Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette

by Shelley · May contain affiliate links

Salad or Cowboy Caviar Salsa Dip? You Decide … (Hint: It’s Both!)

~ This unique quinoa salad recipe doubles as a delicious salsa that’s a fun spin on the ever-popular Cowboy Caviar! Lemon-dijon soy sauce dressing highlights the red pepper, corn, edamame, black beans, cilantro and quinoa. So delicious, so healthy – whether you serve it as a vegetarian main-dish salad, a picnic-perfect potluck side, or a show-stopping appetizer dip! Wins raves every time we serve it! ~

This Recipe Is:     Make Ahead    Vegan (and Vegetarian)    Gluten Free  

Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe {}

This is beyond good, every time I make it. Like, everybody-asks-for-the-recipe good.

I mean, just look at all the fantastic flavors and textures goin’ on! We’ve got:

  • Crunchy red peppers
  • Juicy sweet corn
  • Satisfying edamame and black beans
  • A tangy and savory lemon-dijon vinaigrette
  • Plus the uniquely awesome addition of quinoa!

Check out our little video tutorial to see how crazy-easy all that yumminess is to make!

Video Tutorial


Oh, yummmmm!

Originally shared with me by Miss Karen (my kiddos’ beloved preschool teacher), I’ve revamped this over the years – without changing the great taste!

But there is a dilemma: Is this a “Cowboy Caviar”-style dip or a wow-your-guests salad? Honestly, I’m not totally sure. So I’ve just given in and served it as both (and sometimes even at the same party)!

And actually, that’s the really awesome thing about this recipe. You can set it out early at your party as an appetizer, then switch it over to the buffet line as a salad at mealtime. Two for the price of one – you gotta love that!

It’s delicious paired with pretty much anything. (I take that back. It may not be good with Frosted Flakes.) But, yes, it absolutely makes a fantastic dip for tortilla chips or pitas. And, it’s perfect next to a juicy burger at a summer barbecue. It even feels hearty enough to be a refreshing winter side dish.

Oh – and if by chance there happen to be any leftovers (which is rare!), I’m so happy to have this for lunch the next day!

Over the years, the recipe has evolved. I’ve cut back on the oil, and added nutritional and textural boosts from the edamame and quinoa. But it still has the uniquely delicious flavors that I loved right from the start.

I would just like Miss Karen to know that I still think of her often as I make this amazing, goes-with-(almost!)-anything salad! Along with all the handprint turkeys and popsicle stick art projects (ummmmm … yeah … I still have bins full of those), this recipe is one of my favorite preschool keepsakes.

With Memorial Day right around the corner, and a long summer of backyard barbecues ahead, I just couldn’t wait to share this easy, super-adaptable recipe!

Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe {}

How to Make This Easy Quinoa Salad

1) First, just dump a can of black beans into a colander (I adore the collapsible colander pictured in the photo above), along with some frozen edamame and corn. Give it all a good rinse to remove the liquid from the beans and to help the edamame and corn begin thawing. (Really – no cooking the edamame and corn, and no need to thaw it all ahead of time. See, I told you this was going to be easy!)

2) Once it’s all drained, transfer it to a large mixing bowl.

Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe {}

3) Then, add the chopped red pepper, cilantro, green onions and garlic. Toss in your cooked quinoa. (No panicking here – it takes only about 15 minutes to cook the quinoa. If you’re a little uncertain about how to do it, just hop over to our post How to Cook Quinoa (and Why You Should!) to learn more about this super-nutritious “whole grain” and how to prepare it.)

4) You’re already almost done! Next, just whisk together your dressing – lemon juice, soy sauce, dijon, and olive oil – and pour it over your bowl full of gorgeous, colorful veggies. (Hey! If you’ve recently made our killer Blueberry-White Chocolate Muffins, you probably have a lemon on hand just waiting to be juiced for this recipe – perfect!)

5) Give it all a quick stir, and you’re done! It’s really best to pop it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving, just to let the flavors combine. But, honestly, who plans that far ahead? Besides, if you take a nibble or two to test it out, you may end up eating half the bowl right away … why wait a few hours?!?!

Ingredient Tips and Swaps

As I promised, this recipe is incredibly adaptable! Here are a few easy changes, additions and swaps:

• Can’t find shelled edamame? No worries – just sub a second can of black beans!

• Don’t have the extra 15 minutes to prepare quinoa? Totally ok to leave it out!

• Wanna really jump outside the box? Throw in a handful of chopped pecans! I’m not kidding – it’s awesome! C’mon – be creative!

Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe {}
When we’ve made this as a Cowboy Caviar-style dip, we sometimes omit the quinoa – but it’s great either way!

So … Salsa or salad? Or both?

Who cares?!? Just eat!

Oh! And when you’re done debating what to call this, you’ll probably want to get busy making some more quinoa recipes. Here are more of our faves …

More Great Quinoa Recipes

And, if you’re pretty new to cooking with quinoa, you should definitely check out our post on how to cook quinoa (and why you should!). It’s got helpful hints to make sure you get that quinoa right, every time!


Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette

Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette

Yield: About 7-8 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This unique recipe is a delicious spin on traditional Cowboy Caviar dips ... but it's also fantastic served as a protein-rich, vegetarian quinoa salad!



  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup quinoa


  • 3 cups frozen corn
  • 1 (15-ounce or 16-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced



  1. Place water and quinoa in a small saucepan and prepare according to package directions (which will probably indicate that you will bring them to a boil and then simmer, covered, for about 10-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed). NOTE: If your quinoa is not pre-rinsed, then before you add it to the saucepan, you will need to rinse it in a sieve, swishing it with your fingers until the water runs clear.
  2. Meanwhile, in a colander, rinse and drain the corn, black beans and edamame, just to wash away the liquid from the beans and help the edamame and corn to begin thawing. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add red pepper, cilantro, green onions, garlic and prepared quinoa.
  4. To prepare the vinaigrette, combine lemon juice, soy sauce, mustard and olive oil in a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine and then pour over vegetable mixture.
  5. This is best if chilled for an hour or two before serving, to allow the flavors to combine.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

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80 thoughts on “Corn, Edamame and Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette”

  1. This recipe never fails. Everyone loves it. Tangy and refreshing with BBQ meat and leftovers for work afterwards. I use less garlic and instead of cooking Quinoa, I use the precooked tubs of brown rice and Quinoa. Easy and delicious!

    • Oh Mel! Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Great idea on the precooked quinoa, too! Back when I first posted the recipe, I’m not sure that was even a “thing” or readily available, but you’re totally right – now that you can snag precooked quinoa products practically anywhere, it’s a slam-dunk time-savings that I need to try next time, too! Fun textural twist to go with the brown rice / quinoa blend, too – I’m excited to try that! ~Shelley

  2. This was so tasty! I thought I had a can of black beans but I didn’t so I subbed kidney beans and it was still delicious (I also used a little less corn and edamame because my bowl was smaller). I’ll make it again and try black beans.

    • Hi Susan! I’m thrilled you enjoyed this salad recipe – it’s such a favorite of mine, one of those go-to recipes that never disappoints! Thanks so much for your sweet comment, and also for sharing that your bean swap worked well – it’s always really helpful for others to read about those kinds of substitutions, especially if they also find themselves without all the exact ingredients on hand. Thanks bunches – and have a wonderful week! ~Shelley

  3. Hi! I’m making this today for a BBQ. I was going to use lime juice and Braggs Amino Acids because that’s the only soy sauce I use (soy sauce isn’t gluten free). Hope it turns out ok!

    • Hi there, Crystal! I’ll bet this recipe turned out terrific with your little tweaks – I think the lime juice will be a yummy flavor variation, and I can’t think of any reason that the Braggs wouldn’t taste great, too. But I’d love to hear how it went if you have a moment to pop back and let me know! Hope it was a fun BBQ! 🙂 ~Shelley

  4. Made this last night and it was amazing! I skipped the cilantro because I am not a fan. I did use half the soy sauce and used some balsamic vinegar. This is one of my favorite side dishes!

    • Thank you so much for this lovely feedback, Meghan! I truly appreciate both your sweet compliment, and also the great suggestions of ingredient swaps you loved (that’s always so helpful for other readers!). And I totally get it about the cilantro – I think it’s the sort of thing that you either LOVE or HATE. I absolutely adore it, but years ago, I was floored when a dear friend who’s a fantastic gourmet cook told me she thought it tasted like soap. Wha?!?! Turns out, that’s a common feeling among those few people in the “hate it” camp. Then – my daughter came along, and despite growing up in a household of cilantro lovers, she really can’t stand the stuff either. Go figure! Thanks for the vote that – even if you’re not a cilantro fan – this is still delicious. 😀 Have a wonderful weekend, Meghan!

  5. I just made this tonight. It is so light and refreshing. I love it! I added some diced chicken and did half soy sauce (not a fan of the taste of salt) and balsamic vinegar. Great as a main dish! A+ Thank you for this easy and quick recipe!

    • Hi, Amy! I was so thrilled that you took a moment to let us know what you thought of the recipe, and to share your adaptations with our other readers! I love the addition of chicken to make this more of a main dish salad – what a perfect, filling yet refreshing meal on a hot summer day! Love it! Thank you so much for sharing! 😀 ~Shelley


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Published on
Updated on December 28, 2021
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