Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad

Jump to Recipe

This Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad is on deck today and these are EVERYTHING!
Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

My sister is constantly asking me to develop more recipes that are easy to make on the weekend and can be taken to work throughout the week - so obviously, as a good sister, I'm happy to oblige! She works, doesn't LOOOOOOVE cooking and really doesn't have time to cook on a daily basis, so prepping ahead on the weekend is her jam!  This Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad is one of those recipes I've been making since college, and I'm obsessed and it's perfect for a prep-ahead moment.

It's beyond easy. My favorite basil vinaigrette recipe gets mixed with some cooked quinoa and then just toss in some fresh mozzarella balls and some cherry tomatoes!! And that's the Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad in a nutshell!!

Those of you new to basil vinaigrette, get ready, it's a game changer. I make a batch every week and use it for all sorts of things like this quinoa situation, I throw it on top of fish and chicken, use it as a salad dressing, you name it. Just a quick word to the wise - when you're prepping this ahead of time, don't add the tomatoes to the mixture until the day of. Tomatoes should always be stored at room temperature so you just want to add them right before you eat. When you refrigerate them, they loose their flavor and ain't nobody got time for that!!

More of my favorite make ahead work lunches are right HERE!

Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 1 vote
This Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad is the perfect prep-ahead recipe.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls halved
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the quinoa according to the package directions
  • Once the quinoa has steamed, transfer it to a bowl and set aside.
  • Make the basil vinaigrette according to the recipe instructions.
  • Combine the basil vinaigrette with the quinoa and toss to combine. Spoon into a bowl and top with the cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve at a later time.


Burrata would be incredible instead of mozzarella!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!


  1. I love discovering new recipes for quinoa. I will try your recipe with the keanwah as I have had no luck being creative with it nor can I get my husband to eat it. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks Gaby!!

  2. I made your Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad for dinner last night to go with Moroccan Turkey Burgers by Cooking Light Magazine July/August 1999 which I have made many times through the years. I loved your
    Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad. It was so light and the basil vinaigrette was so tasty. I will be making this again and also for family outings. I tried your new way of cooking the quinoa and it was very light and fluffy. I posted earlier how I steam brown rice now and it is a great way of cooking both the brown rice and quinoa. Keep the delicious recipes coming.

  3. I also love the varieties of recipes you can do with quinoa. I have the light and the red but haven't been able to find the black as of yet. I love the idea of steaming the quinoa. Recently I found a recipe called Perfect Brown Rice by Saveur (you can do a search) and it has a cooking period in lots of water and then at the end it is steamed It was the perfect brown rice. Thanks Gaby for all your time and recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating