Bacon is one of my weaknesses. Something about the crispy, salty flavor wins me over anytime I see it. I decided to incorporate chopped cooked bacon into this veggie-full quinoa salad to add depth of flavor while keeping things pretty simple.
Quinoa, as we all know, is a superfood that's loaded with protein, fiber and good-for-your-body nutrients. By cooking the quinoa in a broth rather than water, it easily adds a ton of flavor without overpowering the dish.
When I make salads, I love putting together as many flavors as possible. Along with the crispy bacon, I added in some sugar snap peas, juicy tomatoes, peppers and raw corn, which is really good in this dish. This dish was a hit and is ready in no time. You can even make the bacon and quinoa ahead of time to keep your time in the kitchen minimal.
Smoky bacon-quinoa salad recipe
Crisp cooked bacon is tossed into quinoa along with crunchy snap peas, juicy tomatoes, peppers and raw corn kernels for a perfect summer side dish.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Inactive time: 10 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes
For the balsamic dressing
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
- 1/2 small shallot, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the quinoa salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
- 1/2 cup raw corn kernels (or canned if you don't want the corn raw)
- 2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
- 4 small mini sweet peppers, sliced thin
- 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
- To a blender, add all the ingredients for the balsamic dressing.
- Blend on high for 20 seconds or until smooth. Transfer to a jar, and set aside.
- To a medium-size pot, add the quinoa and vegetable (or chicken) broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Remove the quinoa from the heat, transfer it to a large mixing bowl, and let it cool for 10 minutes.
- To the mixing bowl, add the chopped bacon and remaining ingredients.
- Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad, and toss well.
- Serve immediately, or keep chilled until ready to serve.
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