Quinoa Pantry Potluck Salad


Our lives have been an exercise in controlled chaos for the past month. So when my husband reminded me around noon of a family barbecue we had that evening, I can confidently say I had forgotten all about it.

Knowing we were responsible for bringing a side dish and that I had no opportunity to get to the store before leaving the house for the night, I raided the pantry and fridge to see what my options were.

The result is this Pantry Potluck Salad!

I was asked numerous times for the recipe that evening and was sad when I had no leftovers to bring home for lunch the next day (the true test of a dish).

I would call that a success!

My go to base for any dinner party salad is usually kale, but in this case I didn’t have enough to feed 8-12 people. I expanded my thought process and moved to the pantry where a full bag of tricolor quinoa was just waiting to be used.

Knowing I wanted at least a little bit of green, I chopped spinach into fine strips and mixed it with the quinoa. Pistachios, feta and dried cranberries added crunch, tang and sweetness so that every taste was satisfied.

It was a hit!

It’s perfect for any barbecue or potluck because it’s delicious at room temperature and can pair with just about any main dish. If you know it will be sitting out for a while, you can leave out the feta and have a vegan dish that will stand an afternoon in the sun.

I used 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa knowing I’d be feeding a crowd. If you are making this for yourself for the week, I would decrease this to 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (and adjust the other ingredients accordingly).

So the next time you forget about a dinner party or potluck, turn to this Pantry Potluck Salad to save the day!

Pantry Potluck Salad

Servings 10


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups spinach (cut into fine ribbons)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook quinoa according to package directions and let cool for 10-15 minutes at room temperate
  • Mix in all other ingredients
  • Enjoy!