Turkish Quinoa Salad



The original version of this salad is made with “kısır”, finely ground bulgur. Since bulgur wheat contains gluten, I sadly removed this salad from my edible-list when I found out that I’m celiac.

It took me months to think what is so obvious: Replace the cracked bulgur with quinoa. The trick is to cook the quinoa with less water than you would normally do, as it will soak up the lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. If you only have tomato or paprika paste, only use one of them.

Every Turkish household makes this salad with a slightly different mix of vegetables and herbs, as well as pomegranate seeds. It’s perfect for a lunch box or for a picnic and made in less than 30 minutes. I personally love it with a lot of lemon and some spiciness. Be open and adjust the salad to your liking!


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tbsp. paprika paste
  • 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 bunch of each: mint, parsley, dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped in smaller pieces
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 – 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for finish
  • 3 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  • chili (optional)
  • salt


  1. Rinse the quinoa under running water for at least 30 seconds. Drain well.
  2. Combine quinoa and a little bit more than 1,5 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat a bit to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until quinoa has absorbed all of the water, remove from heat and let quinoa steam for 5 minutes. They should still be al dente as they will soften through dressing.
  3. Mix paprika and tomato paste with a little bit of water. Heat 4 tbsp. olive oil in a small pan and sauté the mixture. Take off the heat and add to the quinoa when cooled down.
  4. Add the chopped herbs, cucumber, spring onions and garlic to the quinoa and toss.
  5. Add in lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and salt and adjust the taste to your liking. I personally like it with a lot of lemon.
  6. Optional add chili for some spiciness.Go to www.badhunterstories.com or follow “badhunterstories” on Instagram for more recipes.

Follow uns
on Instagram!