Southwest Quinoa Salad

There are just a few more days to submit posts for this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp challenge… This month is all about cooking grains and legumes, so the possibilites are endless! If you’re interested in participating, be sure to check out all of the details!

So, since I’ve had grains and legumes on the brain with this month’s challenge, I thought I’d share one of my new favorite salads… A quinoa salad!

I only started making quinoa a few months ago, but I have found that I really love it.  I’ve played around with bulgur wheat in the past, but I never really loved the texture… It was always a bit too coarse for me. The quinoa, though, has a nice light texture even though it is whole grain… So, it’s a win – win!

Much like rice, quinoa is pretty versatile and lends itself well to lots of different flavors.  This time around, I decided to use some Southwest flavors – black beans, fresh veggies, and a citrus vinaigrette. This salad is easy to throw together for lunch, and it keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Feel free to swap out the veggies I’ve used for your favorites!

Southwest Quinoa Salad
(Serves 4 - 6)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
    (or about 2 cups cooked black beans)
  • 3 ears of steamed corn, cut off the cob
    (or 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mixed greens (optional)
  • Avocado slices (optional)

Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat, and let sit for an additional 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the back beans, corn, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by combining the zest and juice from the lime, olive oil, red wine vinegar, chili powder, and agave syrup.  Whisk until smooth.

Once the quinoa has cooled slightly, add it to the bean and vegetable mixture.  Add the dressing, and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature.  I like to serve mine on a bed of greens topped with avocado slices.

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21 Responses to Southwest Quinoa Salad
  1. Lora @cakeduchess
    April 25, 2011 | 3:30 pm

    This quinoa salad looks fantastic! I love Southwestern salads and need to try your delicious recipe:)

  2. d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo
    April 26, 2011 | 12:20 pm

    I make a really similar quinoa salad – LOVE avocado though I’ll have to add that next time!

  3. bakingbarb
    April 26, 2011 | 12:53 pm

    As I eat gluten-free I’ve meant to quinoa to my diet and I’ve meant to try salads and this recipe looks like just the ticket. Avocados yum!

  4. Shellina
    April 26, 2011 | 2:06 pm

    You know, I’ve been afraid of quinoa. But this recipe might just make me want to try it- it looks delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Joanna goes vegan
    April 26, 2011 | 4:12 pm

    Fantastic salad. It has it all. wonderful :-)

  6. Tracey
    April 26, 2011 | 6:58 pm

    That’s interesting Jen – I’ve always have the opposite problem with quinoa/bulgur. It probably didn’t help that the quinoa seemed really bitter to me too. I should give it another try though as I suspect there may have been some user error involved :)

  7. Tammi @ Where to Buy Quinoa
    April 27, 2011 | 8:43 pm

    @Tracey – be sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking to remove any saponin.

    The colors in this salad are lovely. Quinoa blends so well with Southwestern flavors.

  8. Vanessa
    April 28, 2011 | 9:12 am

    We made this last night—delicious and good balance of flavor. I put a little bit too much chili powder, but otherwise perfect!

  9. Tracy
    April 29, 2011 | 9:43 am

    I am loving quinoa right now, and I love your Southwest twist! Can’t wait to try it!!

  10. Jessica
    April 29, 2011 | 10:37 pm

    I just made this salad tonight and it was great! Sadly, I didn’t do well picking an avocado, but the salad was really good on its own. Thanks for posting it!

  11. Dana
    April 30, 2011 | 4:38 pm

    This is so pretty Jen! I really love quinoa and don’t use it nearly enough in my cooking. All the flavors you have going on here are terrific.

  12. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    May 6, 2011 | 3:49 pm

    Pretty much my idea of heaven! Love the flavours and textures in this.

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  16. Celine S
    March 25, 2012 | 1:10 pm

    I made this recipe with brown rice and only use 1tbp of oil and 2tbp of water. My husband is allergic to onion so I added: yellow corn, chickpeas, black bean, cucumbers, tomatoes and avovados. I let it chill in the fridge to get the flavors develop. I really liked the dressing flavor. It was fresh, filling, great pack for lunch for next day and enjoyed by the whole family. thank you

  17. Random recipes
    April 21, 2012 | 5:47 pm

    [...] Southwestern quinoa salad [...]

  18. Jen
    August 20, 2012 | 10:23 pm

    Just made this for dinner, it was really good and super filling! I did add some tofu for a little extra protein.

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    November 28, 2012 | 10:01 am

    [...] Original Recipe: My Kitchen Addiction [...]

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  21. Virgo903
    February 26, 2014 | 10:07 pm

    Please make no mistake – quinoa is NOT a GRAIN! It is a SEED!

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