Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
A delicious and fresh salad, this vegan Southwest Quinoa Salad makes a refreshing light meal or hearty side any time of year. Make in just 30 minutes for a quick and easy weekday lunch.
What do you get when you combine quinoa, black beans, red bell pepper, and lots of fresh herbs in a Cumin Lime dressing? Why, this delicious and refreshing Southwest Quinoa Salad! This wholesome salad is filled with proteins, nutrients, healthy fats, and tons of vegetables for a satisfying side or a light, refreshing mid-day meal.
With this recipe, I am wrapping up my 30-day cleanse. It was a great month with some of the best sleep I’ve had in over a year, lots of extra energy, and, of course, some amazing food.
My favorite recipes I shared with you this month were:
All colorful, delicious, and good for you! So, let’s finish up this 30-day cleanse in flavorful style and brilliant colors.
WHAT MAKES QUINOA SO GOOD FOR YOU?
I’m glad you asked! Let me tell you.
- One serving has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
- It also contains a healthy amount of important vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, folate, iron, and so much more.
- It’s one of the few plant-based foods that naturally contains omega-3 fatty acids.
- Quinoa has all NINE essential amino acids making it a complete protein.
- And it is very high in antioxidants.
And that’s not all. Read about more of its amazing benefits here.
With all the superpower of quinoa, how can one not love a good vegan quinoa salad while we cleanse?
IS QUINOA GLUTEN-FREE?
But it gets even better. I love quinoa also because it’s naturally gluten-free, making it a great dish for people who, like me, need to limit their gluten and a perfect party dish that everyone, despite their dietary restrictions, can enjoy it.
Despite being a gluten-free superfood, quinoa is delicious! It has such a delightfully nutty taste and fluffy texture, it pairs so well with most vegetables, nuts, fruits, and all sorts of herbs and spices.
HOW TO COOK QUINOA
Cooking quinoa is very similar to cooking rice. To begin, quinoa should always be first rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve until water runs clear. This is key for getting a clean, nutty flavor. Otherwise, quinoa can sometimes taste dirty and gritty.
Once it’s rinsed, drain the water and transfer it to a saucepot. Add 2 parts water for every 1 part quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the water is completely absorbed about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit an additional 5 minutes before uncovering and fluffing with a fork.
How To Make Southwest Quinoa Salad
Once the quinoa is cooked, transfer it to a shallow bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let to quinoa cool down before adding the remaining salad ingredients.
While the quinoa cooks, you can prepare the vegetables. Chop the peppers and onions, rinse the black beans, and whip up your Cilantro Lime Dressing.
Once the quinoa has cooled down, you can add the vegetables, top it with the dressing, and you have yourself a delicious and fresh vegan southwest quinoa salad.
This salad is filled with protein from the quinoa and refreshing flavor and nutrients from the herbs, spices, and fresh vegetables. It’s hearty and wholesome and can be made in just 30 minutes for a quick, healthy, filling, and totally satisfying meal.
VARIATIONS OF QUINOA SALAD
Among the many reasons I love quinoa salad, is there are so many variations to the quinoa base. Here are a few of my favorite vegan quinoa salads:
- Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad
- Strawberry and Mint Quinoa Salad
- Spring Quinoa Salad with Peas and Asparagus
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
With endless possibilities, you can have a different quinoa salad every day.
SERVING AND STORING VEGAN QUINOA SALAD
This salad can be eaten the same day it’s made or made a day or two in advance. Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. This allows the salad to cool down and lets the flavors marinate. It can be served as part of a summer potluck or for a light lunch or afternoon snack. Uneaten quinoa salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Ready to give this southwest quinoa salad a try? I think you’re going to love it!
Southwest Quinoa Salad
- 1 1/2 cup dried quinoa
- 1 cup fresh corn
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup red onions, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
- fresh cilantro
- jalapeño, sliced
- Rinse quinoa and set aside. Bring 2 3/4 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until water has evaporated and quinoa is cooked. Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.
- While quinoa is cooking, mix together salad dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Slice and chop the vegetables.
- Once quinoa has cooled, stir in vegetables, black beans, and dressing. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Serve chilled with desired toppings.