A quick and easy Southwestern Quinoa Salad, made in under 20 minutes. This nutritious salad is perfect for meal prep, picnics and school or work lunches. It’s packed with protein and fiber thanks to the quinoa and black beans.
The perfect back-to-school recipe. This is a great on-the-go recipe for school, work, picnics or potlucks. Or just a quick lunch at home. It’s also an ideal recipe for meal prep. It’s more filling than most salads, thanks to the quinoa and black beans. Plus, it stays fresh for days, without getting soggy.
The best part? It can be prepared in the time that it takes you to cook quinoa. As in less than 20 minutes.
Quinoa Salad Ingredients:
- Quinoa: Cooked quinoa is the base of this salad. This fiber and protein rich ingredient makes this salad filling and extra nutritious.
- Black Beans: These add protein and extra fiber to the salad. You can also use other canned legumes if you prefer.
- Corn: I use frozen corn for a convenient option. When mixed with the cooked quinoa, it thaws quickly, saving you an extra step.
- Bell Pepper: I recommend using red, yellow or orange bell peppers for the best results.
- Grape Tomatoes: These are quartered, so you get tomatoes with every bite.
- Red Onion: Cut these into small pieces to add flavor and crunch. Avoid cutting them into large pieces.
- Black Beans: This recipe is made with canned black beans to save time. Simply drain, rinse and add them to the salad.
- Olive Oil + Lime Juice: These are added to the salad to create a simple dressing, along with cumin and salt.
How to Make Southwestern Quinoa Salad:
Here are the steps to making a simple quinoa salad.
- Cook the Quinoa
Add your quinoa with 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
- Chop the Vegetables
While the quinoa is cooking, chop the onion, bell pepper and grape tomatoes. Add to a large bowl, along with the frozen corn and black beans.
- Combine the Ingredients
Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl with the vegetables. Add the oil, lime juice, cumin and salt. Toss everything together.
- Serve with Toppings
Top the salad with chopped cilantro and diced avocado if desired.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad FAQ:
This quinoa salad can last up to 4 days in the fridge. If you add avocado to the salad, add it just before serving or it will turn brown too quickly.
Yes! You can use other cooked beans/legumes instead of black beans. Kidney beans, chickpeas or even canned lentils would work.
Yes! Feel free to use other vegetables that you have on hand. You can also skip some of the vegetables and replace them with more of another. For example, if you’re not a fan of onions, you could replace them with extra bell peppers.
More Quinoa Salad Recipes:
- Warm Roasted Carrot, Lentil & Quinoa Salad
- Lentil Quinoa Salad with Nutritional Yeast Dressing
- Sweet Potato Kale & Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Summer Quinoa Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
- Greek Quinoa & Chickpea Salad
Quick Lunchbox Southwestern Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, dry
- 1 can (540 ml/19oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 cup bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- Cilantro and diced avocado for topping (optional)
- Cook the quinoa: Add your quinoa with 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
- Meanwhile, chop your onions, bell pepper and grape tomatoes. Add to a large bowl, along with your frozen corn and black beans.
- Add your cooked quinoa to the bowl with your vegetables. Add your oil, lime juice, cumin and salt. Toss everything together.
- Top with chopped cilantro and diced avocado if desired. You can eat this salad warm or cold. I personally prefer it cold.
If you make this southwestern quinoa salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!