Southwest Quinoa Salad

5 from 3 reviews

Superfood Southwest Quinoa Salad that is perfect for dinner, meal prep, lunch, cookout side. It is healthy, bright and tasty. Make ahead as Southwest quinoa salad tastes even better when cold.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 sides 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Cook + Chop
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 1 cup dry (2.53 cups cooked) quinoa
  • 14 oz can low sodium black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup corn, cooked or thawed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 large limes, juice of
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/23/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook quinoa as per package instructions or… Stovetop: I personally like to cook quinoa with a ratio of 1 cup dry quinoa to 1.5 cups water. Unlike most packages that state 1:2 ratio. Bring to a boil, cook on low for 12 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes and fluff. This way quinoa comes out less mushy. Instant Pot: I’m obsessed with Instant Pot quinoa. It takes 30 seconds of prep and I walk away. Quinoa comes out fluffy and each grain separate after 9 minutes.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, chop the veggies.
  3. In a large salad bowl, add black beans, bell peppers, corn, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Fluff quinoa with a fork and add to the bowl.
  5. Stir gently to combine and serve cold or warm.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 4 days.

Make Ahead: Add all ingredients to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Stir right before serving.


White, red or tri-colour quinoa works. Red quinoa is more hearty and chewy.

I cook my own black beans from dried in Instant Pot. They contain no salt. So if you use low sodium or regular canned black beans, add salt to taste.

You can also add diced mango, tomato, avocado (if making ahead add right before serving), finely shredded kale.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.