This recipe for a flavor-packed vegetarian Southwestern Quinoa Salad is loaded with black beans, veggies and feta cheese. Dressed with a zesty lime and lemon vinaigrette this savory quinoa salad is perfect as a main for lunch or side for dinner!
This healthy Southwestern Quinoa Salad has a great combination of textures, as well as sweet and salty flavours. It can be enjoyed as an accompaniment to another dish, like this Pan Fried Rainbow Trout or on its own as a main for lunch.
It lasts three to four days in the refrigerator so you can easily make it on the weekend and keep some for your lunches. It's also a great vegetarian dish as quinoa is an excellent source of protein. This salad also provides you with a good amount of fibre and is gluten-free.
How to Make it
This savory quinoa salad is perfect for entertaining because it needs to be made ahead of time. Made with cooked and cooled quinoa, this salad should actually be started a few hours before you plan on serving it.
- Black beans
- Corn kernels canned or frozen - Make sure to thaw and drain the water from it before adding to salad.
- Red bell pepper
- Red onion
- Feta cheese
- Lime and Lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cumin, salt and freshly ground pepper
Rinse quinoa well before cooking it. Follow package directions to cook the quinoa since different brands require more or less water. Once cooked allow the quinoa to come to room temperature.
While the quinoa is cooling prepare the remainder of the salad ingredients and add them to a large bowl.
Only add the quinoa to the rest of the salad ingredients when it has cooled down to room temperature or cold from the refrigerator.
I like to prepare the dressing while waiting for the quinoa to cool. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and give it a good shake. Store it on the counter if you're making and serving the salad the same day.
You could also prepare the vinaigrette the day before and just store it in the refrigerator. Remember to remove it from the refrigerator a good 30 minutes to an hour before you plan on dressing the salad.
Add the lemon-lime vinaigrette to the quinoa salad and toss well. Cover the salad and refrigerate it for at least one hour to allow the flavours to meld.
You could serve this southwest quinoa salad at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator. Serve it as a side to this One-Pan Roast Chicken, this Baked Rainbow Trout Fillet, with a burger, grilled kafta or shrimp kabobs. It's also a really great salad for bringing to potluck barbecues.
Store leftover quinoa salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing leftover quinoa salad.
If you love quinoa and are looking for ways to incorporate it in desserts, take a look at these recipes: Cocoa Quinoa Puffs and Peanut Butter Squares, and these delicious Mini Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Cups.
More Quinoa Recipes
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa
- Whole Wheat Quinoa Flour Pancakes
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Healthier Sugar Cookies
- Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
- 1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa Different variteties of quinoa need more or less water and time to cook, make sure to check the package directions for your brand of quinoa.
- 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn kernels drained, canned or thawed frozen
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- ½ jalapeno seeded and minced
- 2 Tablespoon red onion minced
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lime juiced
- ½ lemon juiced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly to get rid of its bitter coating.
- In a large saucepan, bring three* cups of salted water to a boil.
- When the water boils add the quinoa, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water has been absorbed and then let sit covered for 10 minutes. Remove cover, fluff quinoa with a fork and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare all of the other ingredients. Wash and dice the red pepper and mince the red onion and jalapeno. Rinse the black beans under cold water, drain the corn kernels. Wash the cilantro thoroughly and chop it.
- Combine the juice of 1 lime, 1/2 a lemon, the olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper, set aside.
- Once the quinoa has cooled, combine it with the black beans, corn kernels, diced red pepper, jalapeno, red onion, feta cheese and cilantro.
- Pour the lemon-lime dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to meld.
- Different variteties of quinoa need more or less water and time to cook, make sure to check the package directions before cooking the quinoa.
- This quinoa salad can be stored 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.