Background There is limited knowledge about dietary quality among the adult population in low- and middle income countries (LMICs). This study aims to describe dietary quality among the adult Saharawi refugee population and to investigate whether dietary quality is associated with socioeconomic status. Methods In 2014, a cross-sectional survey was carried out in the Saharawi refugee camps, Algeria. A three-staged cluster sampling was performed and 180 women and 175 men, aged 18–82 years, were randomly selected. The dietary intake was assessed by 24-h dietary recall and dietary diversity score (DDS) was calculated. Socioeconomic status was assessed using the WAMI index (sanitation, assets, education and income). Results The mean DDS among the total sample was 3.8 ± 1.4 and 2/3 of participant were at risk of low dietary adequacy. The main food groups consumed were starchy staple foods, flesh foods, and dairy. Vitamin A-rich dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds and eggs were the food groups least consumed. The multiple regression model showed a positive association between DDS and the WAMI index (P < 0.001) and a negative association between DDS and age (p = 0.01). Conclusions Low DDS was associated with low socioeconomic status. Programmes to improve the dietary quality among the Saharawi refugees should be implemented.