Southwest Quinoa Salad

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


  • 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, thawed
  • 1 15ounce (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
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  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. Once quinoa is done, add salsa, chili powder, and cumin, fold to combine well. Stir in the corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions. Fold a few times until thoroughly combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, lime juice, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pack the dressing into mini sauce containers or add it to the salad and toss to combine.
  5. Serve with avocado and cheese and garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.



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


Keywords: lunch ideas, southwestern quinoa salad, quinoa salad, Mexican quinoa salad