Southwest Quinoa Salad

  • Jump to Recipe
  • Leave a Review
  • Southwest Quinoa Salad – Makes a delicious and flavorful side dish or main meal. You can feel great about eating this healthy, protein-packed quinoa salad all summer long!

    Today I’m kicking things off with a southwest quinoa salad. I just love Mexican food…I could eat it everyday! And this southwest quinoa salad has all of those classic Mexican flavors that are so bold and delicious. It tastes like a mix between a Mexican or fajita salad and burrito bowl. So delicious!

    southwest quinoa salad in a glass bowl

    Mexican quinoa salad

    Since it’s the beginning of Summer, I wanted to lighten things up a bit with a healthier recipe that has all the same great flavors and textures as a traditional Mexican salad. This southwest quinoa salad is made with a fresh vegetable mixture, homemade salad dressing and quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is mild in flavor, has a light crunch and is packed with protein.

    I love that this quinoa salad recipe can be made ahead of time. It’s best served chilled and is the perfect cold side dish, but is also hearty enough for a main meal. It even makes for a great lunch throughout the week!

    This recipe is so good that you won’t even miss any meat. I just love the versatility and the yummy and fresh ingredients. This southwest quinoa salad makes a filling lunch, hearty dinner or perfect side dish for any Southwest or Mexican meal.

    chopped ingredients for quinoa salad in a glass bowl

    Why I love this quinoa salad:

    • It’s healthy! It’s packed with protein and fiber from the quinoa and veggies and will keep you fuller longer!
    • Loaded with flavor. The flavors from the homemade dressing and fresh veggies are bold and delicious. Full of Mexican flare!
    • It’s a make-ahead dish. You can easily make this quinoa salad the night before. In fact, the longer it marinates, the more flavorful it will be!
    • Vegetarian. You won’t miss the meat in this delicious vegetarian dish. Plus it has plenty of protein, so no meat is necessary.
    • Gluten-free. Living a gluten-free lifestyle? This dish is perfect for you! All ingredients are gluten-free.
    • Ready in 30 minutes! You can’t beat a dish that’s ready in half an hour! Easy, simple and delicious.

    Is it eaten cold?

    Yes, this southwest quinoa salad is best if eaten cold. It needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, although I usually keep it in overnight. The flavors marinate together, which creates a super flavorful quinoa salad that is always loved by all!

    collage of one bowl with chopped veggies and one bowl with spices

    Cooking quinoa is easy!

    Quinoa is one of those things that seems intimidating to make, but it’s really not! It’s somewhat similar to cooking rice, with a few small differences.

    You can make it on the stove top or in the slow cooker or instant pot. Each way is simple, so it’s really about preference. I usually cook mine on the stove because it’s quick and easy.

    Have leftover quinoa? Try making:

    How to make southwest quinoa salad

    Scroll down for the printable southwest quinoa salad recipe.

    1. Cook quinoa. Cook quinoa according to directions on package. Let cool completely.
    2. Drain beans and corn. Drain and rinse the beans and corn, then pat dry with paper towels. Add to large bowl.
    3. Add in chopped veggies. In the same large bowl, add in chopped bell pepper, sliced grape tomatoes, green onions and cilantro.
    4. Make dressing. In a separate small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, S&P, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and diced jalapeno.
    5. Mix everything together. Add cooled quinoa to vegetable mixture, then pour dressing on top. Toss until combined.
    6. Let chill. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Served chilled.

    southwest quinoa salad in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon

    Tips for making quinoa salad

    • It can easily be made ahead of time. I usually make it the day before so the flavors can marinate together a little longer.
    • Feel free to use either red or white quinoa. Both would taste equally as delicious!
    • This salad will keep in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days. Just keep stored in an airtight container.
    • This recipe is perfect for meal prep! You could even add chicken or avocado to bulk it up a little more.

    Other salad recipes:

    quinoa salad

    Southwest Quinoa Salad Recipe

    Course: Salad
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: mexican quinoa salad, quinoa salad, quinoa salad recipe, southwest quinoa salad
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 295
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    Southwest Quinoa Salad - Makes a delicious and flavorful side dish or main meal. You can feel great about eating this healthy, protein-packed quinoa salad all summer long!

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup quinoa , rinsed
    • 2 cups water or broth (I used chicken broth)
    • 1 can black beans , drained and rinsed
    • 1 can whole kernel corn , drained and rinsed
    • 1 orange bell pepper , chopped
    • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes , sliced
    • 3 green onions
    • Handful fresh cilantro , chopped
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Juice of 2 large limes
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 2 teaspoons cumin
    • 1 jalapeno , seeded and diced

    Instructions

    • Cook quinoa as directed on package. Once the quinoa is completely cooked, set it aside to cool.
    • Drain and rinse the canned black beans and corn. Pat dry with paper towels and place into a large bowl.
    • Add chopped bell pepper, sliced grape tomatoes, green onions and cilantro into the bowl with beans and corn.
    • In a separate small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and diced jalapeno.
    • Add the cooled quinoa to the vegetable mixture. Pour dressing over top the salad and toss until combined. Season to taste.
    • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Served chilled.

    Notes

    • This salad can easily be made ahead of time. I usually make it the day before so the flavors can marinate together a little longer.
    • Feel free to use either red or white quinoa. Both would taste equally as delicious!
    • This salad will keep in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days. Just keep stored in an airtight container.
    • This recipe is perfect for meal prep! You could even add chicken or avocado to bulk it up a little more.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1268mg | Potassium: 549mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1440IU | Vitamin C: 35.4mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3.3mg
    PIN THIS RECIPE

    Originally written by Katie from Purely Katie.

  • You Might Also Like...

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    What type of comment do you have?

    Comments

  • Becky Hardin wrote:
  • Emily wrote:
  • Ashley F wrote:
  • Aimee Shugarman wrote:
  • Cyd wrote:
  • Beth Pierce wrote:
  • Shawn wrote:
    • Jamielyn wrote:
  • Marsha wrote:
    • I Heart Naptime wrote:
  • Paige wrote:
  • Alicia@Eco Friendly Homemaking wrote:
  • I Heart Nap Time
    shares