Southwest Quinoa Salad

8 side serving
45 min

This southwest quinoa salad is perfect for lunch or a meatless dinner. It’s full of plant-based protein and good-for-you veggies all tossed in a flavorful lime vinaigrette.

This southwest quinoa salad recipe is great for food prep too! It's easy and made from simple, real food ingredients. I love making it on a Sunday so I can have in the fridge for quick/no-fuss lunches throughout the week. But it's great for dinner too! And if you're looking to add in some more protein with your meal, be sure to check out my cilantro lime chicken - it would go great with this quinoa salad!

And if you're like me and can't get enough of Southwest inspired dinners, take a look at my One-Dish Baked Chicken Fajitas!

Recipe details

  • 8  side serving
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 45 min
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Ingredients for the Salad

  • ▢ 1 cup dry quinoa
  • ▢ 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ▢ 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (same things as garbanzo beans)
  • ▢ 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • ▢ 1 red pepper, chopped
  • ▢ 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • ▢ 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ▢ 1 avocado (for serving)

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • ▢ 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • ▢ 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • ▢ 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • ▢ 1 tbsp. raw honey
  • ▢ 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ▢ 1/4 tsp. salt (+ more to taste)


Cook quinoa according to the package directions.
While the quinoa cooks, prepare the dressing. In a small jar or bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients. Cover jar and shake ingredients together, or whisk together if in a bowl. Place dressing in fridge until ready to add to the salad.
After the quinoa has finished cooking, place in a bowl and transfer to fridge to allow to cool. Let quinoa sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently so all quinoa can cool.
After quinoa has cooled, transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add in the black beans, chickpeas, corn, peppers, onion, and cilantro. Pour dressing (shake or mix dressing again before adding to salad) over salad ingredients and mix until combined. Taste and add in additional salt if desired.
You can serve right away, or place in fridge until ready to serve. I like to let the salad sit in the fridge for an extra 30 minutes before serving. This allows the salad to further cool and allows the dressing to sit. However, it can be served right away too. If desired, chop a fresh avocado and add to salad prior to serving.


  • I use white quinoa, but any variation of quinoa will work. And try cooking your quinoa in broth instead of water. It helps to add some extra flavor to the quinoa (use the same amount of broth as you would water).
  • I use avocado oil for the dressing, but extra-virgin olive oil would work too.
  • To cool the quinoa, you can either place in a bowl in the fridge, or you can lay the quinoa out on a cookie sheet and then put the cookie sheet in the fridge (this will help speed up the cooling process).
  • This makes 8 side servings, but if you’re eating it more as a meal, it will make 4 servings. Nutrition information is calculated off of 8 side servings.

Clean Plate Mama
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