMy Profile

  13. What a delicious looking salad Shannon! No, you are not late on bandwagon of whole grains, the last person is me! I need to try quinoa. I’m a little bit hesitant because my husband does’t like it and I’m afraid my kids may not like it…and whole thing will end up on my side of table! It won’t hurt to try I guess, at least once or twice. Thanks for sharing this beautiful salad!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Spanish Mackerel with YuzuMy Profile

    • Oh Nami, you are so adorable! Of course you are not the last person, so many people are still not aware about whole grains. I was lucky that the grocer I go to sells whole grain in bin, so I just bought 100g to try, just in case I might not like it. I think kids might like it because it has a light pop when you bit it. Hope you get to try it.

  14. i love quinoa:D its quite a staple these days and its easy to just toss it into most dishes that i cook to substitute rice:D
    missyblurkit recently posted..Remember 126My Profile

  15. I am becoming a big quinoa fan. Had some of my leftover quinoa salad for lunch today. it only becomes better with time. This salad sounds fantastic and I will have to try it!
    Eliot recently posted..Holiday Recipe Club: Beer Braised Brisket with Potatoes and PeppersMy Profile

  16. What a healthy and delicious salad – tasty, refreshing and guiltless 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
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  17. What beautiful, edible pictures! And I love how healthy your recipes are!! I am saving this recipe and buzzing on Foodbuzz!! If you get a chance, I would love it if you could check out my site as well.
    Elizabeth @ Eating Local in the Lou recently posted..Pure Maple Syrup ReloadedMy Profile

  18. What a lovely dish this is! I would definitely be all over this. I love everything in it especially the quinoa!
    RavieNomNoms recently posted..Irish Soda BreadMy Profile

  19. Oh wow with tahini it must taste hell good! I can imagine making thqat once for my mum she loves quinoa salads and anythign healthy which keeps her slim and trim. Great for a change and perfect dish in the great heat. thanks for sharing! =)
    Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb recently posted..Devine Diva CocktailMy Profile

  20. I haven’t gone on the health grain bandwagon yet and am keen to try out quinoa and chia. I’m always a little skeptical about getting these not too cheap healthfoods since I know my hubby isn’t too keen on what he calls “rabbit food”. I won’t want to have to end up cooking 2 separate meals for each member of the family. But I have a feeling I’d like this, since you say there’s a nice “pop” to the bite. Maybe I’ll have to wait til one of those alone days.

    • LOL rabbit food! Unhulled millet is used as bird’s food in my man’s country, that’s why he rejected it! I’ve not tried chia seed yet, the price is crazy. seeing so much hoohah about healthy grain in the blogging world, must try a bit 😛
      Ya, I totally understand how much work to cook 2 separate meals. Luckily he’s not a fussy eater but we have come to an agreement that if either of us don’t like what we cook, then he or myself have to find our own food 🙂

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