Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad! Zingy, fresh veggies and hearty quinoa all drenched in an irresistible dressing makes for a quick and easy flavor-packed salad that gets those taste buds tingling.
This Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad is loaded with feel-good ingredients: quinoa, corn, kidney beans, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers and red bell peppers; and it’s all tossed in a zippy, smoky chipotle lime dressing that makes for an energizing, refreshing meal. It’s easy to make and makes for a perfect work lunch, simple dinner, or fun potluck. Full of protein packed nutrition, it’s sure to leave you feeling full and satisfied for hours.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
We can’t get enough of this Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad; it’s hearty enough to serve as a main dish, but it can also be served as a side dish.
Do you love quinoa (keen-wah)? It took forever for Dad to learn how to pronounce quinoa. He called it “kwhy-ni” for many years. We absolutely love quinoa, but I must confess that it has to be cooked just right for me to love it.
Quinoa that is cooked perfectly is not soggy. Overcooking quinoa is a common mistake. It turns out mushy and flavorless. Perfectly cooked quinoa is nutty, fluffy, and you can see the individual grains of quinoa.
Using too much water is often the mistake which results in almost transparent quinoa grains that are mushy and really don’t work well with this salad as it creates a “mushy” texture.
If you want to know how we cook quinoa, check out our blog post: “How to Cook Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa.”
Tips for Success:
- Cooked Quinoa: You can use either freshly cooked quinoa or refrigerated quinoa.
- Freshly Cooked Quinoa: If using freshly cooked quinoa, place one cup of cooked quinoa on a plate, spread it out to bring down the temperature. You can used slightly warm quinoa.
- Cooked and Refrigerated Quinoa: If using cooked quinoa that has been made and refrigerated, we suggest placing one cup of quinoa onto a plate and either microwaving it until just warm or simply allowing it to come to room temperature. Cold quinoa can stunt the flavors of this salad and you will not get the full-flavored experience.
- Al Dente Quinoa: We absolutely love what most would consider “al dente” quinoa. This is quinoa that is fully cooked but is not mushy or soggy. Some folks really struggle when it comes to cooking quinoa properly. They often end up with soggy quinoa that overly wet and just not all that pleasant. A lot of people swear by cooking quinoa in a rice cooker or their instant pot. We have a method that works for us, but we suggest that you use the rule of thumb in that you cut your water in half of what you measure out for quinoa. For example, if you cook 1 cup of dry quinoa, then use1 cup of water (normally you would use 2 cups of water). Gently boil (lid on) for 15 minutes, then remove from the stove and allow to steep (lid on) for 15 minutes, then fluff. (Note: This recipe uses 1 cup of cooked quinoa).
- Refrigerated Salad: If you are taking this salad straight out of the fridge, we suggest allowing it to slightly come to room temperature first (about 20 to 30 minutes) to allow the flavors to wake up. Refrigeration often stunts the flavors. Allow the salad to slightly warm brings them all back to life.
- Kidney Bean Substitutions: Feel free to substitute with your favorite beans. Black beans would work as a great substitution.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
This salad does not freeze well due to all the fresh ingredients.
Pantry Products Used:
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Whisk (or kitchen fork)
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.Print
This Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad is loaded with feel-good ingredients and tossed in a zippy, smoky dressing making for an energizing, refreshing meal.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa *
- 1 – [ 15 oz. can ] corn, drained
- 1 – [ 15.5 oz. can ] kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- ¾ cup seeded tomatoes, small dice
- ¼ cup red onions, fine dice
- 2 baby English cucumbers, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, small dice
Chipotle Lime Dressing Ingredients:
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon tahini
- 2 teaspoon organic maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 1 teaspoon white miso *
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons lime juice (+/-)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried minced onions
- ¼ + 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
- ¼ + 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- pinch to ¼ teaspoon sea salt (+/-) *
- Place the all the Chipotle Lime Dressing Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk until smooth and emulsified, set aside.
- Prepare all the vegetables and place into a large, then add the cooked quinoa. Toss to evenly distribute the salad ingredients; then drizzle with the Chipotle Lime Dressing while tossing.
- Taste test and add adjust seasonings accordingly. Serve and enjoy!
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Serving: 3 to 4 (makes 6 cups)
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.
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