Quinoa Salad with Tomato and Corn

Cooking for One or Two, Recipes, Worknight Dinners


Quinoa was a mystery to me until less than a year ago, as was the idea of a quinoa salad.

I didn’t even know how to say the word.


I just thought it was one of those super health foods that you had to be a super health nut to eat, and therefore I wasn’t really interested.

I know, that’s bad.

I do try to live a pretty healthy lifestyle, but I also try not to take it to the extreme. Maybe it’s because I think it would be too easy to get obsessed with it all. Maybe its because I think the exceptionally nutritious stuff might not taste as good. Maybe I don’t really want to think about it when I’m trying to maneuver my way through a barbecue bacon cheeseburger.

Someone get this girl some help.

Enter quinoa, the mystery seed.

Not quite a grain, not quite a cereal (it’s actually classified as a pseudo-cereal), but quite healthy indeed. It’s a complete protein source (which means it has a balanced set of amino acids that are essential for us), it’s high in fiber, calcium and iron, and it’s gluten-free. It seems that quinoa is kind of an overachiever. And much to my delight, it’s delicious.

Consider me a quinoa convert. Now that I have tasted, I am responsible.

So let me share with you one of my favorite ways to enjoy this pseudo-cereal.

It’s fantastic with sweet crisp corn, and I love it just like that, but for this dish I added a couple other vegetables to make it into an exciting, wonderfully fresh side salad.

It can be enjoyed warm or cold, at home or by the lake. Rather perfect.

Quinoa, Tomato and Corn Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ¾ cup sweet corn (1 cob if you are using fresh)
  • ⅓ cup chopped tomato
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1-2 T. chopped cilantro, according to your taste
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Smoked paprika, to taste (optional)
  • Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • Olive oil
  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  2. While it’s cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a swirl of olive oil. When oil is heated (1-2 minutes), add onion and cook about 1-2 minutes, until onion is starting to look translucent. Add corn and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika (if using). Turn heat up to medium-high. Cook, stirring the mixture occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes. Add tomato and lime juice and stir.
  3. Your quinoa should be about done at this point. Add the cooked quinoa to the skillet and stir. Add the cilantro and season to taste with additional salt, pepper and smoked paprika, if desired. Serve lukewarm or chill in fridge. If using feta, wait until salad has slightly (or completely) cooled before stirring it in.

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  • Reply
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
    July 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Yeah, I’ve definitely been saying this “keh-noh-ah” for the past three or four months (which is as long as I’ve known it existed). And then when I heard somebody talking about “keen-wah” on the Food Network, I had absolutely no clue what this rice-y-type grain thingamabob they were using was. Then I realized. One and the same.

    Live and learn, I guess? Yay for yummy things with funny names that are good for us, too.

  • Reply
    sheila @ Elements
    July 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Looks and sounds so yummy…especially with the feta cheese! I love quinoa, and my favorite way to eat is to include it in my Greek salads. I’ll have to try it this way too! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Looks pretty and tasty!

  • Reply
    Kate (What Kate is Cooking)
    July 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I used to think the same thing about quinoa! It wasn’t until Costco started selling it for cheap that I started buying it, and I ended up loving it 🙂

  • Reply
    July 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

    What a lovely salad. I really like the ingredients you’ve combined here. This sounds delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    lisa @ smart food and fit
    July 24, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I love quinoa, great flavor combinations.

  • Reply
    July 24, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I LOVE quinoa!!! We’ve got some leftover southwestern quinoa salad in our fridge and will be having that for a few days. So good and so healthy. Have a great rest of the weekend Maris!!!!!!

  • Reply
    T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types
    July 24, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I LOVE quinoa. It’s a little expensive at the Korean grocery where I buy it, so I’m still looking for bulk purchase options. One great thing I’ve found is that if you cook up a batch it keeps well in the refrigerator and can be added to salads throughout the week.

  • Reply
    July 24, 2011 at 6:41 am

    I’ve only ever had sweet quinoa before so this salad looks yummo! Am still trying to fall in love with quinoa though…I tried the white and black versions and I think I prefer the black ones!

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 24, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Hehe I love it now too but was stumped on how to pronounce it too at first. I think of it like Joaquin Phoenix-hard to pronounce too! 😛

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Not only haven’t I pronounced this word ever, I haven’t eaten any either. I will endeavor to change that this week. (okay I said it out loud – and correctly. one down one to go)

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    lovely healthy summer salad

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Looks great. I mispronounced it for years!

  • Reply
    lynn @ the actor's diet
    July 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    i love this cooking for 2 recipe!!! esp. vegetarian. you posted this for me, right? 😉

  • Reply
    Elle @ We can begin to feed...
    July 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Quinoa has become one of my favorite grains and I love to make up new ways to use it… hot or cold, and often for breakfast, too.

  • Reply
    Lisa from Lisas Yarns
    July 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Oh yum! I love quinoa and am always looking for new recipes for quinoa. Last night I made quinoa veggie burgers! Mm!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    What a great mix of flavors. Awesome post.

  • Reply
    Maria @ Scandifoodie
    July 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I love quinoa – this is a perfect meal!

  • Reply
    Baking Serendipity
    July 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I’m new to quinoa (for many of the same reasons as you!). I do have fresh corn (cut off the cob) from last night’s dinner and think it needs to make it’s way into this recipe 🙂 Thanks! Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I think this salad sounds like a fantastic combination!

  • Reply
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos
    July 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    ahhh love the flavors you put with quinoa here – hahaha i would be tempted to throw in an avocado too :D.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    haha- my MIL just asked me the other day if I use quinoa (and said it wrong) and then proceeded to say…I know I say it wrong but I just don’t care 🙂 It is pretty delicious. And I LOVE that its a complete protein. Your recipe looks very summery and tasty!

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