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5 Mix some nutritious, protein-packed quinoa with veggies and delicious Mexican spices in this vegetarian Southwest Quinoa. Use the leftovers for lunch!

Southwest Quinoa

Mix some nutritious, protein-packed quinoa with veggies and delicious Mexican spices in this vegetarian Southwest Quinoa. Use the leftovers for lunch!

Mix some nutritious, protein-packed quinoa with veggies and delicious Mexican spices in this vegetarian Southwest Quinoa. Use the leftovers for lunch!

If you’re a long-time reader, you know how much I love repurposing meals – it’s like a two-for-one! That’s why I love dinner recipes that can be easily packed in the lunch boxes for the kids (and for me at the office).

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

This Southwest Quinoa fits the bill. First, it takes less than 30 minutes to cook for dinner – yes, please! It’s a great vegetarian dinner option that’s full of protein and nutrition from quinoa and black beans. Once everyone’s done eating, I can pack the leftovers up in lunch boxes with some fresh fruits and veggies, and tortilla chips as a treat, and we’re good to go!

Sometimes I even double the recipe so I’m guaranteed leftovers. Because when I can make meal time a little easier, I go for it!

Southwest Quinoa

Mix some nutritious, protein-packed quinoa with veggies and delicious Mexican spices in this vegetarian Southwest Quinoa. Use the leftovers for lunch!

Mix some nutritious, protein-packed quinoa with veggies and delicious Mexican spices in this vegetarian Southwest Quinoa. Use the leftovers for lunch!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (173 g) quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups (470 g) water
  • 3/4 cup (195 g) jarred salsa
  • 1 teaspoon (2.6 g) chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) ground cumin
  • 1 cup (130 g) frozen corn
  • 1 15 ounce (425 g) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (4 g) finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 g) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (3 g) garlic powder
  • Toppings:
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 cup (115 g) shredded cheddar

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil, then stir in the quinoa, lower the heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes and turn off heat.
  2. Cover and let sit for 6 minutes – you’ll know the quinoa is ready when you see the little white “tail” of the germ around the outside edge of each seed.
  3. In a small bowl whisk yogurt, salt, pepper, garlic and lime juice, set aside.
  4. Once quinoa is done, add salsa, chili powder and cumin, fold to combine well. Mix in cilantro, green onions, black beans and corn. Fold a few times until thoroughly combined. Stir in the yogurt dressing.
  5. Serve with avocado and cheese and garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Notes

For school lunch: Pack leftovers in a container or lunchbox. This salad is great eaten cold or at room temperature as well.

 

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Lunch Box Quinoa Salad

Qui-no-what? Yes! Kids can love other things besides pasta! This delicious Quinoa salad is perfect to fill any lunchbox quickly!
easy and delicious quinoa salad recipe made from leftover quinoa! perfect lunch idea

My daughter loves it when I send her something other than a sandwich in her lunch box…like a lettuce-free “salad”. This quinoa salad idea is a fun change from our usual rice or pasta salad.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

It’s true. Haven’t you heard? Quinoa isn’t just for dinner…it’s also great inside the lunch box! To make this easier, use leftover quinoa from dinner. The recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Utilizing leftovers in a delicious lunch like this will save you time in the kitchen and money on wasted food. It’s a win-win! Easy recipes like this one fill our weekly meal plans. If you are struggling for affordable lunch ideas that beat the sandwich rut, you can grab a free copy of our sample meal plan here. 

Doesn’t this recipe look delicious? Now, if our kids could only see how much love went into their lunchbox we’d be set!

easy and delicious quinoa salad recipe made from leftover quinoa! perfect lunch idea

Lunch Box Quinoa Salad with Veggies

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 Lunchbox servings
  • Cuisine: Lunch

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup minced carrots
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa: bring water to a boil, pour quinoa. Reduce heat to a low/simmer until water has been absorbed (about 15 minutes).
  2. Pour cooked quinoa into a mixing bowl, and chill in refrigerator until cold (about 30 minutes).
  3. Remove quinoa from fridge and stir in the red bell pepper, red onion, curry powder, cilantro, lime juice, carrots, and peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

 

*Also featuring this post over at the Queen of Quinoa link party.

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