Quinoa Salad

Quick and filling quinoa salad is a southwest style salad filled with corn, tomatoes, black beans, avocado, and smothered in a simple lime vinaigrette. 

Quinoa salad is perfectly filling as a stand alone meal, or a great side to yummy dishes like Skillet Chicken Caprese, Pork Roast, or Rotisserie Chicken.

Quinoa salad in a white bowl with a serving spoon

Quick + Healthy

Quinoa is gluten free and high in protein making is a healthy and filling meal option! The veggies and the addition of quinoa provides plenty of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Adding it to a salad is a great way to make it more hearty.

Quinoa salad is so versatile. You can easily add extra veggies, or remove them. It is also easy to include a protein like chicken or hard boiled eggs.

I love to store cooked quinoa in the freezer so it is readily accessible when I’m looking for a quick lunch! It is a perfect summer salad, or really any time of the year!

Ingredients for quinoa salad recipe

How to make quinoa salad

QUINOA. First, toast quinoa in a little olive oil in a medium sauce pan on low-medium heat for about 10 minutes. Then, add your quinoa to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to heat low-medium, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed (about 10 minutes)

COMBINE. In a large bowl, combine quinoa with the remaining ingredients: tomatoes, black beans, corn and green onions.

Quinoa Tips 

  • It will be done when it looks like it has “popped open”. At this point let it sit on the stove, heat turned off, covered for 10 minutes.
  • Some boxes come pre-rinsed, but it doesn’t hurt to rinse it again at home. There is a coating that surrounds the grain that can make the quinoa taste bitter or soapy.

Mixing ingredients in a glass measuring cup for quinoa salad dressing

Quinoa Salad Dressing

MIX. Make dressing by whisking together olive oil, lime juice, cumin salt and pepper flakes.

SERVE. Add dressing right before serving (along with cilantro and avocados if desired). Season with garlic salt and pepper and serve immediately.

How to make quinoa salad - combining ingredients in a glass bowl

Tips + Variations

To add more spice, try increasing the amount of cumin, add diced jalapeños, or add cayenne pepper.

To make the salad more filling, add a can of rinsed chickpeas, some chopped nuts, or seeds. You could also add in some shredded chicken or roasted shrimp.

Make it more Greek-inspired:

  • Chopped cucumber
  • Chickpeas
  • Red onion
  • Red bell pepper

Adding avocado and cilantro to the bowl

Storing Info

STORE this salad, undressed, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The longer it is stored the softer the cucumbers will be.

To FREEZE cooked quinoa, let it cool down completely, then transfer it to a resealable plastic bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator!

To make this salad ahead of time, chop all of your veggies and cook your quinoa ahead of time. Combine everything right before serving.

Quinoa salad in a white serving bowl

Other healthy salads:

 

Quinoa Salad Recipe

Quick and filling quinoa salad is a southwest style salad filled with corn, tomatoes, black beans, avocado, and smothered in a simple lime vinaigrette.
5 from 2 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 564kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c quinoa
  • 2 c water
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes - juiced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes - or more, to taste
  • 1 1/2 c cherry tomatoes - halved
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1 c corn
  • 2 green onions - freshly chopped
  • 1/4 c fresh cilantro - chopped
  • garlic salt and black pepper - to taste
  • cubed avocado - optional garnish

Instructions

  • First, toast quinoa in a little olive oil  in a medium sauce pan on low-medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Then, add your quinoa to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to heat low-medium, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed (about 10 minutes)
  • Make dressing by whisking together olive oil, lime juice, cumin salt and pepper flakes. Set aside
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, corn and green onions. Add dressing right before serving (along with cilantro and avocados if desired). Season with garlic salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 564kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 1383mg | Fiber: 31g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 213IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 8mg

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Kristyn Merkley

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Hearty & packed with flavor! I added some diced up chicken, but it’s delicious without it. I love using quinoa!

  2. 5 stars
    The whole family enjoyed this salad I made for a picnic! It keeps well and so delicious. It’s a keeper!