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

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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 Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ 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!
Cuisine: American
Course: Salad
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