My Favorite Quinoa Salad

This chickpea, fennel and quinoa salad recipe is one of my favorite salads with quinoa. It’s made simply with quinoa, fresh fennel, pomegranate seeds, serrano pepper (for a bit of heat), red onion, chickpeas, fresh parsley and an olive oil and lemon dressing. 

My Favorite Quinoa Salad

Whether you already love quinoa or don’t cook it often, I hope this will become your new favorite. Quinoa is a healthy base for any salad. It’s nutritious and has a nutty taste and is so easy to prepare. To make a proper quinoa, keep these tips in mind: 

Prepare and cook the quinoa properly. First, before you cook it, it’s best to rinse quinoa. Rinsing well before cooking reduces the saponin and produces a delicious nutty flavor. See my post on How to Prepare and Cook Quinoa for details.

Choose lots of colorful fruits or vegetables and textures to add to the salad. Many people don’t like the texture of quinoa, but when mixed with crispy vegetables, fruits, nuts or seeds they won’t even notice it.

Use a bright and flavorful salad dressing. While quinoa is a great salad base, it doesn’t have that much flavor by itself. It needs to be tossed with a flavorful dressing. As the salad sits, the quinoa absorbs the dressing and gets more and more delicious over time.

This particular quinoa salad has a couple of my favorite ingredients….chickpeas and pomegranate seeds and includes a little heat from the serrano pepper.

The fennel offers texture with a crispy crunch and hint of licorice flavor. See my post Fennel – Enjoy it raw or cooked for hints on preparation. If fennel isn’t your thing or you just don’t have it on hand, it can be substituted with cucumber or celery.

The blend of the fennel, chickpeas, pomegranate seeds and the heat of the serrano pepper make this salad one of my favorites. (If you don’t like spicy foods, you can always swap the serrano for a red or green pepper. )

I hope you enjoy it.

My Favorite Quinoa Salad
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5 from 1 vote

Favorite Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad is refreshing, crisp and delicious. It’s made simply with fresh fennel, red onion, serrano pepper, chickpeas, fresh parsley and an olive oil, red wine vinegar and and lemon dressing.
Prep Time10 mins
Refrigerate before serving30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 191kcal


  • 1/4 cup quinoa cooked and cooled
  • ½ bulb fennel roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel fronds
  • 1 can 15 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 serrano pepper chopped
  • ½ small red onion chopped
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley fresh, chopped
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt to taste
  • ground pepper to taste


Prepare the quinoa

  • Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, cheese cloth or a coffee filter. Prepare the quinoa according to the package (typically bring 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa seeds to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes).
  • Put the quinoa to the side and allow to become fluffy and cool.

Prepare the salad

  • Combine the roughly chopped fennel, drained and rinsed chickpeas, finely chopped serrano pepper and finely chopped red onion in a large bowl.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the dressing

  • In a small bowl combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste).
  • Once the quinoa is cooled, add it to the serving bowl and drizzle the dressing on top. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Top the salad with the pomegranate seeds and lightly toss. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Favorite Quinoa Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 191 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 313mg14%
Potassium 282mg8%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 685IU14%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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