BLT Quinoa Salad

Take your salad game to the next level with this BLT Quinoa Salad featuring smoky bacon, fresh lettuces, juicy tomatoes, and a creamy homemade dressing.

BLT Quinoa Bowl

I love a good BLT.

It’s one of those classic sandwiches that is nearly impossible to mess up.

All you need are some juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh lettuce, crisp bacon, and a creamy spread. Serve it up on some toasty bread and it’s faceplant city up in here!

Today I decided to get a little feisty with the classic and serve my BLT up salad-style.

I kept almost all the ingredients the same, but swapped toasted bread for lightly toasted quinoa (croutons would work awesome here too!) and turned the typical mayo spread into a speedy buttermilk-esque dressing that’s perfect for drizzling!

GAME. ON.

Quinoa Salad with Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato

special diets and swaps

While this one may have my T-Rex friends in mind, you can 100% snag some plant-based bacon bits and turn this salad into a vegetarian BLT salad instead. WOOT!

You could also try it with smoky maple tempeh bacon or crispy pan-fried tofu seasoned with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

As written the salad is gloriously gluten-free.

BLT Quinoa Salad

It’s kind of crazy right?

CRAZY DELICIOUS, that is!

If you get a chance to try this BLT quinoa salad, let me know!

Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

BLT Quinoa Salad Bowl
5 from 3 votes
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BLT Quinoa Salad

Take your salad game to the next level with this BLT Quinoa Salad featuring smoky bacon, fresh lettuces, juicy tomatoes, and a creamy homemade dressing.

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword BLT Quinoa Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 345 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3-4 slices additive-free bacon
  • 4 cups green leaf lettuce or favorite leafy green lettuce
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half

Creamy BLT Salad Dressing

  • 4 TBSP sour cream
  • 3 TBSP quality mayo
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed with a garlic press
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 TBSP milk

Instructions

  1. First whisk together the dressing to give it time for the flavors to mix and meld. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients with just 1 Tablespoon of the milk. Whisk well and use any additional milk to thin the dressing to desired consistency. Conver and refrigerate until ready to eat.

  2. Rinse and drain your quinoa using a mesh strainer or sieve to remove its natural coating. Bring a small pot to medium heat and lightly toast the quinoa to remove any excess water. Stir as it toasts for just a few minutes. This step is optional but really adds to the nuttiness and fluff factor of the quinoa! Next add your water, set burner to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for 12-13 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has been absorbed.

  3. New to quinoa? Here's a (visual/tutorial) of the cooking process!

  4. While the quinoa simmers away, cook bacon via your favorite method. I like to coarsely chop it into pieces and cook in a skillet until nice and crispy. It only takes a few minutes!

  5. Onve the bacon and quinoa are ready, all that's left to do is pile your plates high with fresh lettuce, toasty quinoa, juicy ripe tomatoes and crispy bacon! Drizzle with dressing and dive in!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts below are estimated for the salad only using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Each TBSP of dressing is approx. 24 calories. Adjust as needed based on desired serving and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
BLT Quinoa Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 345 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 22mg7%
Sodium 266mg12%
Potassium 925mg26%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 5155IU103%
Vitamin C 58.9mg71%
Calcium 65mg7%
Iron 4.2mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

I’m LOVING this bread-free and gluten-free BLT hack. The bestie and I are were all about it but the real test was getting my husband to try it.

While he loves all things BLT, he’s not quite marching in the quinoa pride parade yet.

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!

VICTORY!!!

BLT Quinoa Salad with Fork

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

The toasty quinoa makes a fabulous substitute for bread and the creamy mayo-based garlic and herb 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!

hungry for more?

Keep the BLT train chugging along with a fun and feisty BLT Pimento Cheese Sandwich. I brought a few to my daughter’s school and the teachers went NUTS over them!

Need more tasty quinoa recipes? You’ve GOT to try my Greek Quinoa Bowls as well as my crazy-popular Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Candied Walnuts.

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Comments

  • This is my kinda salad. Thanks for sharing!

  • Samantha Dawn

    5 stars
    This salad is truly the answer to any sad desk lunch! Love it for my weekday lunch option- satisfying and still healthy.

  • Noelle

    5 stars
    This has been one of my new favorite quinoa recipes!! So much going on and it all works so well together, love it!

  • 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!

  • pinkrunnergirl

    5 stars
    Oh my goshhhhh wow. That looks amazing.

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

  • 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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