Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad
This grilled chicken quinoa salad is a one-bowl wonder of quinoa, grilled chicken and corn, red bell peppers, pine nuts, basil and feta cheese. It’s as perfect for a light meal as it is served at a summer potluck!
I love the mixture of grilled ingredients and fresh ingredients in this recipe. The grilled corn is smoky and tender, but the red pepper is bright and has a nice crunch. And combined with the fluffy quinoa, it really is a delicious blend of flavors and textures.
So many other veggies— like tomatoes, avocado, olives and zucchini— would be a lovely addition so feel free to get creative. You can also leave out the chicken for an easy vegetarian option.
This grilled chicken quinoa salad is perfect for whatever you need it to be— easy dinner, side dish, or hearty lunch. It would also be wonderful for a backyard barbecue.
Why you’ll love this quinoa salad
- It’s fresh and light, but hearty.
- It’s easily adaptable to whatever veggies etc. you have on hand. Make it how you want it!
- It keeps really well so it’s a great make-ahead dish.
Ingredients you’ll need
How to make this grilled chicken quinoa salad
- Grill chicken and corn on the cob. Season chicken and corn on the cob and grill over medium high heat until chicken is cooked through and corn is slightly charred. The corn will cook quickly, rotate it often to prevent burning.
- Cook the quinoa. Cook quinoa with chicken broth in a covered medium saucepan for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and let it cool slightly before assembling the salad.
- Chop everything up. Chop the chicken, red bell pepper, and remove the corn from the cob.
- Toss and combine. Now it’s time to add it all together! Toss quinoa with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken, corn, red pepper, pine nuts, feta and basil.
- Serve immediately or store for later. Serve it warm, room temperature or cold. If you are serving it later, cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge.
Tips for this recipe
- I used skinless chicken breasts this time, however I have also made it with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Either way is delicious!
- You can also sub in your favorite protein, like steak, shrimp, tofu, beans, etc.
- You can cook the chicken and corn over a gas or charcoal grill, or you can cook indoors in a cast iron skillet or grill pan.
- To easily remove corn from the cob, place it upright inside of a bowl to catch all the kernels, and cut straight down with a straight knife, all the way around the cob. Here’s a video showing you an easy way to do it with a bundt pan.
- I love the look of rainbow/tri-color quinoa so it’s what I always use, but traditional white quinoa will work great too.
- Store this grilled chicken quinoa salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More summer salads
- The Best Homemade Potato Salad
- Classic Macaroni Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Panzanella Salad
This recipe was originally published May 2014.
Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad
- 4 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa)
- 2 ½ teaspoon salt , divided, plus more to taste
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper , plus more to taste
- 2 ears corn on the cob
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts , toasted
- ⅓ cup feta cheese
- 1 small bunch basil , chopped
- Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the quinoa and 1 teaspoon of the salt and stir until combined. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 more minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Season chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Cook on a grill preheated to medium high until internal temperature reaches 160°F, about 12-17 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Remove from grill and let cool slightly. Chop into ½ inch pieces.
- While the chicken is cooking, brush the corn cobs with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
- Place on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes, rotating every few minutes. Remove from grill and use a knife to remove corn kernels from the cob.
- To assemble the salad, in a large bowl combine the quinoa, chicken, corn, red pepper, pine nuts, half of the feta cheese and half of the basil. Garnish with remaining cheese and basil. Serve warm or cold.