BLT Quinoa Salad

Take your salad game to the next level with this BLT Quinoa Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing.

BLT Quinoa Salad

Vegans… Vegetarians… Countrymen… Don’t run.

There’s a brontosaurus-friendly version of this salad snuck into the post.

My darling T-Rex chefs?  I imagine you’re doing your proudest, most fanciful happy dance right now. I never thought I’d say this but… there’s bacon. on. the. blog.

Kind of crazy right?

Crazy delicious.  

BLT Quinoa Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing

BLT Quinoa Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing

BLT Quinoa Salad

Take your salad game to the next level with this BLT Quinoa Salad with Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword BLT Quinoa Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water or veggie broth
  • 4-6 slices additive-free bacon
  • as much crisp lettuce and juicy tomato as your heart desires

Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 3 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 3 TBSP quality mayo
  • 2 TBSP diced/minced caramelized vidalia onion (see below for instructions])
  • 1/2-1 TBSP vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion or onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt and pepper


  1. First grab your quinoa, pour into a sieve or mesh strainer, and rinse thoroughly to remove its natural coating.
  2. Shake out any excess water from the sieve, toss it in a pot and pat it dry with a few paper towels.
  3. Turn heat to medium and toast your quinoa to remove any leftover moisture.
  4. While toasting, continue to move the quiona around frequently [with a fork, spoon, tool of choice] so it doesn't burn. Once dry, add in your water or broth and increase heat to high.
  5. Once the quinoa reaches a boil, reduce to low/simmer and cover, leaving a small corner of the lid ajar to allow steam to escape. Set your timer for 12 minutes.
  6. New to quinoa? Here's a [visual/tutorial] of the cooking process!
  7. While the quinoa simmers away, cook your bacon [aim for crispy!] on a non-stick pan or skillet and set aside, leaving a tiny bit of leftover bacon grease in the pan.
  8. You can even set aside a little extra for re-toasting the quinoa once it's done fluffing; totally optional.
  9. Toss in your chopped onion [from the dressing recipe] and saute on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until caramelized and golden-brown. Add the onion to the remaining dressing ingredients and pulse in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  10. Set aside.
  11. No blender/processor? Mince the onions as small as you'd like them and simply whisk your dressing together! It won't be perfectly smooth but the flavor will still shine through!
  12. Leave the pan/skillet used for the bacon and onion on the stove. Once your quiona has finished cooking, fluff with a fork and toss onto the skillet and toast once more. Any leftovers from the bacon and onion will help deepen it's flavor.
  13. Season with salt and pepper and you're good to go!
  14. All that's left to do is pile your plates high with fresh lettuce, toasty quinoa, juicy ripe tomatoes and crispy bacon and drizzle with dressing. Dig in!


Try it with smoky maple tempeh bacon or crispy pan-fried tofu!

Also use your favorite oil (coconut, olive, etc…) to caramelize the onion for the dressing. Easy peasy!

BLT Salad with Toasted Quinoa and Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing

I’m LOVING this bread-free and gluten-free BLT hack. The bestie and I are were all about it but… the real test?  Paul. It’s always Paul.

While he loves bacon, he’s not quite marching in the quinoa pride parade yet [quinoa fried rice might be the only way I can get it in him!] so I was super nervous for him to try this BLT Quinoa Salad.  Something magical must have happened when the bacon and quinoa collided because he INHALED this salad as quickly as I did. Consider his quinoa horizons broadened!

But enough about my picky partner-in-crime — back to the salad!

The toasty quinoa makes a fabulous substitute for bread and the creamy Dijon dressing packs way more flavor than the plain mayo that BLTs are normally slathered in.  Factor in some super ripe in-season tomatoes and I’m basically in BLT heaven.  I scarfed mine for lunch but this recipe could easily be served up as a side salad at dinnertime or as a side for a party or potluck.  Simply set the dressing aside until it’s time to chow down!  And in case you need a few more t-rex and brontosaurus salads for your arsenal, check out the posts below!

If you get a chance to try this BLT Quinoa Salad, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

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  • ged4sure

    I love food as much as I love eating guapples! Now I’m craving. :))

  • Now you’re quoting Julius Cesear (it was really Marc Anthony’s soliloquy yes?) but with a salad like this, I can totally see why.

  • I completely agree with you about buying pastured/grass fed animal products. It kind of defeats the purpose of going paleo or primal if you consume factory farmed animals. I’d rather eat pastured animal products a few times a week, than factory farmed meat everyday. quality over quantity!

  • Haha additive free/ sketch free bacon sounds good to me!

  • Oh my goshhhhh wow. That looks amazing. I’ll have to try that sometime VERY soon!! You are so awesome at cooking! I love all your recipes!

  • This looks soooo yummy! I love quinoa, but my husband is also adverse. Altho I am going to have to revamp the dressing a bit. Due to yeast allergies, I am unable to have the mayo, mustard, vinegar or honey (I know, right?!?) But I was thinking something with avocado for creaminess, some dry ground mustard, and a little ACV. Hmmm… I may have to play with that one a bit. Any suggestions?

    • It will still be absolutely delicious sans quinoa — you could even use a few homemade croutons in the salad if you’d like! Allergies can be a total pain — you poor thing! Using ACV sounds marvelous [glad you can have that!] and either an avo for creaminess or maybe even a little of a healthy vegan mayo or sour cream? I’d play around and taste as you go — Even if you just grab some extra virgin olive oil and ACV for a dressing it should still be divine! <3 xoxo Keep me posted!

  • This looks so yummy! I am having a full blown obsession with quinoa at the moment so I’m all over this recipe!

  • I can’t eat Quinoa as I’m allergic otherwise I’d be all over this one!

  • I’m not a meat eater but I appreciate that you support humane and healthy practices for animals. Good for you! 🙂

  • I need to start buying dijon mustard. This is like the 4th recipe I’ve seen this week that uses it.

  • Yum! 🙂 Favorite summer salads would probably involve either fruit or some type of corn salsa.

    I’m so excited that you’re getting closer to your due date!! 🙂 🙂

  • Loving the healthy take on a BLT. It looks delish!

    After being vegetarian for 10-11 years, I added meat back into my diet this year, mainly chicken, to help with my migraines. But I too try get it from good sources. I pick organic and free range animal products where my budget will allow.

    • Thanks schnookums! Since I added it back in these past few years [I think I only made it 6 years as a vegetarian – you’re a rockstar!] I’ve felt so much better! I’m hoping your dietary revamp helps with the migraines super soon! xoxo

  • Like looks A-MAZING!! Must try! Pinning it.

  • This is a fabulous idea!! I will definitely have to give this a try with vegetarian “bacon!”

  • You had be at b in BLT.

    Bacon makes me happy

  • yum, who doesnt love a good ole BLT, and on salad. Ill take it! Looks so good!

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