Southwest Quinoa Salad


A vegan-friendly and gluten-free salad with a little zest that’s perfect for any occasion.

Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl

For thousands of years, people have been eating quinoa. But it’s only in the 21st century that it’s started to gain large-scale popularity throughout the world. As a result, we’ve only started to scratch the surface of how to use it. This Southwest quinoa salad is a great example of expanding your quinoa horizons by using it for a zesty salad that brings together a broad range of flavors.

While this salad may look a little complicated at first glance, this is such a simple recipe. All of the ingredients are easy to find and prepare. It can be prepared as a quick lunch, a simple dinner, a side dish, or something to bring to a potluck. The best part is that this Southwest quinoa salad is healthy and made of natural ingredients while also having the spice and tang you expect from a Southwest dish.

As mentioned, we are just scratching the surface of things to do with quinoa. If you don’t fall in love with this salad the first time you make it, there are plenty of other ways to prepare quinoa. It can be as simple as quinoa with roasted vegetables or a delicious one-pan Mexican quinoa. You can also try your hand at preparing a quinoa cheeseburger casserole if you want to try something new.

Is Southwest Quinoa Salad Healthy?

It’s tough to find anything in this recipe that doesn’t have health benefits. It starts with the quinoa, which is loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Black beans are also rich in fiber and antioxidants. Naturally, there is no shortage of vitamins and nutrients in bell pepper, onion, and grape tomatoes in this quinoa salad. The American Heart Association has even given this recipe an endorsement. The salad is also a great option for vegans and anyone with a gluten allergy.

Always room for improvement

While the recipe for Southwest quinoa salad lays out the basic ingredients, there are always ways to further enhance this dish. For instance, it’s possible to add spices you like that could improve the flavor of the quinoa. Likewise, toasting the quinoa for 2 or 3 minutes while adding spices is a popular way to add more flavor to this dish. Some people add a little bit of mint or cilantro if they want to add a new flavor profile. Of course, adding jalapeño or any other ingredient that can give this salad even more of a Southwest kick is always an option.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh corn, raw or charred
  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl


Cook Quinoa 

Rinse quinoa and cook until water is absorbed. Let it cool.

Combine Salad 

Mix quinoa with veggies and beans. Season to taste.

Dress & Toss 

Add vinaigrette and toss the salad. Adjust seasoning as desired.


Enjoy your delicious Southwest Quinoa Salad.


Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl

FAQs & Tips

How to Make Ahead and Store?

If stored in an airtight container, Southwest quinoa salad will remain good in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. However, try to only add dressing if you are planning to consume it right away.

Let it chill

It’s recommended that after mixing the ingredients of this quinoa salad that you let it sit in the fridge for 20 or 30 minutes, potentially up to 2 hours, allowing the ingredients to marinate alongside one another.

What kind of quinoa should i use?

Typically, white quinoa is the best option for this recipe. However, red, tricolored, and other varieties of quinoa are fine too.

store separately

If the entire quinoa salad isn’t being consumed right away, try to store the dressing and avocado separately from the rest of the salad to prevent it from becoming soggy.

Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl

Serving Suggestions

Southwest quinoa salad can be served in a variety of ways. While it could be a full meal, it can also be a great appetizer with a side of keto tortilla chips for dipping. As a side dish, quinoa salad is best with chicken, tofu, and salmon. For instance, crispy and healthy baked tofu would be perfect with Southwest quinoa salad on the side. The same is true for a baked honey cajun salmon or Santa Fe chicken. Frankly, Southwest quinoa salad is the perfect side dish for any main course with a Southwest and Mexican flavor profile.

Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl
Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl


Southwest Quinoa Salad

A vegan-friendly and gluten-free salad with a little zest that’s perfect for any occasion.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author FoodFaithFitness


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 can 15 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup fresh corn raw or charred
  • 1 large avocado chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette


  • Rinse the quinoa under cold water using a fine mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and allow to cool to room temperature.
    Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl
  • In a large bowl, mix together the cooled quinoa, black beans, chopped red bell pepper, halved grape tomatoes, corn, chopped avocado, and diced red onion. Season the salad with kosher salt and black pepper to your liking.
    Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl
  • Pour the cilantro lime vinaigrette over the salad and toss until everything is evenly coated. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve the salad at room temperature or chilled.
    Southwest Quinoa Salad - From My Bowl

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