Take your salad game to the next level with this BLT Quinoa Salad featuring smoky bacon, fluffy quinoa, fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and a creamy homemade dressing.
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!
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!
Bacon and quinoa are kiiiiind of BFF here and I love how all the fresh elements of this salad come together to create something amazing and oh so flavorful.
I’m straight up 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!
BLT Quinoa Salad
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- New to quinoa? Here's a (visual/tutorial) of the cooking process!
- 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!
- 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!
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!
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!