Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad

$6.74 recipe / $1.69 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.97 from 55 votes
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I’m living off refrigerator salads all summer, what about you? Oh, you don’t know what a refrigerator salad is? It’s a salad that holds up well to refrigeration (doesn’t go limp and soggy like lettuce), and a meal prepper’s best friend. During the summer months I love mixing up a big batch of refrigerator salads, like this Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad, to eat all week. Sometimes I eat them alone as a light entrée, sometimes I use them as a side dish, sometimes as a base for bowl meals. They’re versatile, delicious, and never go to waste in my house!

Overhead view of a bowl of Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad with lemon wedges and a black fork.

This Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad is basically a summer version of my Spanish Chickpeas and Rice. It’s a little lighter, brighter (no smokiness), and served cold. It’s perfect for this scorching heat! 

Substitutions and Add-Ins

This salad is super versatile, so here are some other ingredients that would go well in this salad, in case you don’t like any that I’ve included, can’t get them for a decent price, or just happen to have some of these items on hand and need to use them up: 

  • Couscous or orzo in place of the quinoa
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes (diced or grape tomatoes cut in half)
  • Feta
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Red Onion
  • Top with a dollop of hummus

How to Serve Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad

I intended this dish to be a vegetarian/vegan main dish with a large serving size of 2 cups, but it could also be served as a side dish to any other meal (smaller serving size of about 1 cup). This would make a great base for a bowl meal (add grilled chicken or hard boiled egg), or could be stuffed into a pita as a sort of sandwich.

How Long Does This Salad Keep?

This Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad is very sturdy, so it’s good for about 4-5 days in the refrigerator (time may vary with refrigeration conditions). I haven’t tried freezing this one yet, but based on how well my Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad freezes, I think this one would also freeze well. I find frozen foods like this are usually best if eaten within three months.

Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad in mason jars, a forkful hovering above.

Need some help getting juice out of your lemons? Here are 5 Tips for Juicing Lemons.

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Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad

4.97 from 55 votes
This Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad is a light and refreshing summer salad that holds up well in the refrigerator and is perfect for meal prep!
Overhead view of Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad in a bowl with lemon wedges and a fork.
Servings 4 2 cups each
Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa ($1.20)
  • 1 fresh lemon ($0.37)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil ($0.48)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 1 13oz. can quartered artichoke hearts* ($2.59)
  • 1 red bell pepper ($1.00)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley ($0.35)
  • 1 15oz. can chickpeas ($0.49)

Instructions 

  • Rinse the quinoa well in a fine wire mesh sieve. Place the rinsed quinoa in a pot with 1.75 cups water. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat on to high, and allow the water to come to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes (lid on).
  • While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the lemon garlic dressing. Zest the lemon, then squeeze the juice (you'll need 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice). Add the lemon juice and 1 tsp of the zest to a bowl or jar along with the olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill). Whisk the ingredients together or close the jar and shake until they are combined. Set the dressing aside.
  • After the quinoa has cooked, spread it out into a casserole dish or other wide shallow dish and refrigerate uncovered for about 15 minutes to cool it down.
  • While the quinoa is cooling, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients. Drain the artichoke hearts and roughly chop them into smaller pieces. Finely dice the red bell pepper. Roughly chop the parsley. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place the artichoke hearts, bell pepper, parsley, and chickpeas in a large bowl.
  • Once the quinoa has cooled, add it to the bowl with the other salad ingredients. Toss gently to combine, then drizzle the lemon garlic dressing over top. Gently toss again until everything is coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4-5 days.

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Notes

*You can use artichoke hearts in water or oil, with or without herbs.

Nutrition

Serving: 2CupsCalories: 447.13kcalCarbohydrates: 51.13gProtein: 15.85gFat: 24.13gSodium: 1276.3mgFiber: 12.08g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Keep scrolling to see the step by step photos below…

Close up of finished Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad in the mixing bowl with wooden salad tongs

How to Make Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad – Step by Step Photos

Uncooked quinoa with water in a pot

Rinse 1 cup of quinoa well in a wire mesh sieve. Once rinsed, add it to a pot along with 1.75 cups water. Place a lid on pot and turn the heat on to high. Let the water come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer for 15 minutes with the lid in place.

Juiced and zested lemon

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the lemon garlic dressing. Zest a lemon, then squeeze out the juice. You’ll need anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice.

Lemon Garlic Dressing in a mason jar

Add 1 tsp of the lemon zest, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a pepper mill) to the lemon juice. Whisk the ingredients together, or, if using a jar, shake until the ingredients are combined. Set the dressing aside.

Cooked Quinoa in the pot

After simmering for 15 minutes the quinoa should be tender and fluffy, an no liquid should remain in the pot.

Spread out quinoa in a dish to cool

Spread the quinoa out into any sort of shallow dish then place it in the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes. Spreading it out is key because that increases the surface area in contact with the cold air and allows any excess moisture to evaporate.

Chopped ingredients for salad in a large bowl

While the quinoa is cooling, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad. Drain and roughly chop one 13oz. can of quartered artichoke hearts. Finely dice one red bell pepper. Roughly chop about 1 cup of fresh parsley. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of chickpeas. Place the artichoke hearts, bell pepper, parsley, and chickpeas in a large bowl.

Add cooled quinoa to salad bowl

Once the quinoa is cooled, add it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and gently toss to combine.

Lemon garlic dressing being poured over the salad bowl

Pour the lemon garlic dressing over the salad and toss once more until everything is coated in dressing.

Close up of finished Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad in the salad bowl

The Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad is ready to be eaten immediately or…

Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad being portioned into mason jars

Or portion it out into containers for your meal prep and refrigerate up to 4-5 days.

Close up side view of Lemony Artichoke and Quinoa Salad in a bowl

So light and refreshing!

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  1. I will have a go at this but without the oil and I would probably add a few extras to suit my taste.

  2. Hi, I’m excited to try this recipe! I’m not a big fan of parsley, what would you suggest as an alternative? I know cilantro is common but other family members do not like parsley. Maybe basil? How much?

    1. Hi Libby! Your question is a little confusing, as you mention no one likes parsley twice and then throw cilantro in the mix but don’t say if it is unliked as well. So for the record, you can sub for equal parts basil. Or do a half and half blend of basil/cilantro, basil/parsley or basil/mint. XOXO -Monti

      1. Thank you! I’m sorry for the confusion, I meant that other family members do not like cilantro.

  3. Amazing! Another perfect summer salad recipe by Budget Bytes. I am just going to keep making one every day for the remaining week – because that’s how fast they are gone in this househould. What I especially like about all these recipes is that they tell you the exact amount of salt and pepper to use. I have a tendency to undersalt during cooking and then oversalt while eating. Here it’s just perfect from the start. So thanks for adding this extra detail – it really makes a difference in the outcome.

  4. I’m not really one to write reviews online but I have been making this salad at least twice a month for the past year and it is so delicious every time. I had covid back in 2020 and my taste/smell is still suffering, but I know I can count on this recipe to be consistently amazing. It’s also so incredibly cheap to make and very quick.

    I just wanted to thank you, it may seem like such a small thing but it has been so difficult to find anything that tastes good since my run in with covid.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with Covid symptoms for so long, Kaitlyn! Thank you so much for cooking our recipes! XOXO -Monti

  5. This is SO good! I went overboard with add-ins: cucumber, red onion, feta, tomatoes, and some katamala olives. It’s a really versatile base and I’m already sure I’ll be making it again over the summer.

  6. I loved this recipe – it was so easy to follow and make. The dressing was perfect. I had never made quinoa before but it was SO easy. A great way to eat more fiber and protien.

  7. This is such a delicious salad. I am a vegetarian who is trying to eat more legumes so the complete protein of the quinoa and the chickpeas is a perfect combo. Seriously, I could eat it every day! Thank you! 

  8. Yum! This is going to be something I frequently make. Easy and delicious. Thanks!

  9. I love this as a lunch salad, and this recipe is so flexible! It’s so great for meal prep. I swap out the red pepper for grape tomatoes and add more parsley to get some more greens in.  Thanks for such a great recipe, Beth.

  10. This is great as written but also serves as a great base to build upon. I’ve been adding different olive varieties as well as capers and plan on gathering kale from my garden to add this week. Thanks for the great and healthy recipe!

  11. The artichoke hearts honestly take home the cake on this one. Really ties it all together.
    I had a random lemon herb vinaigrette in my fridge that I’m trying to use up, so I used that instead of the homemade dressing (pretty much the same ingredients). Definite make-again!

  12. Would cauliflower rice be an option in place of the quinoa?

    Also, I had inquired over a year ago if you had thought about doing a broccoli cheese soup, are you still planning on creating a Budget Bytes Broccoli Cheese soup?

    Thank you for all you do. Your passion for food and helping others shines thru in your work.  

  13. Beth I don’t know why I always go searching the webs for other recipes. I always end up coming back to you!  I am eating this now and it’s amazing! Light but fresh! Perfect seasoning and perfect for summer! Thank you!  

  14. This was very good, made as written. Will try what commenters added next time, (feta, black olives, capers). 

    This is repeatable, for sure.  It’s helpful to have a bowl of it in the fridge when it’s too hot to cook.

    Thanks, Beth, for helping us stay happily fed and healthy during the heat.

    1. Love!! I love how versatile it is! Didn’t have parsley but had basil and omitted the red pepper and added arugula and mozzarella balls. Definitely adding this to my meal routine! Thank you!