Copycat Costco Quinoa Salad (Easy Recipe!!!)

Make this copycat Costco Quinoa Salad recipe at home for a healthy, hearty, and delicious grain-based salad studded with fresh veggies and fresh lemon dressing. 

Costco is famous for bulk bargains, an amazing wine selection, and delicious pre-made foods, including this quinoa salad. Calling this dish a salad seems like a bit of an injustice.

Just like my Pecan Pesto Farro Salad and Cauliflower Chickpea Salad with Quinoa, this salad is hearty enough to make a full meal! 

The base of quinoa, brown rice, and lentils is loaded with vegetables, herbs, and a sweet and tangy lemon dressing for a fresh and filling dish that’s vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free!

While there are a few ingredients to bring this dish together, everything is low cost and easy to find. Even if you’re not a Costco member, you can still enjoy the flavors of their famous quinoa salad with this easy and budget-friendly copycat recipe. 

Ingredients for Costco quinoa salad labeled on tray.

Ingredients needed

  • Quinoa – The Costco salad uses white quinoa, but you can use any variety you prefer for this salad. When making your quinoa, rinse it well to remove the saponins that can add a soapy and bitter taste to your dish. I like to make my quinoa in the instant pot.
  • Brown rice – If you don’t have brown rice, you could substitute with white rice or even farro (but note that farro will add a thicker texture to the dish). 
  • Lentils – You can use red, green, or brown lentils for this recipe. The original Costco recipe adds in mung beans, but they can be difficult to find. Lentils taste very similar to the mung beans in this recipe. I like to cook my lentils in the instant pot.
  • Red bell pepper – Can substitute for another sweet pepper like yellow or orange. 
  • Tomato – Use a large garden tomato or one to two Roma tomatoes.
  • Cucumber– Don’t worry about peeling the cucumbers unless the skin is very thick and waxy, then you may want to peel some of it away gently with a vegetable peeler. 
  • Kale – Baby kale has a softer texture than full-sized Lacinato kale. 
  • Herbs – Fresh parsley and chives. 
  • Oil – Use extra virgin olive oil or another light finishing oil for the dressing. 
  • Lemon juice – While fresh lemon juice works well, you can also substitute bottled if that’s all you have. 
  • White wine vinegar – If you don’t have white wine vinegar, you can substitute champagne, apple cider, or red wine vinegar. 
  • Sugar – White table sugar. 
  • Salt and pepper

How to make it 

Add the cooked rice, lentils and quinoa to a large bowl. Gently stir in the cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, kale and cilantro until combined. 

In a smaller bowl whisk together the sugar, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  Pour the dressing mixture over the vegetables and gently toss until everything is coated. 

Taste and adjust seasonings with additional lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste, then cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. For best results, refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes before serving. 

How to serve it

While you could eat this recipe on its own for a light vegetarian lunch or snack, it also pairs well with these recipes for a complete and balanced meal!

How to make ahead & store

You can make this recipe ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week. Cooking the quinoa, rice, and lentils ahead of time and chopping the vegetables make assembling this recipe quick and easy.  Once prepared, just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. 

Costco quinoa salad in serving bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Is the Costco Quinoa Salad healthy?

This Costco quinoa salad is incredibly healthful with whole, high-protein grains, lentils, and fresh vegetables and herbs. 

What happens if quinoa is not rinsed?

If quinoa is not rinsed well it can have a bitter soapy taste because of the saponin residue that sticks to the outside of the quinoa grains. 

Is this quinoa salad better hot or cold?

This quinoa salad is best cold and can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. 

More quinoa recipes

If you loved this salad recipe, you’ll love these other quinoa dishes:

Overhead close up of quinoa salad in bowl.

More copycat recipes

Did you try this copycat Costco quinoa salad recipe? 

If you loved this Costco copycat quinoa salad, I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a ⭐️star review⭐️! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

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Overhead close up of quinoa salad in bowl.

Copycat Costco Quinoa Salad

Make this copycat Costco Quinoa Salad at home for a healthy, hearty, and delicious grain-based salad studded with fresh veggies and fresh lemon dressing.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

Dressing:

Instructions

  • Add the red pepper, tomato, cucumber, kale, parsley, and chives and toss gently.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings with additional lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • For best results, refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

You can make this recipe ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week. Cooking the quinoa, rice, and lentils ahead of time and chopping the vegetables make assembling this recipe quick and easy.  Once prepared, just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Large Bowl

Nutrition

Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 557mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2487IU | Vitamin C: 53mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4mg

6 thoughts on “Copycat Costco Quinoa Salad (Easy Recipe!!!)”

  1. 5 stars
    Well, this quinoa salad is not only pretty it is perfectly delicious!! I hate cooking brown rice so I used one of those brown rice bowls from Costco and lentils from Rancho Gordo. And quinoa in the pressure cooker…..I never knew…..thank you!

    Reply
  2. In the ingredients there is no mention of cilantro. In the directions it mentions cilantro. Is it supposed to be in the salad or no? It sounds delicious! Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Kari – Sorry about that! As I was testing the recipe, I had originally put cilantro in. But in my final version, I decided I liked it best with just parsley and chives. There was a typo in the recipe card, but it has been fixed now. Thanks for catching that!

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    This recipe has become a staple in my kitchen, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing such culinary brilliance. Looking forward to exploring more of your mouthwatering creations!

    Reply

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