This Mexican quinoa salad is delicious! It’s incredibly vibrant, combining fresh vegetables, a zesty lime dressing, and the nutty goodness of quinoa. Not only is it bursting with taste, but it’s also easy to make, requiring simple ingredients and minimal cooking, making it a quick and satisfying meal option.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Nutritious and wholesome. Packed with protein-rich quinoa, fiber-filled black beans, and a medley of vegetables, this salad offers a wholesome and satisfying meal option that keeps you feeling nourished.
- Easy to customize. You can easily adjust the ingredients and spice level to suit your taste preferences, making it a versatile dish that accommodates various dietary needs and preferences.
- Quick and convenient. With minimal cooking and prep time, this salad comes together effortlessly, making it a perfect go-to option for busy weeknights or a healthy potluck contribution.
- Quinoa. The main grain in this salad, quinoa adds a nutty flavor and provides protein and essential nutrients.
- Black beans. A great source of plant-based protein and fiber, black beans complement the quinoa and add a hearty texture to the salad.
- Red onion. Adds a mild sharpness and a pop of color, enhancing the overall flavor and appearance of the salad.
- Avocado. Creamy and rich, avocado contributes healthy fats and a luxurious texture to the salad.
- Corn kernels. Sweet and crunchy, corn kernels add a delightful burst of flavor and texture reminiscent of Mexican street corn.
- Kale. A nutrient-packed leafy green, kale provides additional texture and health benefits to the salad, such as vitamins and minerals.
- Cilantro. Offers a fresh and herbaceous note, elevating the flavors and adding a traditional Mexican touch.
- Lime juice. Provides a zesty and tangy element, tying all the flavors together and enhancing the taste of the salad.
- Olive oil. Used in the dressing, olive oil adds richness and a smooth consistency to the salad.
- Ground cumin, ground cilantro, Sriracha, salt, and pepper: These spices and seasonings infuse the dressing with traditional Mexican flavors, adding depth and spice to the dish.
- Maple Syrup. For a touch of sweetness to the dressing.
How to make Mexican quinoa salad
Step 1 – Prepare the corn. Cook frozen or fresh corn until tender, either by boiling, in a steamer, or in the microwave. If you prefer a smokier taste, you could also grill the corn in a skillet. Keep aside.
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Step 2 – Combine the salad ingredients. In a bowl, combine pre-cooked quinoa, sliced onion, cooked corn and drained and rinsed Black Beans. Massage the kale to tenderize it and it to the mix.
Step 3 – Prepare the dressing and serve! In a separate bowl, whisk all ingredients for dressing together. Pour the dressing into the quinoa mix and toss to combine. Gently stir in cubed avocado and cilantro, and then taste to check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Properly rinse ingredients. If cooking the quinoa yourself, rinse it thoroughly before cooking to remove any bitterness. Similarly, ensure the beans are also properly rinsed.
- Massaging the kale. If using kale, massage it with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. This step helps to tenderize the kale leaves and make them more enjoyable to eat in the salad.
- Let flavors meld. After combining all the ingredients, let the salad sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Allowing the flavors to meld together will enhance the taste and make the salad even more delicious.
To store: Transfer any leftovers into an airtight container and store the salad in the refrigerator. It can be kept for up to 3-4 days. If you plan to store the salad for an extended period, consider keeping the dressing separate until serving. This prevents the salad from becoming soggy and maintains its freshness.
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Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can substitute quinoa with other grains like couscous, bulgur, or farro. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary, so adjust accordingly.
Absolutely! This salad is perfect for meal prepping or making ahead of time. Just store it in the refrigerator and add the dressing right before serving.
Of course! Feel free to customize the salad to suit your dietary preferences and needs. You can omit ingredients like avocado, nuts, or spices that you might be allergic to or not prefer.
Mexican Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups quinoa pre-cooked
- 1/2 large red onion sliced thinly
- 1 1/4 cups corn
- 2 cups kale
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 large avocado cubed
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Sriracha
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 5 tablespoons lime juice
- Cook frozen or fresh corn until tender, either by boiling, in a steamer, or in the microwave. If you prefer a smokier taste, you could also grill the corn in a skillet. Keep aside.
- In a bowl, combine pre-cooked quinoa, sliced onion, cooked corn and drained and rinsed Black Beans. Massage the kale to tenderize it and it to the mix.
- In a separate bowl, whisk all ingredients for the dressing together.
- Pour the dressing into the quinoa mix and toss to combine. Gently stir in cubed avocado and cilantro, and then taste to check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.