Southwest Quinoa Salad is loaded with healthy black beans and corn tossed in a vegan and gluten-free cumin-lime dressing for an easy Mexican side dish or main meal!
Get ready for a taste of delicious Tex-Mex fare with this amazing grain-free salad featuring quinoa, beans, and veggies!
Why We Love This Recipe!
Quick + Easy. This recipe requires minimal chopping and is ready in 30 minutes. Plus, you can easily make this a one-pot recipe by mixing everything in the pot the quinoa cooked!
Healthy. Loaded with protein-rich and fiber-filled beans, quinoa, and veggies, this southwest quinoa salad is clean eating and as healthy as they come! See the nutrition label below.
Great for now and later. Serve right away or divide it up into individual portions for meal prep. It travels and stores well, making it perfect for planning potlucks, picnics, or BBQs.
- Quinoa – is full of fiber and makes a great base for veggies. I’ve used a mix of tri-color and white quinoa. Use your favorite type or mix – white, tri-color, or red quinoa.
- Beans – add healthy plant-based protein. I’ve used both black beans and chickpeas here, but feel free to use all black beans (or your favorite beans).
- Corn – can be fresh or canned sweet corn.
- Cherry tomatoes – are juicy and add a pop of color.
- Red onion – also adds a pop of color and can be subbed for green onions.
- Olives – add a nice briny flavor. Use regular black olives. To save prep time, use presliced olives.
- Dressing – will consist of lime, cumin, chili powder, salt, and optional olive oil. It’s simple but delicious!
- Cilantro – adds herbaceousness and pop of color. Leave it out if you’re not a fan, and feel free to add more if you are!
How To Make Southwest Quinoa Salad
Here is a quick overview, with photos!
Cook the quinoa. I’ve included stovetop instructions in the recipe card below, but you can also make it just as fast with this easy, hands-off Instant Pot Quinoa.
Make the dressing, by whisking together the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and salt in a small bowl or jar.
Prep the beans and veggies while the quinoa is cooking. The prep time should go pretty fast since there isn’t much chopping involved!
Assemble the salad once quinoa is ready by tossing together the beans, corn, olives, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro with the dressing.
And now you’re ready to enjoy!
- Add seeds. For extra texture and crunch, add a sprinkle of pepita’s (pumpkin seeds). Even sunflower seeds or hemp hearts would be great. This is a perfect place for heart-healthy seeds!
- Add diced jalapeno for a little spicy heat. To make it extra spicy, add a few of the seeds.
- Storage. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s also freezer-friendly but I find it’s best eaten with a few days of making.
Ways To Serve Quinoa Salad
I love pairing this Southwest Quinoa Salad with sliced or diced avocado and tortilla chips for scooping. It’s my favorite combination!
Adjusting For Dietary Restrictions
Need to make adjustments to the recipe for dietary reasons? Here are few tips for making an easy transition.
- Oil-free + Low Fat: Skip the oil in the dressing for a virtually low-fat and oil-free recipe.
- Nightshade-free: Omit the tomatoes and chili powder. You may want to sub with diced zucchini or radishes.
More Easy Quinoa Recipes!
- Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad
- Berry Spinach Quinoa Salad
- Greek Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Fried Rice
- See all vegan quinoa recipes on TSV!
If you try this quinoa salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
Southwest Quinoa Salad
Mexican-style Southwest Quinoa Salad is loaded with healthy veggies and tossed in a vegan and gluten-free cumin-lime dressing for an easy picnic or potluck idea!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: boil, mix
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Vegan
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed
- 1 ¾ cup water
- 1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15oz) sweet corn, drained
- large handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ½ cup diced red onion or green onions
- 1 small can of diced black olives
- 2 limes, juice of (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- avocado, diced or sliced (optional)
Quinoa: In a medium pot, add the water and quinoa, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes at a gentle boil. Turn off heat, remove the cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Alternatively, use this Instant Pot Quinoa recipe.
Quinoa dressing: In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Season to taste.
Assemble salad: In a large bowl or pot, the quinoa cooked in, toss together the quinoa, corn, beans, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro with the dressing. Season to taste, adding more lime juice and salt or spices to taste.
Serves 4 – 6
Store: Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Oil-free + Low Fat: Skip the oil in the dressing for a virtually low-fat and oil-free recipe.
Nightshade-free: Omit the tomatoes and chili powder. You may want to sub with diced zucchini or radishes.