Strawberry Quinoa Balsamic Salad

Strawberry Quinoa Balsamic Salad |

Let’s start the week off with a super pretty salad.  A super pretty salad that I love so much and have made maybe a wee bit too often lately.  To the point where my husband groans when he sees it on the kitchen counter and says something along the lines of “again, really???”  Yes really.

Clearly he doesn’t get caught up in food obsessions like I do.  But then I just stare him down and remind him that if I’m cooking, I’m picking.  Works like a charm every time.

Strawberry Quinoa Balsamic Salad |

So, let’s clear something up.  Do you have to use tri-colored quinoa in this salad?  Absolutely not.  But I’m insane and firmly believe that it tastes better than regular quinoa.  I’ve always claimed that I’m not really the biggest fan of quinoa – I’ll eat it if I have to but I wouldn’t buy it on my own.

But this tri-color business?  For some reason I love it.  Maybe because it’s pretty?  Does this make sense?  Probably not.  But it’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.  And it does taste better.  Yes, yes it does.

I also noted in the recipe down below that the balsamic glaze is optional for drizzling, but just trust me and do it.  Do it do it do it.  You can make your own or just buy it at the store.  Either way, it takes this salad to a different level of awesomeness.  Or you can just not use it (the salad does still taste great) but then you can’t be part of the cool kids club.  Your choice : )

Strawberry Quinoa Balsamic Salad |

And now I want to make this salad again.  I can feel my husband rolling his eyes at me all the way from work.

Strawberry Quinoa Balsamic Salad
Yield: about 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 cup uncooked tri-colored quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • balsamic glaze, for drizzling (optional)
  1. Add the quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, give it a stir, cover, then reduce the heat to medium-low / low and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let the pan sit covered for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.
  2. Lightly pat the mozzarella balls dry with a paper towel, slice in half, then add to the bowl with the quinoa. Add in the cucumber, strawberries and basil. Toss to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Pour into the bowl with the quinoa and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve immediately or you can let the salad chill in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld together even more.
  5. Drizzle with some of the balsamic glaze right before serving.

Cookie Monster Cooking


More from Cookie Monster Cooking:


  1. Leona says

    I just made a variation of this for dinner and OMG it is ridiculously amazing. I didn’t have cucumbers, I put chicken sausage (Sweet Apple flavor from Trader Joe’s, I wouldn’t do a not-sweet kind) in it, and served it warm. I’m eating it right now and I’m already planning how soon I can make it again.

    I was afraid that the cheese would melt everywhere in the warm quinoa, but the quinoa kind of gloms onto it, so it has stayed in its little globs, they are just softer than when cool. A+ dish! I’m sure it’s good as a salad too, I just prefer my dinners warm. Thanks so much for posting!

    • Ashley says

      So happy to hear this Leona! Thank you so much for letting me know. That sounds fantastic with the chicken sausage … I may just have to try that soon! haha oh I totally understand – I sometimes serve salads, etc. warm!

    • Ashley says

      I’m completely convinced it tastes different (better in my opinion!) haha But whether or not that is completely in my head is a different story : )

  2. says

    Wow tricolor! That sounds exciting! Need to get me some as this looks fabulous. I’m not the biggest fan either, but I do like to try it in different ways.

  3. says

    I am on the fence about quinoa, but there are a few quinoa salads that I love and this one looks incredible! I love the strawberries and mozzarella in it. I am crazy about balsamic glaze too, so I definitely want to try this asap!

  4. says

    I didn’t even realize that you could get tri-colored quinoa. I guess I’m not up to date on my quinoa varieties, haha! But nonetheless, this salad sounds fantastic. I can imagine that the mix of soft and crunchy textures must be incredible. And I love all the spring-y ingredients going on here. I can never get too many strawberries this time of year!

  5. says

    This salad is so so pretty – I love how light, fresh and yummy everything sounds together especially with the balsamic drizzle. Haha I would totally make this again and again too even with all the eye-rolling 😉

  6. says

    I’ve never even tried tri-coloured quinoa but now I must find it! Strawberries and a balsamic are a beautiful combo. This will be perfect when the local strawberries are out where I live. All salad, all the time! Woo! I’m with you!

  7. says

    Ooh, this looks so light and fresh! I love the idea of strawberries, mozzarella and cucumber! And I am totally addicted to that balsamic drizzle- it just takes everything to a whole new level. Pinned 😉

  8. says

    I love any kind of quinoa, and tri-color or not this salad is perfection. I make quinoa salads for lunch often and try to mix them up, so I definitely need to try this version soon. I love adding strawberries to quinoa, it’s the best!

  9. says

    Ahh yes, the familiar groan from the husband when a salad is presented to them for dinner instead of a big steak. I will gladly come eat your husband’s portion if he doesn’t want it again! I’m loving this combination and I totally agree the tri-colored quinoa is awesome!

  10. Jo @ the contented baker says

    What a perfect way to start the week! I’m definitely into salads now the weather is perking up. Tri colour quinoa and balsamic glaze…sounds fab!! :-)

  11. says

    I like tri-color quinoa better, too. I don’t know if it tastes better either, but it sure does look better. We do eat with our eyes. :) I just bought balsamic glaze at Trader Joe’s, so you know I’ll be drizzling way too much over the top of this. haha This looks delicious!

  12. says

    I would love to start the week off with a pretty salad! I’ve never used tri-colored quinoa before, I’ll have to look for it next time. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are a match made in heaven :) I think my husband is sick of all the salads I’ve been making lately too!

  13. says

    Wow-this salad really is pretty…and sounds totally yummy…I can totally see why you’d make it over and over! And you’re too funny about telling that to your husband, I do the exact same thing, and you’re right, it does work like a charm lol. Oh, you want something different? what are you cooking for us? lol.

  14. says

    This is funny, Ashley! My husband groans a little sometimes generally when I present him with ‘blog food’. He said ‘I do like your food, don’t misunderstand me, but sometimes I just want a ham sandwich for lunch!’
    Personally, I wouldn’t groan at all if I was presented with this salad of yours every day for a week. Strawberries, basil, balsamic & mozzarella … hmmm, what a great combination!

  15. says

    Love your creative recipes. I also sometimes find recipes I really like and get on a kick of repeatedly making it! : ) My husband got me some ridiculously delicious strawberries yesterday (one of many treats I devoured for Mother’s Day) and I’m vowing to eat more strawberries. Your combination with quinoa and the balsamic looks terrific.

  16. says

    Soooo pretty Ashley! Pretty sure I could eat this salad everyday and be a happy, happy girl. And don’t our husband’s know by now, that the cook gets to choose meals? They don’t know how good they have it, do they. 😉

    • Ashley says

      I’ll have to try plain red sometime … it’s the white quinoa that doesn’t really do it for me!

  17. says

    Love that strawberry touch in your salad. I should try that too! Especially with the balsamic…must be fantastic!
    you cook = you pick …that’s good, Ashley! Go Girl! :)

  18. says

    Haha!! I totally get obsessed with certain foods and make them over and over and get the same reactions from my husband. Like seriously, you made this again? haha!! This is SO pretty Ashley! And I can see why it’s been made a lot lately :) Pinned!

    • Ashley says

      haha oh husbands. Mine realizes he’s pretty spoiled with all the cooking I do but he can’t resist sometimes I think! : )

  19. says

    oooh yum! I love salads with fruit in them, it’s like the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Will have to try this when I get fresh strawberries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *