Southwest Quinoa Salad

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Quick Summary

Southwest Quinoa Salad- quinoa salad made with black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado, onion, and a flavorful cilantro lime vinaigrette. This is the perfect salad for potlucks, parties, or meal prep!

southwest quinoa salad with lime wedges and cilantro in large serving bowl with tea towel.

I love making quinoa salads because they are hearty, healthy, great for meal prep, and great for sharing at potlucks, parties, and picnics! A few favorites include my Easy Quinoa Salad, Summer Quinoa Salad, and Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad.

This Southwest Quinoa Salad is also a favorite. The flavors are SO good and the cilantro lime vinaigrette is the BEST!

I especially love this salad during the summer months when sweet corn and tomatoes are in season. It is the perfect summer salad and always gets rave reviews from friends and family.

The salad is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and SO delicious. The flavors will WOW you and everyone who tastes it.

tomatoes, black beans, corn, quinoa, onion, red pepper, avocado, and cilantro lime dressing to make southwest quinoa salad.

Ingredients

  • Quinoa– quinoa is easy easy to cook and is a great base for a healthy and hearty salad. It also is a great source of protein and gluten-free.
  • Black beans I use canned black beans, rinse and drain before using.
  • Red bell pepper– yellow or orange are fine too.
  • Tomatoes– I prefer grape tomatoes, but cherry or regular tomatoes will work too.
  • Corn– fresh sweet corn is the best. You can use raw sweet corn, right off the cob, or char it on the grill or using a gas stove. If you don’t have fresh corn, frozen will work.
  • Avocado-use a large, ripe avocado!
  • Red onion– for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette– this dressing is SO good and simple to make too! It gives the salad SO much flavor!

How to Make Southwest Quinoa Salad

  • Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Rinsing removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. 
uncooked quinoa and water in large white pot.
  • Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
cooked quinoa in large white pot.
  • Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
quinoa with red onion, tomatoes, red pepper, black beans, corn, and avocado in large bowl.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, avocado, and red onion. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Drizzle with cilantro lime vinaigrette and stir until well combined. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Variations

  • Use pinto beans or chickpeas instead of black beans.
  • Add cooked shredded chicken or grilled chicken.
  • Instead of red onion, use green onion.
  • Add minced jalapeño for a little kick!
  • For a little sweetness, stir in chopped mango.
  • Top the salad with crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy as a dip!
  • Serve along side grilled chicken, fish, or steak.
  • This is a great side dish for any Mexican dish: enchiladas, burritos, tacos, taquitos, fajitas, and more!
  • Use this salad as a taco filling, burrito filling, or quesadilla filling!
  • Garnish with pickled red onions.

How to Store

This salad is perfect for meal prep because it holds up nicely. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can also keep the ingredients separate in the fridge and assemble when ready to enjoy. Cooked quinoa will keep in the fridge for up to one week. The dressing will also keep in a jar in the fridge for up to one week.

southwest quinoa salad in serving bowl with spoon.

More Quinoa Salad Recipes

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Southwest Quinoa Salad

Quinoa salad made with black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado, onion, and a flavorful cilantro lime vinaigrette. This is the perfect salad for potlucks, parties, or meal prep!
4.43 from 14 votes

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, avocado, and red onion. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Drizzle with cilantro lime vinaigrette and stir until well combined. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.001g, Sodium: 215mg, Potassium: 544mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 697IU, Vitamin C: 28mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 2mg
Keywords black bean, quinoa

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. The quinoa salad looks amazing, but I wonder if you could give the recipe for the cilantro lime dressing

    1. Hi Phyllis, it’s right there under the salad ingredients..
      Looks delicious and may make it tomorrow with swordfish.
      Enjoy,
      Martha

    2. Click on the link to the dressing in the recipe card! It is on our blog too!

  2. Hi Maria, I have a question.
    What do you mean by ‘perfect for potluck,parties, or,meal prep’ I get the potluck & parties part,but
    What do you mean by ‘meal prep’?
    Thanks,
    Martha from NH

    1. Meal prep means you can prep this salad in advance. It is great for easy lunches or dinners!