This Mexican-style Quinoa Salad is loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocados, red onion, and cilantro. Simple, healthy, and incredibly delicious, you'll want to make it over and over again!
Behold my friends – Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad. I have enjoyed it for lunch at least twice a week for the past few months because I LOVE it so much. All of the flavors work great together and it’s also easy to make.
Even my husband, who doesn’t like quinoa, said that this salad is very tasty. That’s a big win for me. I, personally, like quinoa and Mexican-inspired recipes, so this salad is right up my alley. How about you give it a try?
Did you try quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) yet? This grain is considered to be a superfood because of its nutritional value. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, and one of the few plant foods that contains sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. It has a pleasant nutty taste and slightly crunchy texture. Some people say it tastes like a cross between brown rice and oatmeal. I enjoy eating this grain very much, and if you haven’t tried it yet, I suggest you start with this quinoa salad. And if you are a quinoa-lover already, then this salad is an absolute MUST TRY for you.
Learn more about the health benefits of quinoa here: 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa.
Cooked Quinoa. Both red and white quinoa work great here. I like to cook the quinoa a day before I make the salad. To cook it, follow the package instructions. Use vegetable broth instead of water for improved flavor.
Black Beans. Use homemade or canned black beans.
Corn. Use frozen and thawed corn, or canned corn.
Tomatoes. I prefer using cherry or grape tomatoes because they hold shape better and have a sweeter taste.
Avocado. Make sure you pick ripe avocados. Here is a handy guide on how to select avocados: How to Know When a Fresh Avocado is Ripe.
Red Onion. White onions work, too. If they’re not a fav, substitute scallions or skip it altogether.
Cilantro. Fresh cilantro is a must here. It adds a lot of flavor to the salad!
Lime Juice. Freshly-squeezed lime juice is the best for this salad. Use lemons if that’s what you have on hand. Check out my favorite lemon-lime squeezer!
Oil. I love using Avocado or Olive Oil in this salad.
Seasonings. We’ll season this salad with salt, pepper, and cumin powder. You can add a pinch of cayenne for a touch of heat.
How to Make Quinoa Salad
1. Place the cooked and cooled quinoa into a large bowl. Add the black beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro.
2. Squeeze the limes, grizzle with olive oil, and season the salad with salt, pepper, and cumin powder. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, if preferred. Mix everything well.
How to Store this Salad
Store this Quinoa Salad in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 2 days. You can still eat it on day 3, but the avocados will brown, and the tomatoes become a bit soggy.
How to Make it Ahead of Time
Parts of this quinoa salad can be made ahead of time, but it is best enjoyed shortly after being made. You can prep all the veggies (minus the avocado) and quinoa ahead of time and store them separately in the fridge. When you’re ready to enjoy, chop the avocado and add the lime juice, olive oil, and seasonings.
THIS QUINOA SALAD IS GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN, AND DAIRY-FREE
How to Serve
This Quinoa Salad makes a great and tasty lunch. The quinoa and black beans give this salad tons of protein, and, paired with the healthy fats from the avocado, you’ll be amazed how filling this salad is. Of course, you can serve some meat, fish, or shrimp on the side and make it into a nice dinner, too.
Difference Between White and Red Quinoa
There are many types (colors) of quinoa: red, white (or golden), black, purple, and orange. All of these have very similar tastes with subtle flavor and texture differences.
White quinoa has the mildest taste and the softest texture. It is the most popular quinoa on the market these days. Red quinoa has a bit of a nuttier flavor and slightly crunchier texture. You can try and experiment with all quinoa varieties to be able to choose your favorite kind.
Tex Mex Quinoa Salad
- 3 cups cooked quinoa*
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup corn frozen and thawed, or canned
- 2 small avocados
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt or to taste
- 1 tsp. pepper or to taste
- 1 tsp. cumin powder or to taste
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne optional
- Place the cooked and cooled quinoa into a large bowl. Add the black beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro.
- Squeeze the limes, grizzle with olive oil, and season the salad with salt, pepper, and cumin powder. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, if preferred. Mix everything well.