Do you ever buy those smoked almonds only to just eat the entire bag alone? Just me. Ok, Cool. Anyways, I was attempting to get that smoky goodness, but with a hearty green salad quinoa recipe.
Here we are, a quick salad that is hearty enough to be a “secret main dish” with vegetarian proteins from the almonds and quinoa. You could also top this salad with a grilled protein (chicken or steak). You could serve this as a side salad. Ready for a versatile summer salad?
These hearty quinoa salad recipe requires just 13 ingredients to make! Trust me, this one comes together quickly!
Let’s make Smoked Almond, Corn, and Quinoa Salad
Start by cooking the quinoa. If you’ve never cooked quinoa before you cook it just like you would rice. Rince 1/2 cup quinoa. Add to a medium pot with 1 cup water. (1:2 ratio) This will make 1.5 cups cooked quinoa. Bring to a boil. Immediately lower heat to low. Cover with a lid and allow to cook on low for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
TIME SAVER: Most grocery stores sell pre-cooked, microwaveable quinoa in the freezer section (Trader Joes has it! Fred Meyer has it! I bet you have it.)
Once you’ve cooked the quinoa, you can add it to the salad warm if you are in a time crunch. No harm.
Otherwise, allow to cool to room temperature.
Or store in the fridge if you are cooking it ahead of time and serve cold.
I like to broil or grill the corn. However, you could definetly just rinse a can of corn, or microwave some frozen corn. KEEP IT SIMPLE, FRIENDS.
Now it’s time to assemble! Simply:
- Add the baby kale to a large salad bowl with the halved tomatoes, corn, quinoa, golden raisins, and parmesan cheese.
- In a small bowl (or jar) add all the salad dressing ingredients. Whisk or shake to combine.
- Top the salad with the dressing right before serving.
- Top with chopped smoked almonds.
VERY IMPORTANT FACT – Don’t mix in the almonds. The smoky coating will mix into the salad as a whole and give you much less of a smoky, salty impact if you mix them in.
Cook the quinoa, broil the corn and prep the entire salad ahead. Just leave the salad dressing and the chopped smoked almonds on the side. Dress the salad and top with the almonds right beforehand.
Vegetarian – Works perfectly!
Vegan – Leave the cheese on the side.
Dairy-Free – Leave the cheese on the side.
Gluten-Free – Leave the nuts on the side. Allow your guest to read the ingredients to confirm. Every brand is different.
Nut-Free – Leave the nuts on the side. Careful of cross-contamination. Don’t transport chopped nuts in the salad bowl, even if they are in a separate container.
Side Salad – Serves 6
Main Dish – Serves 3-4 (topping with a grilled protein will stretch this)
I hope you LOVE this salad! It’s:
A “Secret Main Dish”
& Oh, so tasty!
I love to serve this alongside all the things at a summer barbeque like my Sweet + Spicy Oven Baked Ribs.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #eternalhostess on Instagram. Enjoy!
- 5 ounces baby kale
- 1 cup quinoa (cooked and cooled)
- 1 cup corn (roughly 1 cob)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
Lemon-Dijon Salad Dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup smoked almonds (roughly chopped)
- Cut corn off the cob (or use frozen or canned corn) and combine with 1 tablespoon oil on a baking sheet. Place under broiler until slightly browned, roughly 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine baby kale, cooked quinoa, cherry tomatoes, golden raisins, and corn.
- In a small bowl combine all the salad dressing ingredients – olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Right before serving, dress the salad and toss to mix.
- Top with chopped smoked almonds.
- Serving Size is based on this being a side dish. If you are serving as a main dish, this will serve 3-4
- Cook Quinoa like you would rice. Rince 1/2 cup quinoa. Add to a medium pot with 1 cup water. (1:2 ratio) This will make 1.5 cups cooked quinoa.
Bring to a boil. Immediately lower heat to low. Cover with a lid and allow to cook on low for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Uncover and fluff with a fork.