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Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad

Inspired by the Indigenous foods of South America, this medley of nutty quinoa and caramelized grilled corn makes a great main course for plant-based diners or a satisfying side for omnivores.
grilled corn and quinoa salad
  • Makes 4 servings
  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ears sweet corn
  • 5 tbs. avocado oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 large jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or pepitas


Bring the water to a boil in a small pot. Add the quinoa and return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the grain is tender. Let cool while you prepare the corn.
Preheat the grill to high. Shuck the corn, brush off the silk, and place the ears in a large bowl. Brush the corn with 1 tablespoon of the ­avocado oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
When the grill is hot, oil the grate with 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Grill the corn, turning with tongs every couple of minutes, until the corn is tender and browned in spots on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer back to the bowl and allow to cool.
Use a knife to cut the kernels off the ears and into the bowl. Add the quinoa and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil with the lime juice, then stir in the jalapeños and garlic. Pour over the corn and quinoa mixture.
Add the tomato and pine nuts and stir to mix. Add more salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to three days.

For more plant-based grilling recipes, see “Vegan Grill Recipes“.

Photos: Andrea D’Agosto; Prop Styling: Alicia Buszczak; Food Stylist: Paul Jackman

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Robin Asbell

Robin Asbell is a Minneapolis-based recipe developer and cookbook author.


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