Southwestern Quinoa Salad

This spiced up Southwestern Quinoa Salad with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and avocado makes for a quick and easy meal or flavorful side dish.

For whatever reason Isaac and I have been on a serious Mexican kick lately. We’ve been loving old favorites like my Quinoa Fiesta Bake and these Taco Salad Bowls, but I’ve been whipping up a few new recipes like this southwest quinoa salad as well. We’ve already made the quinoa salad multiple times because it’s crazy good, super easy and makes for an awesome make-ahead lunch option. If you like this quinoa salad, I have a full roundup of quinoa salad recipes.

Bowl of quinoa salad with corn, sweet potatoes, corn, cilantro, and black beans.

If you’re a fan of fresh Mexican food, you’re going to LOVE this! You can prep everything on Sunday and have lunch for a couple days. If serving it for lunch, it’s got plenty of protein and healthy fat to hold it’s own, but as a volume eater I like serving it over a bed of greens.

It’s also a great as a side dish —perfect for parties (you could even bring tortilla chips for dipping) or served alongside roasted chicken or blackened seafood.

It’s basically a Mexican take on my favorite Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Quinoa Salad. Roasted sweet potatoes and quinoa are still involved, I just nixed the kale and added a bunch of other goodies like bell pepper, beans, avocado, cilantro and spicy seasonings. Mark this down in history because you’ll almost never see me take kale out of recipe!

Ingredients for a southwestern quinoa salad in a bowl before being mixed: sweet potato, onion, peppers, black beans, corn, and cilantro.

Ingredients in Southwestern Quinoa Salad

  • quinoa
  • sweet potato
  • bell pepper
  • black beans
  • corn – I like using frozen to keep things easy
  • red onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • avocado
  • olive oil
  • lime juice
  • spices: chili powder, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, sea salt

Close up shot of southwestern quinoa salad with peppers, sweet potato, black beans, and corn.

How to Make Southwest Quinoa Salad

Start by prepping your sweet potato. Chop it into bite sized chunks, toss in olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 400º. As your sweet potatoes are cooking, cook quinoa according to package directions.

In a large bowl, combined the cooled sweet potatoes, quinoa, bell pepper, black beans, shallot, cilantro and avocado. Add in the cup olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, black pepper and sea salt. Gently toss the salad to combine. You can serve it right away or let it chill in the fridge a few hours before serving so all of the flavors can marinate. Top with queso fresco if you’re feeling fancy!

Love Quinoa Salad Recipes? Try These:

If you make this southwestern quinoa salad, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.

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Bowl of quinoa salad with corn, sweet potatoes, corn, cilantro, and black beans.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A flavorful and healthy southwestern quinoa salad with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and avocado.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into bite size chunks
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup thawed frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup + 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • pinch of cumin
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 sea salt + more to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Toss sweet potato chunks with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and arrange evenly on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Allow sweet potato chunks to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Allow quinoa to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, corn, bell pepper, black beans, shallot, cilantro and avocado. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, black pepper and sea salt. Gently toss the salad to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve salad right away or chill in the fridge a few hours before serving. Add a sprinkle of queso fresco or feta cheese when serving, if desired.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southwestern

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 456
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
  • Fiber: 11g
  • Protein: 11g

Keywords: southwestern quinoa salad

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    40 comments
    1. Samudrika Herath
      August 24, 2020 AT 5:36 am

      Excellent recipe and I found them to b very healthy.

      Thank you

      Samudrika

    2. Amalia
      July 13, 2020 AT 8:58 pm

      Made this for dinner tonight. Cooked the quinoa in broth for extra flavor. It was delicious, everyone loved it (kids ate it deconstructed). Served with grilled chicken sausage and it was perfect!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 14, 2020 AT 11:26 pm

        Yay! So glad this salad was a hit! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I appreciate it, Amalia. 🙂

    3. Lauren
      July 12, 2020 AT 7:56 pm

      Easy, healthy and flavorful! Perfect side dish for a BBQ!

    4. Jessica
      July 8, 2020 AT 8:43 am

      I love quinoa salads! This one is probably my favorite… ever!
      Thank you so much for all of these amazing recipes.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 8, 2020 AT 4:50 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Jessica. I’m so glad this salad is a hit!! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    5. Marilyn
      June 13, 2020 AT 2:06 pm

      this was amazing! I am on a lime kick right now and loving any recipe with lime juice. This was delicious!

    6. Stacy K.
      June 7, 2020 AT 8:58 am

      Made this last night to go along with our fish and shrimp tacos, and it was perfect! Even my father-in-law, who literally had no idea what quinoa was, liked it.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 8, 2020 AT 11:28 am

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Stacy!! I’m so glad this salad was a hit. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    7. Kerry H Hoeschen
      May 22, 2020 AT 12:56 pm

      So good! I made this today and LOVE IT! I cannot think of anything I would change. I had more corn, red onion, and black beans than the recipe called for so I made breakfast burritos with it.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 22, 2020 AT 7:45 pm

        Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this salad recipe, Kerry! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    8. Shannon
      May 21, 2020 AT 5:52 pm

      Delicious! I made this for dinner but am looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow too. I added the avocado to the top as a garnish instead of mixing in for those in my family who don’t care for avocado (can you imagine?)

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 22, 2020 AT 8:04 pm

        Yay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed this quinoa salad, Shannon. I guess that means more avocado for you. 🙂

    9. Katie
      May 5, 2020 AT 7:28 pm

      YUM!

    10. Sarah
      April 25, 2020 AT 6:59 pm

      I’m on a roll with making salads and this one was so good! It will be even better when it’s been in the fridge(quinoa wasn’t completely cooled). Looking forward to having it tomorrow! Thanks again, I just love your recipes.

    11. Ana P
      April 24, 2020 AT 1:06 pm

      This was delicious! My daughter said it was the best meal she has ever eaten! I did not have sweet potato so I substituted roasted carrots. Worked just fine. Love this recipe. Will definitely make again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 24, 2020 AT 2:13 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Ana!! I’m so glad this dish was a hit. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    12. Anna P.
      April 17, 2020 AT 11:20 am

      Such a yummy side dish! I made it for my family with salmon and everyone loved it! Another GREAT recipe.

    13. emily stewart
      February 27, 2020 AT 7:42 pm

      This dish is awesome. I made it with butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes because that was what I had on-hand. Loved it! Super easy.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 28, 2020 AT 2:14 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad you enjoyed this salad, Emily! Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    14. Monique
      January 25, 2020 AT 11:59 am

      made this last week, doubled it cause there’s 4 of us in the house. My mother in law and i have added it to our lunch every day and LOVE IT!!!!Tasty & filling, also easy to make, thank you . this will be made on the regular! (Also you know its good when I take time to writ a comment :))
      THANK YOU !!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 26, 2020 AT 7:10 pm

        YAY!! I love hearing that, Monique. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating, it means the world to me! <3

    15. Leanne W
      January 14, 2020 AT 8:21 am

      One of the easiest and yummiest recipes ever!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 15, 2020 AT 1:06 am

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Leanne! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, I really appreciate it. <3

        1. Amanda
          October 2, 2020 AT 9:35 pm

          Love you and your recipes but I honestly wouldn’t make it again. Husband agrees. It’s not bad but it’s not going back on the menu. Maybe would be good with something?

          1. Brittany Mullins
            October 3, 2020 AT 10:00 pm

            Oh no! So sorry to hear that this recipe wasn’t a hit with you. What didn’t you like about it? Did you change anything about the recipe?

    16. Laura E
      July 1, 2019 AT 5:17 pm

      Made this last night, easy and delicious!! Ate some today for lunch, even better the second day. If using for meal prep, how many days will it last?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 1, 2019 AT 5:19 pm

        Yay! I’m so excited that you enjoyed it, Laura. It should last at least 3-4 days in the fridge.

    17. Angela
      June 26, 2019 AT 10:46 pm

      We made this tonight, and it was a hit! We would up the spices next time, and mix with olive oil before dressing the quinoa. Thank you for another, great dish!

    18. Ernest Pecku
      May 31, 2019 AT 4:16 pm

      Please we can offer you Quinoa and other products in bulk from India and Peru.
      If you have any interest, please revert.

      Thanks and regards,

      Ernest Pecku

    19. healthy meals
      December 25, 2016 AT 7:40 am

      There’s certainly a great deal to find out about this
      subject. I really like all the points you have made.

    20. annieallbee
      March 14, 2016 AT 8:33 pm

      Just made this as a side to turkey burgers and it is AMAZING! The colors and the flavors are incredible. It’s 75 degrees out in Kansas City and this salad just made it feel like summer!

      1. Patricia Kay Alexander
        June 26, 2019 AT 2:36 pm

        Is the salad very spicy hot? My husband loves the hot stuff but I don’t so was just wondering how hot it really is. Love all of these salads!!

    21. Elizabeth Dillman
      January 12, 2016 AT 12:15 pm

      I make the one with kale all the time, so will definitely give this one a whirl! Thanks.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 12, 2016 AT 2:02 pm

        Please do and let me know what you think of it. 🙂

    22. maloupeters
      January 12, 2016 AT 11:54 am

      It looks delicious!!

    23. neil@neilshealthymeals.com
      January 12, 2016 AT 3:31 am

      Delicious Brittany! I love all your salad recipes so I’ll be having me this one too. (Although as it’s currently -5 here in Scotland, I might wait a few month until it’s warmer 😉 ) Pinned!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 12, 2016 AT 2:03 pm

        I feel ya! It’s actually pretty chilly here too right now. Thank you for pinning. 🙂

    24. Cascia Talbert
      January 11, 2016 AT 11:55 am

      That looks delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Have a terrific week.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 12, 2016 AT 2:04 pm

        Thanks Cascia!

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