Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa

This easy zucchini recipe, Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa, is layered with quinoa, nuts, cheese, and fresh herbs served as a side dish or salad.

Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa

Over at the coast a few weekends ago I was reminded of something I like about myself. And that is: I love cooking and waiting on my family! Which for me included a Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa recipe that I’m sharing here today! :)

Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa

I teared up as I drove away from the Pacific Ocean, heading for our home in southern Oregon, because I knew that our family time had come to an end.

Pacific City, OR

It’s what I was made for. Loving and feeding and helping my family.

And what I learned is that I want to cook and set the table for my family. I want to prepare the food–chop, measure, pour, stir, blend, mix– and pray for them as it nourishes their bodies and their souls. I say souls, because we usually have deep conversations around the table that far exceed any light chit-chat. Mixed in with laughter, of course. Someone is always making fun of themselves, or cracking a joke or two.

I even found myself doing the dishes, happy to be doing them, and felt connected, and loved that I could be doing such a task.

Our time together was centered around the food we ingested, the dirty plates, the silverware and stemware. I rinsed, I washed, and I dried. And then I did it again.

But I had a joyful heart (which honestly, I don’t always have at home, with tasks like these).

Pacific City, OR

Even though life is often hectic, and with so many seemingly unnecessary chores, this trip reminded me how very blessed I am. It’s a natural expression of love, to take care of our families. :)

So I headed home with a new perspective.

Homemaking rituals and cooking (yummy new zucchini salad recipe) for my family is good, even while on vacation!

What’s your favorite way to use zucchini in a salad?

Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa

Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa
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Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 6


  • 1/2 cup quinoa cooked
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 lb. zucchini squash
  • 2 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan or Dubliner cheese plus 1/4 cup for later
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar or Sherry
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Ground pepper and salt
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup spicy pecans Trader Joe’s


  • Cook quinoa as directed; salt, and set aside.
  • Cut squash into very thin slices, any direction (lengthwise, crosswise, or rounds). Lay out on a plate and season with 2 tsp. of salt.
  • Let the squash sit for 15 minutes; rinse under cold water and dry (between paper towels).
  • Whisk the 2 Tbsp. of cheese, zest, lemon juice, and vinegar in a small bowl. Gradually add in the oil. Stir and season to taste.
  • Layer the squash, quinoa, parsley, pecans, parsley, and basil in a large serving platter. Pour dressing over and toss to coast the salad. Garnish with cheese and parsley and serve!

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9 comments on “Zucchini Summer Squash Salad with Quinoa”

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  3. This is the prettiest thing ever!!

  4. LOVE squash! We just picked up a pattypan squash at our local farmers market-ive never even heard of it before.

  5. I have no doubt you are the best wife and Mom ever! Loved hearing your words here my friend.

  6. Oh Sandy…first crying over cobbler…now zucchini! :-)

    I just love this post…and I feel exactly the same way. I love my family so much and I especially love taking caring of them. As you and I can both relate – when we were younger it wasn’t popular for our generation of “liberated women” to admit something like this. But now it’s great to be able to shout it from the mountain tops. :-) …or from the blog post! LOL!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of your heart. It means so much to me to know that there is someone else out there who feels the way I do.

    Much love to you and your family,

  7. What a wonderful time you had…so happy for you!! :)

  8. I love the fresh and new look on life that a trip can bring about. :)
    Wonderful Zucchini Summer Squash Salad!

  9. I had such fun following along with your vacation photos. My parents and I spent a lot of time on the Oregon coast when I was a kid, and your photos brought back some wonderful memories.

    This summer salad looks like the perfect way to nourish your family.

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