Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) has an impressive protein profile. It contains amino acids not normally found in grains, and it cooks in 15 minutes. In this salad inspired by the flavors of Latin America, the mild, nutty flavor of quinoa combines with pumpkin seeds, red peppers, jalapeno, tomato, and avocado to make a flavorful, filling meal.



Ingredient Checklist
For the Dressing
For the Salad and Protein


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

Cook's Notes

If the salad is made ahead of time, let it come to room temperature before serving; perk up its flavor with additional lemon juice if needed.

Reviews (4)

33 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 12
  • 3 star values: 11
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: Unrated
Why isn't the lemon juice on the list? How much do you put in?
Rating: Unrated
I did not see any lemon juice listed in the ingredients....how much lemon juice should I use to make the dressing?
Rating: Unrated
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.
Rating: Unrated
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!