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Turkey & Cheddar Quinoa Salad



Turkey Quinoa

© Image 2014 Jennifer Meier
This recipe for turkey quinoa salad was developed with Thanksgiving in mind. Instead of eating endless sandwiches made from leftover turkey, make a heathy quinoa salad instead.

When Thanksgiving is long gone, this quinoa salad can also be made with chicken. You also have the option of leaving the meat out entirely for a simple vegetarian meal. Serve the quinoa alone or over a bed of greens.

More Quinoa Salads to Try

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups of small pieces of cooked turkey
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 avocado, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup small cubes of cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar is especially good)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste


First, rinse the quinoa if the packaging does not indicate that it's pre-rinsed. Rinsing quinoa removes naturally occurring plant chemicals that are harmless but can cause a bitter flavor in quinoa.

To cook the quinoa, you can use one of two methods. I prefer the second method, as the quinoa tends to be fluffier.


1. Combine 1 1/2 cups water with the quinoa in a pot. Bring to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium, put a lid on the pot and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.


2. Simply cover the quinoa generously with water (about 3 cups) and boil for 15 minutes, then drain off any remaining water. Drain the quinoa in a fine sieve. If you use a regular colander the tiny quinoa grains will slip through the holes.


While the quinoa cooks, combine the turkey, green onion, parsley and cheddar in a large bowl.


In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and salt.


Let the cooked quinoa cool slightly then mix it with the other salad ingredients. Pour the dressing on top and mix well. Gently mix in the avocado. Add more salt to taste if necessary.


© recipe 2012 Jennifer Meier licensed to About.com, Inc.

Quick Facts About Quinoa

  • It is pronounced "KEEN-wah"
  • It is a dried seed that has been grown for thousands of years in South America
  • It has the highest protein content of all grains and is considered a " complete protein"
  • The flavor is mild and slightly nutty and the texture is soft and just a little bit chewy
  • It is gluten-free

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