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Mexican Quinoa Salad
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5 from 5 votes

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Mexican quinoa salad is a blend of tri-colored quinoa, pinto beans, and a variety of vegetables mixed in an oil-free cilantro lime dressing. Great as an entree salad or as a side dish, Mexican quinoa salad is earthy and delicious. Prepare in under 20 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 170kcal



  • 1 cup tri-colored quinoa uncooked approx. 4 cups cooked
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Salad Ingredients

  • ½ red onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 jalapenos deseeded and diced small
  • 3 corn on the cob grilled or boiling, cut from the cob (yields 2 ¼ cups kernels)
  • 1 ½ cups grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 15 ounces pinto beans rinsed and drained (1 can)

Lime Cilantro Dressing

  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 lime juiced (¼ cup lime juice + zest)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or date syrup
  • salt to taste


  • 2 avocados sliced thin or diced
  • 2 limes cut in halves or quarters


  • Set the quinoa aside to cool completely and prepare the other ingredients.
  • Drain and rinse the pinto or black beans; set aside.
  • Grill or boil corn, and allow it to cool completely (or use canned or cooked frozen corn cooled).
  • Add quinoa to the base of a large bowl.
  • Add the diced vegetables, corn, and pinto beans.
  • Stir to combine ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl r measuring cup, combine the dressing ingredients.
  • Pour over the salad and stir together.
  • Refrigerate to chill salad and all the dressing flavors to enhance in the refrigerator.
  • When serving, stir again, and add the sliced or diced avocado and lime wedges. Extra cilantro can so be added if desired.


  • Make the quinoa ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator while preparing the other ingredients.
  • Did you know tomatoes should be stored on the counter, not in the refrigerator?
  • Suppose you don't like red onions. Try yellow onion or scallions instead.
  • If you taste soap when you eat cilantro, skip it or replace it with parsley.
  • Another great dressing for this Mexican quinoa salad is vegan southwest dressing.
  • If eating this salad as a side salad, consider serving it with vegan chili.
  • Serrao peppers are similar to jalapenos and a bit sweeter.
  • Instead of quinoa, try farro or barley as an alternative.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 504mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 661IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg