Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Is it a salad? Or should you eat it as chips and dip?

The answer is c) all of the above. Both! Because that is exactly what this fabulous recipe is.

What originally started as a salad idea, quickly turned into a little appetizer dip, and eventually turned into leftovers that were used as nachos!

I have to give Erick credit for the nachos, but that story will come a little bit later (i.e. separately,  because it honestly deserves its own post! Don’t let that go to your head kid). So you’ll have to sit tight for another week or two.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad One of my sister’s best recipes (she has a lot but this one always seems to be a fan favorite) is a quinoa salad. It’s packed with tons of flavors and fresh ingredients and is honestly just a great recipe to keep on hand – maybe for lunches or even to serve to guests (I’ve done both) – I just dig it. And I don’t know about you, but I always need to change-up my salad game so I don’t get too bored and stop eating them daily. (Err, ok maybe every other day.) So this one is a good one for that! Unless you skip the salad part and turn it into nachos.

Southwestern Quinoa SaladI’ve been wanting to share the recipe on the blog for a while, and finally have gotten around to it… just in time for her to visit from Australia in a few short weeks and tell me that I did not stay true to the original recipe because of course, I had to add a few of my own twists. Such is life.

You guys didn’t actually think I was done with corn  yet, did ya? Ok if I’m being honest, I did make/shoot this quinoa salad before that risotto, so technically that was my last official corn recipe of the season. But technicalities don’t count in the blogging world. And anyways, I surprisingly didn’t grill the corn for the recipe, just boiled it — you can definitely grill it, but I didn’t want the charred corn to be really overpowering compared to the other flavors. So really, this doesn’t count as a corn recipe! It’s all about the quinoa. Or the chips.

Southwestern Quinoa SaladSo my intention was a salad. And salad I did! It’s packed with tons of great ingredients and made for a nice, hearty but not ridiculously-filling dish, and I was feeling great. Insert happy face emoji. But then my brain was spinning and thinking of ways it would be equally as appealing to those who love the southwestern-inspired flavors but don’t want to eat it as a salad and I grabbed the bag of tortilla chips and I dipped. (you dip, we dip?)

This as a dip? Amazingggg. Did you ever think quinoa, dip, and amazing would be used in the same sentence? Me neither. Even for as much as I actually like quinoa, I don’t expect it to always actually work AND taste good – sometimes I eat it just because it’s a superfood and it’s good for you and yada, yada, you know you’ve done the same. But this, as a dip — oh yes. This will definitely be on rotation this football season (and then leftovers I’ll eat the next day for lunch!)  I mean, if I was able to get Erick to not only eat it, but then spin this into a third dish, I think it’s fair to say I could serve this and not feel the same guilt I feel with other football foods.

And um, to be fair, he had no idea there was quinoa in this until after we polished off bowl #1. Did it stop him? Nope!

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Southwestern Quinoa Salad You just gotta get in there and go for it.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 ears of corn, husks removed
  • 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Fresh chopped cilantro, to serve
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook quinoa in vegetable/chicken broth according to packaged directions. Alternatively, you can cook the quinoa in 2 cups water, but I think the broth enhances the flavors. Let quinoa cool.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cover, and cook the corn 4-5 minutes. Remove from water, let cool then carefully cut the kernels off into a large bowl.
  3. Ad the black beans, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, and cooled quinoa to the bowl with the corn and mix together. Toss with the lime juice, zest, red wine vinegar and chopped cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Recommend serving immediately so the avocado stays fresh! Can be served as a dip (with tortilla chips), or salad.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad

2 thoughts on “Southwestern Quinoa Salad

  1. Yum!!!!! This looks delicious! Erick and Flo are on the same page – Flo does “nacho Sunday’s” with different combinations. One of my favorite events that truly makes me hate myself. This would be a great alternative!

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