Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Southwestern Quinoa Salad | Pick Fresh Foods

I have a slight quinoa addiction. I love it in everything! Add this protein-packed seed to beautifully-colored vegetables and you can easily transform a simple salad into a complete meal. This delicious Southwestern Quinoa Salad is made with black beans, yellow bell pepper, sweet onions, fresh garlic, grape tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice. 

I seem to alternate the most between this Southwestern Quinoa Salad and my other quinoa salad.  These are the type of salads that I can eat over and over again. Seriously, I’ll make a big batch of these and eat them for days!


Southwestern Quinoa Salad | Pick Fresh Foods

The best thing about this salad is that it is super flavorful and can be made in just a few minutes. 😀

Quinoa is quick cooking and very easy to prepare. It is made the same way you would prepare rice: 2 parts water or broth to 1 part grain. Bring water and quinoa to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Quinoa can be a very beneficial addition to any diet. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all the essential amino acids the body needs. That makes Quinoa a good source of protein for vegetarians. Quinoa is also a good source of fiber and it provides iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and E.


Southwestern Quinoa Salad | Pick Fresh Foods

This Southwestern Quinoa Salad is perfect for a work lunch. I find that by the time the students leave the classroom and I make my way to the teacher’s lounge, I have 15 to 20 minutes to eat lunch. This is plenty of time to eat this salad and recharge, so I can get through the rest of the day. I need a lunch that will keep me feeling full and this quinoa salad is perfect.

The first time I took it to work I forgot a spoon. So, I used tortilla chips to scoop it up and it was fantastic! 

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Southwestern Quinoa Salad | Pick Fresh Foods

To mix up having the same salad for lunch, I wrapped it in these tasty blue corn and flaxseed tortillas. I spiced it up a bit with some Monterey Jack cheese. A few slices of fresh avocado and I felt like I was having a feast!

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Southwestern Quinoa Salad
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Serves: 4
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (16 oz) can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup red grape tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  1. Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well.
  2. In a medium saucepan add vegetable broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. After 10 minutes into cooking quinoa, begin preparing black bean and bell pepper mixture.
  4. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  5. Add the onions to the skillet and cook until translucent. Add in the garlic, sauté until fragrant.
  6. Add the bell pepper to the skillet and sauté until slightly softened.
  7. Add black beans, gently stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. To the skillet add cooked quinoa, tomatoes, and cilantro, stir to combine.
  9. Squeeze lime juice over salad. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 287 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 48g Sugar: 1g Sodium: 15mg Fiber: 13g Protein: 14g Cholesterol: 0





  1. I love quinoa too, especially for healthy portable lunches! I bet this is super tasty with the addition of the lime juice.

  2. love the colors! I am expirimenting with quinoa a lot lately :)

  3. As always, beautiful, simple and CLEAN. Thank you Cindy!

  4. Oh my gosh Cindy – seeing it in those tortillas with a bit of cheese and avocados – super YUM and healthy! My mouth watered. Looks fantastic! Pinned!

    • Thanks for pinning Kristi 😀 This is super delicious in a wrap. I toasted the outside of the tortilla and wow…it was awesome!

  5. I’ll have one order of the Southwestern Quinoa Salad in a blue corn and flaxseed tortilla! Oh – and the avocado and cheese … yes please!!!! Seriously – this looks so good! And you’re totally right – this is the perfect lunch for you when you’re teaching! How are your classes going??

    • Coming right up!! 😀 Super easy and delicious! Classes are going great! I’m working to get some teachers on my side to add a nutrition class to our local high school. Fingers crossed 😀

  6. I love quinoa and this salad sounds fantastic Cindy! Love all the fresh ingredients in here and makes such a healthy and tasty lunch :)

    • Thanks Kelly 😀 Lunch usually isn’t my favorite meal of the day. But when I know I’m having this Quinoa Salad, I can’t wait! It’s so fresh and packed with delicious flavors.

  7. I’ve still yet to jump on the quinoa bandwagon. I have some at home but always forget to make it! Love southwest flavors so this will be a great way to start using that quinoa in my pantry!

    • You should give it a try. I seem to reach for it when i need a quick side dish or quick meal. I like preparing it with vegetable broth the best.

  8. Loveee quinoa! The colours here are so vibrant!

  9. sprinklesandsauce says:

    this salad looks super healthy! love the colors!

  10. Just made this for a late lunch today, and it is so delicious. I added a couple slices of avocado on top to give it just a tad of creaminess. Wow! First recipe of yours that I’ve tried and I’m very hooked. Thank you so much for sharing. As a busy working nurse, this will be come a go to staple for lunches and a quick breakfast burrito for leftovers. Very happy!

    • Thanks, Melody! I appreciate you stopping by to let me know you enjoyed it! This and my Healthy Quinoa salad are my go to take to work foods. They taste great, are filling, and I feel satisfied that I’ve had a good lunch. I love the idea of a breakfast burrito with the leftovers!

  11. Christine, this quinoa salad in the wrap is delicious! Pretty much put melted cheese and a toasted tortilla on a plate and I’m happy 😀


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