This Mexican Quinoa Salad is full of fluffy quinoa, crunchy vegetables, and a sweet and tangy dressing. Serve this for lunch or dinner with your favorite dishes for a deliciously satisfying meal.
This Mexican Quinoa Salad has the perfect mix of flavors and textures. From the fluffy cooked quinoa to the tender black beans, and the soft and crunchy assortment of vegetables, this dish is well-rounded and delicious. The homemade dressing is super easy to make and it's sweet, tangy, and a little spicy, which goes really well with the rest of the salad. You can make extra and keep some in your fridge for a few days, too.
This salad is filling and satisfying. The ingredients are packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Avocado brings healthy fats and many of the fresh vegetables and herbs are anti-inflammatory. This vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad is a guilt-free and scrumptious addition to your table, one which everyone in the family can enjoy. Let's look more closely at the ingredients you'll be using to make it.
What you'll need
- Quinoa. Use any kind of quinoa you like.
- Black Beans. Or another type of bean.
- Corn. I used frozen corn that was cooked in a touch of plant butter until slightly charred. Read more in a section below.
- Tomatoes. Roma tomatoes work well.
- Bell Peppers. Red, orange, or green are fine.
- Red Onion. These are less pungent than yellow or white ones.
- Dressing Ingredients: Olive oil, lemon (or lime) juice, maple syrup (or honey), cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
How to make this Mexican Quinoa Salad
1. Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper together. You can use a small bowl and a whisk, or place them in a jar, cover with a lid, and shake until it emulsifies.
2. Place the quinoa, black beans, corn, diced tomato, peppers, onion, avocado, and cilantro into a large bowl and pour the dressing on top. Mix well and serve.
How to char the corn
Charring your corn before adding it to the salad makes it so much tastier. Just use a touch of plant butter and a sprinkle of salt, and cook the corn in a pan on the stovetop until it has a slight char, about 10-15 minutes. Stir it occasionally to keep any from burning. You can use fresh or frozen for this, though frozen may take a few more minutes.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Substitute the peppers. If you don't love peppers, you could also include other vegetables instead, such as mushrooms, zucchini, etc.
- Add in some spice. Adding diced jalapenos to this Mexican Quinoa Salad would up the heat level considerably.
- Substitute different beans. I used black beans, but you could use any of your favorites, including kidney, pinto, or white beans.
- Add some toppings. A dollop of salsa, guacamole, or some vegan cheese would add some extra flavor to this tasty dish.
How to Store this Salad
This Mexican Quinoa Salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Just place it in an airtight container. It can even be frozen for 2-3 months in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag, so long as you don't mix in the avocado or cilantro. Add those fresh when you're ready to serve.
What to Serve it with
- On its own. This Mexican Quinoa Salad is full of protein and fiber, and is satisfying enough to be enjoyed just as it is.
- With vegetables. Serve this alongside your favorite veggies, including Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Baked Portobello Mushrooms.
- With fajitas, tacos, or burritos. This salad makes a great side for other Mexican-inspired dishes. Or you can just fill a tortilla or flatbread and serve it like that.
- With any main or side dish. These flavors are delicious and work well with others. Try it with Cauliflower Steaks with Chermoula Sauce or a side of Simple Mashed Beans to round out the meal.
This Mexican Quinoa Salad is full of delicious flavors and is so filling. It's perfect for lunch or dinner, as a side or main dish. However you choose to enjoy it, you'll love how tasty this simple recipe is.
More tasty recipes to try:
Mexican Quinoa Salad
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed
- ½ cup corn*
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- ¼ medium red onion, diced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. salt or to taste
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- a pinch cayenne
- Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper together. You can use a small bowl and a whisk, or place them in a jar, cover with a lid, and shake until it emulsifies.
- Place the quinoa, black beans, corn, diced tomato, peppers, onion, avocado, and cilantro into a large bowl and pour the dressing on top. Mix well and serve.