Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs

By Sally Cameron on August 06, 2014

beans, legumes & grains, Gluten-Free, Salads and Dressings, Side Dishes, the daniel plan, Vegan

Friends recently came for dinner and I served this salad along with grilled shrimp, asparagus and a plate of sliced heirloom tomatoes with Burrata and Balsamic. I really did throw it together at the last minute and didn’t even measure quantities, so it’s one of those kind of things you can eye and adjust.  Michelle said, please post this! So here you go my dear friend.

While fresh summer corn lingers at the market, grill a few cobs, cut off the caramelized kernels and toss it with some cooked quinoa, olive oil and herbs. Such a simple and delicious summer salad, and a great way to use extra grilled corn. Top grilled corn and quinoa salad with grilled chicken or shrimp, or enjoy on its own.

Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad |

Start With Grilled Corn on the Cob

A few weeks ago I shared a simple recipe, really more of a technique, for grilled corn on the cob. Did you try it? It’s so easy! I always grill a few extra cobs for a recipe such as this. To grill corn, strip all of the husk and silk. A soft vegetable brush will scrub off any stuck on corn silk.

While the photo above looks nice with the fancy tie job at the top, that was just for a neat photo. Seriously, rip it all off and toss it. Heat up your grill, smear the corn with a little olive oil and place on a clean, medium-hot grill. Close the lid.

Don’t be alarmed if you hearing popping. Some kernels will pop like popcorn. Every couple of minutes, look in and turn the cobs with tongs to get even charring. How much is up to you. It takes just a few minutes (maybe 7-9) depending on how hot your grill is and how much char you want.

After grilling, cut cobs in half crosswise. That gives you two flat ends. Stand the cob on end while you slice down the sides, freeing the kernels.

Grilled Corn on the Cob |

Make A Batch of Basic Quinoa

If you are not yet familiar with quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), it’s time to learn about this marvelous psuedo-grain (it’s really a seed). Read this post to get up to speed. Quinoa is available everywhere these days, either in bulk or in bags. I buy the tricolor blend or the red-white blend.

Before cooking, rinse raw quinoa in plenty of cold water through a fine sieve to remove the bitter outer coating called saponin. After the quinoa cooks and steam finishes, spread it out onto a rimmed baking sheet to cool.Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad|

Make The Salad

For the salad, simply mix the corn and quinoa, then add your favorite chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, dill, oregano, mint and chives. I used what was growing in my garden herb pots – chives, mint and oregano. The mint makes it refreshing. Add in a handful of pine nuts and dress with olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Still want to make it in the winter? Try using frozen roasted corn or grill extra and freeze your own.

Nutrition note – confused about the nutritional value of corn? Check out this post from Dr. Josh Axe.

Photography Note

Ahem. Drum roll please. I just have to share this. I took these photos! Yes! Me! Well, the two of the salad. Sorry, too many exclamation points. I am so excited to finally have my own camera, a new Canon 6D (thank you sweetheart). Time to put head knowledge into hands-on experience.

The days are long overdue that I start shooting, not just styling. I can see many of my photography and blogging friends (like Todd and Diane) nodding their heads. Diane’s voice rings in my ears, telling me to “pick up a camera” at a photography workshop we took a few years ago.

Why was I so hesitant for so long? I don’t know. I have a long ways to go and a lot to learn compared to my talented husband and my blogging friends, but that is okay. We all have to start somewhere. My goal is to post more often and bring more fresh, healthy and easy recipes to your kitchen.

Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs

An easy summer side salad, use grilled corn and quinoa, plus lots of fresh herbs and pine nuts. Healthy, easy and it keeps in the fridge for a few days to enjoy multiple ways. In summer, grill your own corn ahead of time. In winter, use frozen roasted corn. When I first made this I just threw everything together last minute and didn’t even write down quantities, so adjust to your desire.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup grilled corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs mint, chives, oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Add cooked quinoa, corn, nuts and herbs to a medium bowl and mix gently. Whisk olive oil and lemon juice together and toss with the quinoa and corn. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust to your preference.
1 Comment
  1. Michelle K - August 6th, 2014

    WHOOO-HOOO! First, I am so glad you mentioned at the bottom of the blog that the two photos of the salad were your photos because I never would have guessed! They were great, no more hesitating now that we all know your photos are great. You got this! Second, thanks for posting, I have 2 ears of roasted corn left from last night, and it will be the perfect side dish to go with some organic chicken we baked last night too, as we made extra for tonights concert in the park. I love that it’s a little of this and a little of that; very flexible. That happens to be my favorite kind of recipe.

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