Moroccan Quinoa Salad

The thanksgiving weekend is over. It was our first thanksgiving ever and we did what all people in America do. Ate way too much. It turned out that one of David’s relatives lives in San Diego, and he invited us to celebrate a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family. It was a fun experience and all the zillion different dishes tasted delicious. Although next year we will arrange it ourselves, we figure that we could try to make those pies without using so much sugar.

After all the indulging this weekend we wanted to make something light and fresh. We decided on this Moroccan Quinoa Salad. They would probably serve it with couscous in Morocco but we prefer quinoa as it is richer in protein and is gluten free.

Most Moroccan dishes calls for a whole cabinet of spices. Since we are traveling we don’t carry many spices with us and have therefore stripped it down to the most important ones. The key ingredient in this salad is mint. Together with cilantro and lemon it gives the quinoa its fresh taste, the cinnamon and raisins adds sweetness and the almonds makes it crunchy and salty.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad
Serves 4

If you don’t feel like marinating the zucchini and eggplant yourself you can find ready-made at most supermarkets (but nothing beats homemade).

1 zucchini, cut in thin slices
1 eggplant , cut in thin slices
olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 cup quinoa
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 lemon
2 bunches mint leaves
1 bunch cilantro/coriander
3 tbsp raisins

2 avocados, cut into 1 inch squares
4 small spring onions, chopped
1 cup almonds, divided in half, roasted and salted

Start by making the marinated vegetables. Spread out the zucchini and eggplant slices on a bbq, in a grill pan or in the oven, a couple of minutes on each side. Put them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil, garlic and salt over them and set aside.

Cook the quinoa according to the package but add one tbsp cinnamon in the water. When it’s done cooking, rinse and set aside to cool off. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and add five tbsp of olive oil into the quinoa. Chop half of the mint leaves, half of the cilantro and all the raisins, throw them in the quinoa and toss it around until everything is mixed. Serve in bowls together with the marinated vegetables, avocado, spring onions, the rest of the mint and cilantro and the roasted almonds.


  • Megan
    I just made this last night and get the joy of eating it as leftovers for lunch today... And this is definitely going into my recipe repertoire. Although, I recommend cooking the raisins into the quinoa so they plump up nicely. I also subbed in 1/2 the almonds for baked cod and it turned out great!
  • Oh my! all of your recipes are making me to hungry, and the photos are so beautiful.
  • I just made this - absolutely delicious!!
  • Sophie
    I made this salad last night and it was absolutely incredible. The flavours work SO well together. I love the subtle sweetness to it with the cinnamon and raisins and mint. It really does tick both the "delicious" and "nourishing" boxes. Gosh I could have just kept eating it...
  • Jennifer
    I was wondering if you have had this salad on the second day after it was made and refrigerated? Does it hold up well and is it tasty cold?
    • Hi Jennifer. Yes, we have had it plenty of times the next day, it is still fantastic and works great for a picnic too! (the salad is cold) Hope you'll like it:) /Luise
  • This is an awesome recipe! In Japan, we have a similar style of dish made with rice and a bunch of different pairings. Considering how much I love quinoa, I can't wait to try this out! Thanks for the beautiful inspiration :)
  • I love the mix of flavors here. Anything with nuts and raisins!
  • Your "Moroccan" quinoa salad loks great, but I have another for you: the one in my book, Couscous: Fresh and Flavorful Contemporary Recipes. I developed a Vietnamese Couscous Salad that can rival your interpretation! And it was "invented" in our beautiful San Diego. Bismillah, Kitty Morse (Moroccan cuisine a specialty)
  • I'm a sucker for a bowl, but have really only had the rice or noodle variety. I adore quinoa and think this is a terrific idea - beautifully photographed as usual. Glad you had an American Thanksgiving, just wish you could have been our guests as there is plenty of veg fare in our house!
  • olivia
    i know that this is a silly question... but would it be possible to freeze this??
  • This salad looks wonderful. Since I started using quinoa, I have been exposed to so many new flavors and ingredients. I am imagining how the cinnamon and the mint and the raisins will all come together and I can't wait to try this.
  • Mhm! Looks lika a yoga-variant of Bibimbap! Absolutley beautiful! The colors, the different tastes.. Splendid!
  • This looks really good. About a year ago I had what was called a Moroccan Salad at California Pizza Kitchen. I remember it had mint, almonds, dried cranberries and chunks of roasted acorn squash. I really gotta go back there on of these days to try and recreate this. Your recipe is sort of a great jumping off point and way of putting together Moroccan flavors whether you're using them in a salad, a soup or a stew.
    • Hi Denise! It's true that you can use these flavors to create all kind of different Moroccan dishes, even though I might consider adding spices like turmeric, ginger, cumin, saffron, harissa and maybe Ras El Hanout in a stew. Thinking about it, I actually have a great Moroccan Tagine recipe that I will share as soon as we are back in our Swedish kitchen (where we keep all these spices). /David
  • You guys are so incredibly talented and it is a great joy to read your blog, so thanks for that! And great recipe, as always :)
  • I still think quinoa is underutilized... it scares people a little, maybe. But why? It's so tasty and has a great consistency and you can do amazing things, like this, with it!
  • Hjördís
    This salad looks so delicious, I love the colors and the flavors in it, Cant wait to taste it, thanks for great recipes
  • this salad looks and sounds delicious. I've heard that quinoa is a good source of protein and it's so easy to cook. minutes, tops. Being vegetarian I love everything in this salad. thank you!
  • Your salad looks so beautiful and healthy. I've yet to actually try quinoa (although I purchased some recently), this has inspired me. I love the use of almonds.
    • Thank you Jennifer! If you haven't tried quinoa before now is definitely the time. /David
  • Wow. This looks absolutely perfect. I want to eat it right this second, except it's 10:23 pm and I don't have the right ingredients. I don't even like quinoa really. But I think I'll have to make an exception here.
  • Missi
    I'm so glad you all are traveling! I remember my own time of being on the road, and pining for a way to conveniently keep olive oil, garlic, and a few spices. So glad to see that you're making it work! And please - more beautiful pictures! I love to see how you see my part of the country.
    • Hi Missi! It's actually funny how we almost have been carrying more food than clothes with us on this trip. We'll share some more pictures from our trip in our next post. /David
  • feed me! that looks beautiful. I'm so glad you guys were able to experience a traditional Thanksgiving. You seriously came to the US at the right time.
  • I absolutely love quinoa salads. Delish.
  • Sophie
    I love Moroccan food! All those different shades of green look so yummy together. You sure got a gorgeous blog!
  • Mona
    Hey you, you forgot the photos of Elsa... Though, this salad looks so nice :-) Mona
  • yum! I was the same... I kept it clean with green smoothies for a few days after Thanksgiving!! this looks wonderful.
  • Nice and green. Looks absolutely wonderful.
  • I am inspired - I how to have this on my table tonight.
  • Janet
    I love every single flavor in this salad.

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