Southwestern Quinoa Salad

This is a wonderful Southwestern style salad that is quick and easy to make. It makes a healthy side with quinoa, black beans, corn, peppers, red onion, and cilantro. It also is a great lunch. Best of all, it’s tasty. You can adjust ingredients and spices for your family. The recipe is vegetarian but can be modified to meet vegan needs as noted in the recipe.

Don’t like cilantro? Add Romaine lettuce instead. You can make this salad with white or red quinoa. All quinoa has a nutty, earthy flavor. This flavor is stronger in red quinoa and milder in white quinoa. Red quinoa also has a chewier, almost crunchy texture. Quinoa is a great base for salads because it’s nutritious, and it soaks up the flavors of the dressing and seasonings. Quinoa is gluten-free, rich in fiber and a great source of protein. The longer the salad chills in the fridge, the more flavor it will have. The dressing soaks into the quinoa and makes it super flavorful and delicious. Let it marinate for at least 2 hours for optimal flavor. Try making a bowl on Sunday, and package lunches for several days.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Use organic when available. Salad is #vegetarian but can be made #vegan with simple changes. Serves 6


Southwestern Quinoa Salad

This is a wonderful Southwestern style salad that is quick and easy to make. Quinoa adds protein and absorbs the flavor of the dressing.
Course Brunch, lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword quinoa, quinoa bowl, quinoa salad, southwestern, southwestern quinoa salad
Servings 6



  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 15 oz can black beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
  • 1  small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese or avocado cubes for vegans

Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 lime zested
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 to 2 tsp ground cumin ( or to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1  jalapeno seeded & diced
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • Rinse quinoa thoroughly under cold water; drain
  • Bring broth to a boil and stir in quinoa
  • Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, until broth is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes
  • Remove from heat & stir in corn
  • Cover and let stand until corn is warmed through, about 5 minutes
  • Add black beans, red bell pepper, red onion, and cilantro to vinaigrette bowl
  • Stir in quinoa & corn
  • Place salad in air tight container & put in refrigerator for at least 2 hours
  • Serve cold with feta cheese on top ( or avocado cubes for vegans)

Lime Vinaigrette

  • While quinoa cooks, whisk all ingredients in a large bowl or blend in food processor
  • Add more seasonings to taste


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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

18 thoughts to “Southwestern Quinoa Salad”

  1. I am not a fan of quinoa so rarely make it but my family really like it. This does look very good. I had to Google what cilantro was, turns out we call it coriander here. lol

    1. That’s interesting – I’ve heard of coriander but never used it – I thought. Now I now I have!

  2. You know Carol, this salad sounds very interesting. I’ve never tried Quinoa. What is it?
    Have a great time and I hope that you are doing OK after the Hurricane.

    Cruisin Paul

    1. Quinoa is a plant whose seed is ground and used like a grain. It is rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals. Lots of people are trying to add it to their diets because it’s so good for us. I am doing fine Paul. Thanks so much for your concern. I’m just tired which is often the case with RA. Happy Wednesday!

  3. This looks really good. Can you believe I’ve never prepared Quinoa? I suppose I’m the only person in the world. 🙂 Thank you for sharing at #aclwcc.Pinned & Tweeted.

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