Turn grainy salads into a playful meal by serving them inside lettuce cups.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (12 votes)


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 5 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 200 g (1 cup) quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes or paprika
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 8-10 cos heart lettuce leaves
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 15 min

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes or until transparent and fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally for another 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.

2. Add the quinoa and 500 ml (2 cups) water to the saucepan and stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper and chilli, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Stand until cool.

3. Just before serving, stir through the spring onions and parsley then check the seasoning. Scoop the quinoa salad into the lettuce leaves, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.


Catch Helen Tzouganatos whipping up lush gluten-free meals alongside guests in the brand new first series of Loving Gluten Free on SBS and SBS On Demand.