Southwestern Quinoa Salad is one of my favorite salad recipes packed with black beans and mango in a citrusy vinaigrette. The colors in this quinoa salad recipe are vibrant and it is packed with plant protein and fiber in each serving. This vegan salad is perfect for picnics, barbecues, and potlucks
The lime dressing that goes over this southwest quinoa salad is tangy, a little sweet, with a touch of heat and it is a delicious combination with the cilantro in the salad.
❤️ Why you'll love it
✔️ This cold quinoa salad makes the perfect portable lunch salad.
✔️ Each serving of this southwestern quinoa salad recipe has 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber!
✔️ Quinoa salad recipes are perfect for those looking to add a healthy nutrition packed side dish to the menu.
Uncooked quinoa, there are several types of quinoa out there, but I prefer to use the white quinoa for this recipe so all the colors remain vibrant.
Canned black beans, added for protein and fiber
Red bell pepper, adds color and freshess
Mango, used in place of corn in the original salad.
Onion, adds flavor
Fresh cilantro, adds flavor, parsley can be used by those who don't like cilantro.
Lime, choose fresh limes that have give when squeezed to be sure to get one with a good amount of juice.
Grapeseed oil, an excellent oil to use in making the dressing. Mild in flavor and provides plenty of vitamin E.
Cayenne pepper, an optional ingredient adds a touch of heat to the recipe.
Sugar and salt to balance out the flavors.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Add quinoa and bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Remove the quinoa from the heat heat and place in large bowl to cool.
- Once the quinoa has cooled completely, add the black beans, red bell pepper, mano, onion, and cilantro. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, using a hand whisk or a fork, whisk together the grapeseed oil, cayenne pepper (if using), sugar, salt, and lime juice. Pour over quinoa mixture and toss to coat.
Store any leftover quinoa salad in an airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.
- Remove the lime zest before juicing the lime and toss zest into the salad mixture.
- Substitute sugar free sweetener for the sugar, or leave it out entirely.
- Use ½ teaspoon chili powder or chili lime seasoning in place of the cayenne pepper.
- Use halved cherry tomatoes in place of the red bell pepper.
- Red quinoa can be used in place of white quinoa.
- Make it a true southwest salad and add 1 cup of corn in place of the mango.
- Red onion can be used in place of white onion.
- If you would like to add more flavor to the quinoa, substitute vegetable broth for the water when cooking.
- Add more protein to the salad and make it a main dish salad by adding 2 cups chopped cooked chicken or shrimp.
📚 Related Recipes
Try this delicious Sweet Chili Lime Tofu for a vegetarian meal with sweet heat.
Cookies are good for breakfast when they are these Apricot Cashew Quinoa Breakfast Cookies!
These Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries go great your favorite grilled protein.
🍽 Serve with…
Serve this healthy southwest quinoa salad alongside your favorite grilled steak, chicken, or seafood.
🏫 The last word
Quinoa is considered a "superfood" due to its nutritional qualities. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and 5 grams of fiber. It is a plant proteins that is a complete protein and a healthy way to boost the protein intake for those looking to do so.
A true southwest salad will have corn in it, however, I wanted to add a little more sweetness and changed the original recipe to include mango in place of corn.
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Southwestern Quinoa Salad
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- 1 cup water
- ½ cup white quinoa
- 1 cup canned black beans
- ½ red bell pepper , diced small
- 1 mango , cut in small pieces
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 1 large lime juiced
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper ,do this to your heat tolerance
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Bring 1 cup of water to boil. Add quinoa and once it has come back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 12 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and place in mixing bowl to cool.
- Dice peppers, onions and mango into small pieces. Drain and rinse black beans. Measure 1 cup. Add vegetables and beans along with chopped cilantro to cooled quinoa.
- Whisk together grapeseed oil, cayenne pepper, sugar (or splenda), salt, and juice of one lime.
- Pour over quinoa mixture and toss to coat.