Sweet Quinoa Surprise

quinoa salad, salad, grain

Kids Recipe Challenge winning recipe: 3rd Place!
School day lunches: Grades 4 to 6

Quinoa is appearing more often on family tables and it’s an easy way to include extra protein in children’s diets. By adding colourful vegetables and chickpeas, this lunch can be made by kids and enjoyed by all!

Paloma from Toronto, thinks kids will like this recipe because it is healthy and it gets kids to be more adventurous with food.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Makes: 8 cups (2 L). Enough for eight 1 cup (250 mL) servings


  1. Dish can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator. 
  2. For every cup of uncooked quinoa, you will get 3 cups of cooked quinoa 
  3. Put leftovers away within 2 hours or sooner if they are in a warm location. Keep chilled at or below 40ºF (4ºC).  


Quinoa, rinsed                            

1 cup (250 mL)

No salt added chicken broth                 

2 cups (500 mL)

Yellow or red bell pepper 1 medium
English cucumber 1/2 
Chickpeas, drained and rinsed 19 oz (540 mL)
Crumbled light feta cheese                    

1/2 cup (125 mL)

Dried cranberries                             

1/4 cup (60 mL) 

Balsamic or red wine vinegar                

2 Tbsp (30 mL) 

Extra virgin olive or canola oil               

4 tsp (20 mL) 


  1. Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Clean all countertops and equipment used for food preparation.     
  2. In saucepan, bring quinoa and broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. 
  3. Gently rinse pepper and cucumber under cool running water. Dice the pepper and cucumber. Combine in a large bowl with chickpeas, feta and cranberries.  
  4. Fluff quinoa with fork and add to bowl. Drizzle with vinegar and oil and toss well to combine. 

Nutrition Information per cup: 

Calories: 215 kcal

Protein: 9 g

Fat: 6 g

Carbohydrate: 33 g

Fibre: 4 g

Sodium: 261 mg

Iron: 3 mg

Calcium: 63 mg

Last Update – June 26, 2024

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