This Easy Mexican Quinoa Salad is gluten free and can easily be made vegan. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, fresh summer veggies, herbs, feta, and the best chili lime vinaigrette. The perfect meal prep healthy lunch or side dish for summer bbqs!
If you’ve been following along this summer, you’ll know I’ve been posting a LOT of salad – specifically pasta salad – recipes. They’re just the best. Fresh summer produce, chilled noodles or grains, and tangy bright homemade dressings . . . if that doesn’t SCREAM healthy, tasty, summer deliciousness then I don’t know what does.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll also know that Mexican food holds a very special place in my heart. Today’s recipe: easy Mexican quinoa salad – will not disappoint. It’s full of Mexican inspired flavors, it’s healthy, it’s delicious, and it’s soooooo fresh and full of summer yums . . .
Ingredients in easy mexican quinoa salad with chili lime dressing:
- Black beans
- Red onion
- Bell peppers – red and green
- Feta – see notes below on this
- Chili lime dressing
- Lime juice
What’s not to love about that ingredient list?!
This easy mexican quinoa salad is perfect for meal prepped light and healthy lunches, but it’s also great to bring to a summer BBQ, potluck, or grill out! Why? Because it’s easy and delicious. ‘Nough said.
How to make easy mexican quinoa salad:
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Chop the veggies and herbs: onion, bell peppers, cilantro.
- Whisk together the chili lime vinaigrette.
- Toss everything together: quinoa, veggies, dressing, beans, corn, feta, an extra squeeze of lime juice, and an extra pinch of salt.
I love the nutty, slightly grainy (in a good way) quinoa mixed with the crunchy peppers, zippy red onion, creamy feta, sweet corn, and zesty dressing. It’s definitely one of those salads that gets better as it sits, too, which is always a bonus in my book!
Tips and tricks for cold mexican quinoa salad:
- Use quinoa – this makes this recipe PERFECT for those who need to be gluten free and I loooove the texture of this paired with the veggies.
- That being said, I think you could absolutely make this with pasta or even another grain like farro! If you try, let me know in the comments below.
- Cook your quinoa in vegetable broth.
- More flavor for the win.
- Taste and re-season AFTER the salad chills.
- Cold grain salads needs more seasoning than warm, so while the seasonings might taste perfect (or maybe even taste too aggressive) right after it’s made, it’s likely you’ll need to add more salt, lime, etc. after the salad has been sitting in the fridge for a bit.
- Make this in advance!
- Everyone loves a good meal prep recipe and this one is perfect. It’s hearty enough to not get soggy in the fridge and it actually tastes better the next day! Perfect for light lunches or summer outings.
- Can I make this vegan?
- Absolutely! Just ditch the feta in the salad and use agave instead of honey in the chili lime vinaigrette.
Any more tips, tricks, and questions you have . . . leave them in the comments below!
Quick, easy, can be made in advance, perfect for those who are gluten free, can be made vegan, crunchy, fresh, zippy . . .
. . . summer salad p.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n.
Easy Mexican Quinoa Salad
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa cooked according to package directions, but replace water with vegetable broth - cool slightly
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can sweet corn drained
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro minced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta omit if vegan or dairy free
- 1 batch chili lime vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt more or less to taste (I added 1 teaspoon)
- Place cooled quinoa, black beans, corn, onion, peppers, cilantro, feta, chili lime vinaigrette, and lime juice into a large bowl.
- Toss to combine. Taste and re-season with salt.
- Cover and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Taste and re-season again, if necessary.
- Serve and enjoy!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.