A comfort food all the way, this delicious dish highlights healthy quinoa, the sweetness of summer corn and peas, and the cheesy goodness of Parmesan. It is a country-style salad that is a welcome side at any summertime picnic, barbeque or dinner.
The original recipe called for fregola. Kelly Rossiter's version of the recipe calls for couscous. I changed it once again, using quinoa instead. Really, any of these will work well, so it only depends on your preferences. That also goes for your cheese preference. Though this recipe calls for Parmesan, there are many cheeses that would work well, from Gouda to provolone to feta.
If you want a vegan version, simply leave out the cheese. While it won't have the same thickness of texture that the cheese provides as it binds the ingredients together, it will still be wonderfully delicious and fresh tasting.

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 30 minutes 

Total time: 40 minutes 

Yield: 4-6 servings

Country-style Quinoa Salad with Sweet Corn and Peas


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 cup hot vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese, or as needed
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and stir into water. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered to allow to finish steaming.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add oil, corn, peas, scallions, and vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kernels are soft and the broth is reduced by about half. 
  3. Remove from heat, add the cooked quinoa and cheese, and stir to combine, letting the cheese melt and thicken the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve this salad hot or cold, depending on your preference. It's perfect for dinner or lunch all week long.

Related recipes on MNN:

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.