Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette |

 Fresh strawberries, basil, baby bocconcini tossed with quinoa and a spicy and sweet balsamic vinaigrette.

It’s July and that means it’s actual summer!  Not I’m-going-to-get-your-hopes-up-by-giving-you-one-good-day-and-5-rainy-days-June.  Buh-bye, June, see ya next year!

We have had some gorgeous weather lately.  There has been a lot of picnic blanket basking.  When I say basking, I mean wiggling toys in front of a baby’s face, changing them every 20 seconds or so to keep him entertained.  But still…better outside than inside right?  Everything feels more fun outside these days!

Actually it has been really fun watching Kai take everything in…he is fascinated by the wind blowing the leaves, the {completely obnoxious} magpies, and the neighbor’s lawnmower.  He has suddenly become so much more aware of his surroundings!  Less toy wiggling for me…win!

Well all of this picnic basking/nature watching means less time in the kitchen slaving over a meal.  So here’s another easy summer recipe that takes barely any time at all!

 Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette |

Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette |

I loooove caprese salad…tomato + basil + mozzarella = pure happiness for me.  Mostly for it’s simplicity, but also for the high ratio of cheese:vegetables.  When else do we get to eat so much cheese and still call it salad?

I don’t know where I found out that strawberry caprese salad is a thing.  Probably Pinterest.  I blame Pinterest for most of my weird ideas.

But guess what…I like this salad more than the original caprese salad!  Sorry tomatoes, but move aside…the strawberries are in town.

Then I added some quinoa because I love any old excuse to use quinoa.  It bulks up the salad and gives it a little more substance.  And it brings that extra healthy factor…to balance out the cheese.  Quinoa cancels out all cheese calories, right?

Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette |

Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad with a Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette |

The salad is tossed in a baslamic vinagirette sweetened with a touch of honey.  I added some cayenne to give it a kick, which was pretty nice with the rest of the salad components: the spiciness is balanced out by the cool bocconcini and basil, and the sweet strawberries.  If you aren’t a fan of spice or are serving this for your kiddos, leave out the cayenne, it is still a fantabulous salad!

Really, the only effort you have to put forth is to cook up some quinoa in advance.  My favorite way to cook my quinoa is in my rice cooker {side note- my rice cooker is probably the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen!}  You just have to rinse it, dump it in the rice cooker with water, and cook as you would normally cook rice.  Perfect quinoa, every time!

So there you have it: sweet and cool strawberry quinoa caprese salad tossed in a {spicy-if-you-want-it-to-be} balsamic vinaigrette.  Extra easy so you can spend more time picnic-blanket-basking!

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A refreshing summer salad that comes together in minutes and has strawberries, basil, bocconcini and quinoa tossed in a spicy balsamic vinaigrette.
Serves: 2-3
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup packed basil leaves {chopped coarsely}
  • ½ cup baby bocconcini, sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
  • ¼-1/2 tsp cayenne {taste and decide what you like}
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp Dijon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Mix cooled quinoa, strawberries, basil and bocconcini in a medium bowl.
  3. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients and toss into the salad.
  4. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Quinoa Caprese Salad @sweetpeasaffron

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