Charred Corn & Avocado Quinoa Salad

Quick Summary

Quinoa Salad with charred corn, avocado, poblano peppers, cotija cheese, and a simple cilantro lime dressing. This healthy gluten-free salad is full of flavor and a summer favorite!

corn avocado quinoa salad

I know, I kind of have a quinoa salad obsession, but I am not going to apologize for sharing another quinoa salad recipe because I know you are going to LOVE this one.

This Charred Corn & Avocado Quinoa Salad is incredible! It is loaded with flavor and the perfect side dish for summertime. I took it to a cookout over the weekend and everyone was begging for the recipe. It was the first salad to go! I was thrilled everyone loved it, but kind of sad I didn’t have any leftovers, ha! It’s ok, I will make this one again and again!

how to make corn and avocado quinoa salad

Salad Ingredients

The flavors are BEYOND! I am blown away every time I take a bite. Quinoa is the base and then the salad gets charred corn, roasted poblano peppers, avocado, cilantro, cotija cheese, and a refreshing cilantro lime dressing.

  • Quinoa– you can use any color of quinoa.
  • Sweet corn– fresh sweet corn is best, that is why this salad is perfect for summertime.
  • Poblano peppers– Poblanos are typically sold when they are unripe and green in color, making them mild in flavor. Roasting poblanos mellows them out even more, making them slightly sweet and full of flavor.
  • Cilantro– fresh cilantro compliments every ingredient in this dish!
  • Cotija cheese– Cotija is a Mexican cow’s milk cheese. It’s white in color, firm and dry in texture, and salty and milky in flavor. You can find it at most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can use feta cheese or queso fresco.
  • Avocados– use ripe avocados!

If you wanted to make this more of a main dish salad, you could toss in some grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken. Black beans or chickpeas would also be a good protein boost.

Salad Dressing

The cilantro lime salad dressing is easy to whisk up and it really brightens up the salad.

You will need: olive oil, fresh lime juice, cilantro, garlic, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper. That is it! Almost too easy!

charred corn and avocado quinoa salad recipe

How to Make Charred Corn & Avocado Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad is going to be a summer staple!

  • Let’s start with the quinoa. Make sure you always rinse your quinoa before cooking to get rid of the bitter-tasting compound (saponin) that coats the tiny seeds.
  • Cook the quinoa and set aside.
  • Grill the corn on outdoor grill or on an indoor grill pan until lightly charred. Carefully remove kernels from the cob with a sharp knife and set aside.
  • Char the poblano peppers over a high flame on the grill, over a flame on a gas stove, or in the oven.
  • Once peppers are blackened, place them in a plastic bag or paper bag and seal. Allow them to steam in the bag for about 10 minutes to loosen the skin. Pull and rub off as much of the loose black skin as possible. Chop up the peppers.
  • Add the sweet corn, poblano peppers, cilantro, cotija cheese, and avocados to the cooked quinoa.
  • To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Pour dressing over the salad and stir until mixed well. Taste salad and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately or chilled.

Serving Suggestions

This is a great side dish to any meal, but here are a few of our favorites to make with this salad.

How to Store

The salad is best the day it is made because of the avocado, but it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The avocado might brown a little, but it should be ok because the lime juice in the dressing will help prevent browning. I always eat the leftovers and I think they are fine:)

corn avocado quinoa salad on plate

More Quinoa Salad Recipes

Charred Corn & Avocado Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad with charred corn, avocado, poblano peppers, cotija cheese, and a simple cilantro lime dressing. This gluten-free salad is a summer favorite!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

For the Salad:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese
  • 2 avocados, chopped

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and let the quinoa come to room temperature.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, grill the corn on outdoor grill or on an indoor grill pan until lightly charred. Carefully remove kernels from the cob with a sharp knife and set aside.
  • Char the poblano peppers over a high flame on the grill or over a flame on a gas stove. Use tongs to rotate the pepper every couple of minutes or so until all sides are black. You can also char the peppers under the broiler in the oven. Place the peppers on a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Broil poblanos for 5 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered. Carefully flip them over and broil for another 5 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered.
  • Once peppers are blackened, place them in a plastic bag or paper bag and seal. Allow them to steam in the bag for about 10 minutes to loosen the skin. Pull and rub off as much of the loose black skin as possible. Chop up the peppers.
  • Add the sweet corn, poblano peppers, cilantro, cotija cheese, and avocados to the quinoa.
  • To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, honey, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Pour dressing over the salad and stir until mixed well. Taste salad and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately or chilled.

Notes

This salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 117mg, Potassium: 492mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 340IU, Vitamin C: 31mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 2mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I made this for a party last night. It was da bomb. I don’t ever remember a recipe being such a huge hit. Yummy!!!

  2. Quinoa is such a great pantry staple to have around. It pairs so well with avocado and I can’t wait to try it with corn! I haven’t had red quinoa yet. Does it taste different than white quinoa?

  3. Made this tonight and it’s really freshing and delicious!! I couldnt find the cotija cheese so i did the suggested alternative of feta and i think it was the perfect addition. Thanks so much!

  4. I have to admit my family is yet to try this healthy food. We have toyed with it but for some reason have not made the leap. This recipe might be the cog that pushes us over the top and makes us a quinoa convert. I do not know why we seem to have missed the bandwagon, as it really is a great food choice. Thanks for opening our minds.

    Christine

  5. That looks amazing, hopefully the taste measure up to the look. I am looking to incorporate quinoa based recipes into my cuisine this year, and this looks like an excellent addition, thanks for sharing.

  6. Tried this recipe and it is AMAZING! All these flavors together are just perfect for a summer meal! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Just made this for dinner – loved it!! It says 6-8 servings but as a main course my husband and I managed to eat it ALL! 🙂

  8. I LOVE this recipe! Reminds me of chaskas on the beach (usually served as corn in a cup with lime, chile, cheese, cream in Mexico), but it’s not very good for you if you load it with cream. Anyways, thanks for the recipe. I included it on my blog where I collect healthy, tasty salad recipes from around the web.

    Here’s the link: http://www.mariasalad.com/charred-corn-avocado-quinoa-salad-recipe/

    I’d love to add more of your salad recipes so please let me know if you don’t want me to use them.

    Thanks again!
    Maria

  9. What would you serve this with? I’m making dinner for a friend who needs help right now and she’s love these flavors but I want to flesh out the meal a bit more.
    Thanks.

  10. This looks delicious but I can’t eat cilantro. Do you have a suggestion for an alternative ingredient? Thanks

  11. Delicious!!! Thank you!! So simple light and healthy. Marinated some shrimp in the yummy dressing and popped it on the grill then served. Thank you!!

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