Cucumber Mint Quinoa Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 207 kcal
It’s salads like this one that really let cucumbers shine and make us crave them even more; it’s full of crunchy freshness, and the mint-quinoa combination makes it a perfect summer picnic dish to share with friends.

Recipe from our cookbook: Bountiful




  • 1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 3 large shallots , minced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (see Note)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves , or more to taste


  1. Make the shallot dressing: In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive or grapeseed oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until a light golden brown or until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil, the sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, vinegar, lemon juice, and pepper to taste. Stir until the sugar dissolves and all the ingredients are well combined. Set aside to marinate briefly.
  2. Make the salad: In a saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups (480ml) water. Bring to a simmer, cover, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until the water is fully absorbed. Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Add the cucumbers and chopped mint and stir to combine.
  3. Add the shallot dressing and toss well to coat. Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator and toss again before serving.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: For a warm quinoa dish, toss the cucumbers and herbs with the quinoa while it is still warm. Prepare the dressing as instructed and toss with the warm quinoa mixture. Serve immediately.