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Quinoa and Corn Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) has an impressive protein profile. It contains amino acids not normally found in grains, and it cooks in 15 minutes. It has a pleasing crunch and mild, nutty flavor. If the quinoa salad is made ahead of time, let it come to room temperature before serving; perk up its flavor with additional lemon juice if needed.

  • Servings: 4
Quinoa and Corn Salad with Pumpkin Seeds

Photography: James Wojcik

Source: Body+Soul, July/August 2005


  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained (about 4 cups cooked)
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob
  • 1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 medium head red-leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried, small inner leaves reserved for future use
  • 2 ripe medium tomatoes, cored and cut in thin wedges
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted


  1. Bring 2 3/4 cups water to boil in a small saucepan and stir in the quinoa and some salt. Return to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat, place corn kernels on top of quinoa, cover pan, and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir corn into quinoa, remove from pan, and spread out on baking sheet to cool for about 20 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, oil, and salt to taste; set aside.

  3. Place cooled quinoa and corn, red pepper, cucumber, scallions, jalapeno, and cilantro in large bowl. Add 1/2 cup dressing (or more to taste) and salt to taste; mix until combined.

  4. Place large lettuce leaves side by side in a circle around a large serving platter so the curly tops extend just beyond the platter rim. Mound quinoa salad in center.

  5. Arrange tomato, avocado, and lime around quinoa on top of leaves. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over salad. Serve immediately or hold briefly at room temperature.

Reviews (12)

  • squirrelly69 11 Aug, 2013

    Why isn't the lemon juice on the list? How much do you put in?

  • sarah_georgie 23 Jul, 2013

    I did not see any lemon juice listed in the much lemon juice should I use to make the dressing?

  • siderius tonya 21 Sep, 2012

    Yes, this is over 600 calories per serving, but the servings sizes are REALLY big. I could only eat half a serving for lunch; it's so filling and yummy.

  • SusanStearns 10 Feb, 2012

    Just made this and it is wonderful! I added a can of organic black beans and more pepitas than suggested. The taste is fantastic! Thanks so much for my first experience with quinoa!

  • gaillhanson 26 Sep, 2011

    where do you find the nutritional information for recipes?

  • khodgecpm 19 Sep, 2011

    This is the kind of recipe that when you take it to the party it is a huge hit and everybody wants the recipe. Packed full of really good for you things. I have made this recipe at least 15 times.

  • MsProserpine 24 Jun, 2011

    My husband and I loved this recipe! We excerpted a couple of items due to preference (my husband doesn't like tomatoes or avocados - I prefer to have avocado as a snack anyway). We also reduced to amount of olive oil called for the second time as we found it to be a bit too much. I would suggested even half the recommended dose above. Otherwise, we were once again very pleased with the recipes on this website.

  • mgiardina 8 Jun, 2011

    Made the recipe but found it rather bland. Think 1 1/2 cups of quinoa is too much.

  • blroll 20 May, 2011

    I really like the idea of the 10-day reboot, but you are making it cumbersome by forcing me to use ziplist, which failed after the third recipe. Adding each recipe to the shopping list individually is time consuming. A single web page or download containing the 10-day recipes and shopping list would be so much easier. Also, I am not fond of there an alternate?

  • peppersmaid 9 Jan, 2011

    643 calories per serving?! How can I make this lighter?

  • marlowlu 15 Jun, 2010

    I made this a while ago but as I remember it was a pretty solid recipe. Quinoa is great. I suggest storing your pumpkin seeds and avocado and adding them as you go through the salad (if it's not getting eaten all at once) to keep them fresh.

  • amrin 13 Jun, 2008

    This salad is delicious and good for you. I have converted so many people to quinoa using this salad. Try it!

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