Southwest Quinoa Salad

top down view of freshly made southwest quinoa salad in a serving bowl with spoon.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

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!


Units Scale
  • 1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 3/4 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
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 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.