This Mexican Quinoa Salad has it all! Creamy avocado, black beans, corn, tomato, red onion and a kick from pickled jalapeño. Top it off with ta tangy Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette and crunchy oven baked corn tortillas and you have got a healthy vegan quinoa salad recipe that feels like anything but a sacrifice! This recipe is perfect to make on the weekend for meal prep!
Note: This post was updated from April 2017 in January 2019. (The mountain trip was in 2017.)
If you get my emails, you know that we were packing up last week to head to the mountains.
We’ve not yet been here a week, and are all still exhausted from packing and the trip.
I am feeling so grateful that we made it here safely.
Most of you probably hadn’t heard, but I-26 in Columbia, SC was closed for three hours due to a standoff with an armed suspect.
The standoff ended in the gunman being fatally shot.
Guess where we were when this happened?
It was the second day of our trip, and we were already over being in the car. Getting delayed for several hours as we (along with everyone else) tried to get around the closed interstate wasn’t what we had in mind. And hauling a large trailer makes situations like that all that more stressful.
But guys…I’ve been working hard on keeping the right perspective on things, both with myself and with the boys.
The Lesson In This
And a little perspective…
There were officers in the line of fire. How must their families have been feeling?
Guilty or not someone lost their life. That person probably had a family.
All life is precious.
Younger Wendy would have been all about how our family had been inconvenienced.
There was no denying that it was a stressful situation, with bumper to bumper traffic and everyone freaking out. As a Mom, you want to get your children out of the chaos.
But in the end, I was able to have a great conversation with the boys about how while we would have loved our day to go more smoothly, we had so much to be grateful for.
We were safe, and together.
Let’s focus on that, boys.
When we finally got to the new house and walked out on the back deck to discover the gorgeous view, my youngest son gave me the biggest hug. (He is 12.)
He said “Mom, all the stress of the day has been completely forgotten. I am just so grateful our family is safe.”
Yeah, buddy. Me too.
This week, I’ve been trying to slow down and spend time with the kids.
I’ve spent some time in the kitchen, but have been relying on favorites like this Mexican Quinoa Salad.[clickToTweet tweet=”Looking for a #healthyrecipe that is perfect for lunch or dinner? Try this Mexican Quinoa Salad! #glutenfree #vegan” quote=”Looking for a #healthyrecipe that is perfect for lunch or dinner? Try this Mexican Quinoa Salad! #glutenfree #vegan”]
I think I first developed this recipe in 2012. It has been a reader favorite ever since. It has all of my favorite flavors and is a fabulous option for when a craving for Mexican food kicks in. I especially love adding a dollop of Avocado Cream on top.
It is a fabulous quinoa salad that is perfect any time of year!
How to Make Mexican Quinoa Salad
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
2. Put the corn, black beans, and quinoa in a large bowl and toss to combine.
3. Add in the tomato, red onion, and pickled jalapeno.
4. Slice the tortillas into thin strips.
5. Spray your baking sheet with oil and arrange the tortilla strips in a single layer. Spray the top of the tortillas and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Bake the tortillas for between 10 and 15 minutes, until crispy. Set yourself a timer to check them after about 7 minutes and keep an eye on them for the rest of the time. They can burn quickly!
7. While the tortillas are cooking, make the dressing by combining lime juice, chipotle chili, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, honey, cumin, and salt to a blender. Process until smooth.
8. Toss the desired amount of dressing with the vegetable mixture.
9. Transfer to serving dishes and top with avocado and tortilla chips.
Tools to Make This Mexican Quinoa Salad:
Variations for Mexican Quinoa Salad
- Instead of toasting tortillas, serve with organic Blue Corn Tortillas.
- Add in 4 ounces shredded cheddar. (Traditional or Vegan work!)
- Serve over a bed of shredded romaine lettuce.
- Top with Avocado Cream.
Serving Suggestions for Mexican Quinoa Salad
- Serve as a side dish with Beef Tacos or Sheet Pan Fajitas.
- Wrap in a gluten-free tortilla and add guacamole for an easy meal.
Tips for Making Mexican Quinoa Salad
- Be sure to keep a close eye on the tortilla strips. They go from perfect to burnt very quickly!
- If you are making this quinoa salad recipe ahead of time, wait until you are ready to serve to add the avocado. The rest of the salad may be made and stored in the refrigerator for four to five days. It is perfect to take to work for lunch!
Mexican Quinoa Salad
Mexican Quinoa Salad
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans drained and rinsed (1 can)
- 1 cup organic frozen corn thawed
- 1 to mato seeded and diced
- 1/2 red onion sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño diced
- 4 organic corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 - 1 chipotle chilie in adobo sauce The dish will be HOT if you use 1
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- For serving: 1 avocado diced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, tomato, red onion and pickled jalapeño.
- Slice corn tortillas into thin strips.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil and add tortilla strips.
- Spray again.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.
- Bake for 10-15 minute, until crispy. (Check often to make sure the tortillas don't burn - I was using homemade tortillas and they took closer to 15 minutes. I'm guessing store bought may not take as long.)
- Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine lime juice, chipotle Chile, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, honey or agave nectar, cumin and sea salt. Process until mixture is smooth.
- Toss desired amount of dressing with the quinoa mixture.
- Plate quinoa and top with avocado and tortilla strips. (If making ahead, wait to put avocado and tortilla strips on at the last minute. Store leftover tortilla strips in an air tight bag, and return to oven to crisp if desired prior to serving.)
If You Like This Mexican Quinoa Salad You May Also Like:
Other Great Mexican Salad Recipes To Check Out:
- Mexican Salad from Genius Kitchen
- Mexican Chopped Salad from Epicurious
- Mexican Fiesta Salad from Taste of Home