This Easy Pesto Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella is a tasty main dish or side salad that comes together in a snap. It’s loaded with all the delicious flavors of Caprese salad, but the addition of quinoa makes it filling – and satisfying.
You start with cooked and cooled quinoa. I often make batches of quinoa and leave it in the fridge to add to salads and soups. The basic recipe for quinoa is easy, all you need is quinoa, water and a bit of salt. You need 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to make 2 1/2 or 3 cups of cooked quinoa, which is what you need for this recipe. You can use any color quinoa you choose. I like the light brown for this recipe, which is the most widely available.
If you have a store-bought pesto sauce you love, use that here. You can also whip up a batch yourself – I keep Simple Walnut Pesto on hand, stowed in the fridge for cooking, topping pasta and swirling in soups. I make a bunch and then freeze it, so that’s the pesto I usually use here. If you’re using store-bought, the ones found in the freezer or refrigerated sections are usually best. They have much fresher flavor.
The fresh mozzarella balls labeled Ciliegine (which means cherry-sized) are perfect for this recipe. You could also use Noccioline, which are a bit smaller, or chop up larger balls. make it work for you! This salad is great on it’s own, or with chicken or salmon added in. I hope you enjoy it – it’s one of my favorites.
Easy Pesto Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella
- 1/2 cup pesto homemade or store-bought
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa
- 1 pint quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- Salt to taste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pesto, extra-virgin olive oil and pepper. Add the cooked and cooled Quinoa, quartered tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes. Season with salt and serve.
Photos: Meg van der Kruik – who now eats this quinoa salad on repeat!