Filled with quinoa, chickpeas, veggies, tzatziki, and feta cheese, this Mediterranean quinoa bowl recipe is perfect for a quick and easy lunch. Plus, it makes a wonderful meal prep idea that you can keep in the fridge for healthy, ready-to-go meals all week long.
If you’ve got a container of leftover quinoa in the fridge, these Mediterranean-inspired quinoa bowls are the perfect way to use it up for a quick and healthy lunch. Not only are these bowls quick to prepare and full of vegetarian protein and fiber, but they are incredibly versatile so once you’ve got the basics down the ingredient and flavor combinations are endless.
What You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make these Mediterranean quinoa bowls:
- Quinoa: You can’t make quinoa bowls without quinoa! I used white quinoa, but you can use any color or a quinoa blend if you like.
- Chickpeas: Using canned chickpeas ensures that this recipe is quick to make and helps to increase the vegetarian protein and fiber content too.
- Arugula: To add some greens and more fiber to the bowls. While I used arugula, any greens or type of lettuce will work.
- Cucumbers: You can add them peeled or unpeeled.
- Tomatoes: I used grape tomatoes, but you can use cherry tomatoes or a diced tomato if you prefer.
- Red Onion: To add a bit of color and texture. Feel free to omit it if you’re not a fan of onion.
- Tzatziki: This yogurt-filled dip boosts the protein content of the bowls and doubles as a dressing. If you’re up for it you can make your own tzatziki, otherwise just buy pre-made tzatziki, as I did, if you want to save time.
- Feta Cheese: For a salty bite, some more protein, and healthy fat.
- Salt and Pepper: Some simple seasoning to finish.
Although I didn’t add a dressing to these quinoa bowls, because I think the tzatziki does the trick and keeps things quick, you can certainly add some if you like. I think a simple drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice would make a great addition and enhance the Mediterranean flavors.
How to Make a Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
Honestly, these bowls are so easy to make they hardly need instructions.
- Cook the quinoa or grab leftover quinoa from the fridge.
- Layer the quinoa, chickpeas, and veggies into a bowl.
- Dollop with tzatziki and sprinkle with feta cheese.
And that’s it!
Red’s Nutrition Tip
When using vegetarian protein sources, such as quinoa, it’s beneficial (but not mandatory) to combine various sources of plant-based protein to create complete protein sources. By combining grains with beans or lentils, such as quinoa with chickpeas, you can help to ensure that your meal is complete with all essential amino acids.
How can I make quinoa taste better?
A simple way to add flavor to quinoa is to cook it in broth instead of water. Cooking your quinoa in vegetable broth or chicken broth infuses the quinoa with flavor as it cooks and adds a boost of nutrition at the same time.
To Make it Gluten-Free: No adaptations are needed, these bowls are gluten-free.
To Make it Dairy-Free: Use vegan tzatziki, often made with coconut yogurt, and omit the feta cheese completely or use vegan feta cheese.
To Increase the Protein Content: Add some grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or grilled tofu if you want to keep them vegetarian.
To Reduce the Fat Content: Use tzatziki made with 0% yogurt and fat-free feta.
Once you’ve got the basics down you can mix and match the ingredients in these bowls depending on what you have on hand or what you enjoy. Here are some ideas:
Use couscous or millet. You can swap the quinoa for other whole grains, such as cooked millet or barley, or use couscous instead.
Use spinach or kale. Forgo the arugula and use a dark leafy green or any lettuce that you enjoy.
Mix up the vegetables. In addition to or instead of cucumber and tomatoes, you can use any raw vegetables you enjoy or take things to the next level and grill vegetables, such as red bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms, before adding them to the bowls.
Swap tzatziki for hummus. If you’re not a fan of tzatziki or want to make the bowls dairy-free or vegan, you can use hummus instead. Any flavor of hummus will work well.
Add olives. For extra Mediterranean flair, add some kalamata olives to the bowls.
Add dressing. For some extra flavor and healthy fats, you can add a sauce or a dressing to the bowl. I think a lemon garlic dressing, balsamic dressing, or tahini sauce would all pair nicely. Alternatively, drizzle the bowls with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and serve with lemon wedges.
To Store: You can store leftovers of the individual ingredients in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days, assembled bowls without tzatziki for up to 5 days, or fully assembled bowls with tzatziki for up to 24 hours. Note: The bowls won’t go bad with the tzatziki included, the vegetables will just get soggy.
To Freeze: I do not recommend freezing these bowls.
To Meal Prep: If you’re making these bowls as a meal prep idea, wait to add the tzatziki until you’re ready to eat. While can add it ahead of time if you like, leaving it too long may make your veggies soggy, so I wouldn’t prep them with tzatziki on them more than one day in advance.
More Quinoa Bowls and Salads:Print
Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl
This Mediterranean-inspired bowl is a quick and easy recipe that makes the most of simple ingredients and works equally well as a light lunch, no-cook dinner, or meal prep idea.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 2 bowls 1x
- Category: Lunch
- Method: By Hand
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 4 cups arugula, or lettuce of choice
- 1/2 cup quinoa, dry
- 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
- 1/2 cup tzatziki
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Black Pepper
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add a generous pinch of salt and quinoa and cook for 15 minutes, or as per package directions, until tender. Once cooked, strain quinoa in a fine mesh colander, rinse under cold water to cool, and shake the colander to remove as much excess water as possible. (If using leftover quinoa, skip this step.)
- While the quinoa is cooking, strain and rinse the chickpeas, and prepare the vegetables.
- Once the quinoa has cooked and cooled, assemble the bowls. Dividing the ingredients evenly across two bowls, fill the bottom of a bowl with arugula, and then top with cooked quinoa, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion.
- Dollop each bowl with half of the tzatziki and crumbled feta cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with a lemon wedge if desired.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 507 calories
- Sugar: 8 grams
- Fat: 15 grams
- Carbohydrates: 68 grams
- Fiber: 15 grams
- Protein: 28 grams