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Cowboy Caviar Quinoa Salad

Cowboy Caviar Quinoa Salad—This healthy and delicious appetizer, side, or entree is perfect scooped up with fresh endive or tortilla chips! It’s ready in 30 minutes and great for meal prep, too!

top down view of cowboy caviar with quinoa scooped up using endive.

I love quinoa salads and this Cowboy Caviar Quinoa Salad is one of my favorites. Inspired by my Texas Caviar recipe, it’s just as delicious but with extra nutrition from the quinoa.

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s healthy. Loaded with fresh veggies and nutritious quinoa, this well-balanced recipe is full of protein, fiber, and vitamins to keep you feeling at your best. It’s also gluten-free, low-fat, and oil-free! Be sure to see the nutritional info below.
  • It’s a filling meal or side dish. The addition of quinoa elevates this cowboy caviar to another level of heartiness, making it versatile enough to use as a main dish or side dish.
  • It’s a quick and easy one-pot recipe. This quinoa salad comes together using one pot in about 30 minutes and is made with accessible, everyday ingredients.

Now, without further ado, let’s make this veggie-filled quinoa salad!

top down view of the process of adding ingredients to serving bowl for quinoa cowboy caviar.

Cowboy Caviar Quinoa Salad

Usually, cowboy caviar is made without quinoa and served as a dip of sorts along with tortilla chips to scoop. Here, we are going to serve it alongside scooping leafy greens, making this a super healthy snack or main meal. Try making lettuce wraps too!

I love not using spoons or forks with this, but of course, depending on the style of lettuce you choose, you may need a little help from your utensils. The sturdy endive leaves worked like a charm for scooping up this salad all the way to the end. Romaine, radicchio, and bibb lettuce would also make great vessels. Fresh lettuce adds extra freshness to this dish and is a perfect match!

top down, up close view of cowboy caviar with quinoa freshly mixed in a large white serving bowl.

More Quinoa Salad Recipes!

top down view of quinoa cowboy caviar in a large serving bowl with whole endive leaves for scooping.

If you try this quinoa cowboy caviar recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 4 reviews

Come one, come all – gather around this healthy cowboy caviar quinoa salad and feast!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Side, Appetizer, Entree
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free


  • 1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, or to taste
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 can (15oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15oz.) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 fresh corn off the cob (I used a white corn) or 1 can (15oz.) corn, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped and added to taste
  • himalayan salt, to taste
  • cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 23 limes
  • scooping greens like endive, romaine or bibb lettuce


Quinoa: In a medium size pot, add water, cumin and quinoa, bring to boil over medium high heat, reduce to a simmer and cover, cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid and let set for 10 minutes.

Perp Veggies: While your quinoa is cooking, prepare the bell pepper, onion and corn.

Assemble: Once quinoa is done, add the two beans, corn, red bell pepper, onion, cilantro and squeeze of 1 – 2 limes, mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving add in the diced avocado.

Serve with lime wedges and scooping leafy greens.

Serves 4 – 6

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days.


As with all my recipes, add more or less of any ingredient to suit your taste.

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  1. Yummy! Definitely a keeper!❤️

  2. I made this last night and my almost 2 year old asked for more twice! It was quick to make and will be a regular summer dinner and weekend lunch in our (vegetarian) house from now on.

  3. JenLamSis says:

    I am having trouble cooking quinoa. I can't seem to get it dry enough, but instead it ends up kind of mushy.

    Perhaps because I am soaking and rinsing it several times ahead and then the water content is too high when I am ready to cook. I notice your recipe does not suggest rinsing first…is this not necessary?

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      I do often rinse my quinoa using a fine mesh strainer, but I do admit that depending on if my quinoa is boxed or from a bin, I may or may not rinse. If from a bin I always rinse. I rinse fairly quickly and have never had the bitter aftertaste that many have had from not rinsing their quinoa well enough. Try running your quinoa under cool water for a minute at most, that should be enough to rid any dust. Try cooking it with less water, I never use the two cups suggested on the package and have had great success every time using anywhere from 1 1/2 cups to 1 3/4 cups liquids. Be sure to let it set for 10 minutes or so after to finish taking in the liquids. You should get a pretty perfect quinoa with this method. At least it works for me! Hope this helps…would love to know how it goes!

      Good luck! :)

    2. I didn’t have any black beans on hand and I used Vidalia onions instead of red onions and pimentos instead of red peppers. I also poured in a small amount(maybe 1/3 cup) of Italian dressing in the mix. It didn’t matter, it was still delicious. Very refreshing on a hot Florida summer day and love the different textures of each item in the salad. My husband loved it too and it doesn’t raise your blood sugar! This will be a regular “go to” for us.

  4. Angela @ Canned Time says:

    Wow, so many of my favorite flavors in this one. It looks perfect. And I love the endive idea. Makes it more sociable when everyone's using the hands to scoop ;)
    Great idea!

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Thank you! :)

  5. This was absolutely fabulous! I had it on romaine, then the today I had it for lunch in a wrap. Iin the whole grain wrap I placed a arge collard leaf then I added the mix and finished it off with sprinkles of crushed pecans before I rolled it up. Uber good! :)

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Yum, that sounds delicious! Cheers

  6. fittingintovegan says:

    Yum, always looking for a new way to do quinoa.

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:


  7. The Yogi Vegetarian says:

    I love quinoa! Here in the UK it's available in bulk for a reasonable price from Suma Wholefoods- we get ours from them. Lovely quality, organic and fairtrade too. There are issues around demand from other countries pushing up the price of quinoa and putting it out of reach for the very people who grow it and have always relied on it, so I would always try to get fair trade; at least this will help the growers earn a fair price for their efforts. Loving your salad-so colourful :)

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Thank you for the suggestion for Suma…I will check into that. I wasn't aware of the quinoa issue. Wow, here is a very recent article from Mother Nature Network that explains a bit more of where that stands to date.

      Also, check here for fair trade quinoa that isn't all that expensive, unlike the $12 pound for a non-fair trade bag of quinoa like the one I saw from Bob's Red Mill at my local Sprout's was just outrageous! Check here for a reasonably priced fair trade quinoa that ranges from $6 to $10 a pouch (depending on the color) from Alter Eco: http://www.alterecofoods.com/products/quinoa

      Thank you for the comment! It has inspired me. :)

  8. Tami@NutmegNotebook says:

    I like everything about this recipe and can't wait to try it. These one dish hearty grain salads are perfect for the hot days of summer.

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Yes, I love these kind of meals too, especially for the summer days!

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