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, red onion, 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.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

4 from 44 votes
A flavorful and healthy southwestern quinoa salad with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and avocado.
Bowl of quinoa salad with corn, sweet potatoes, corn, cilantro, and black beans.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 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
  • 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • pinch of cumin
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 sea salt + more to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Allow quinoa to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, corn, bell pepper, black beans, red onion, 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.


Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 456kcal Carbohydrates: 53g Protein: 11g Fat: 23g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 5g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Southwestern
Keyword: southwestern quinoa salad


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Recipe Rating

    1. Kayla
      July 4, 2021 AT 7:00 pm

      5 stars
      This was delicious! I made it for lunches for the week and used salsa as the dressing instead of adding more olive oil. I also chopped up some hard boiled eggs for extra protein. Will make again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 5, 2021 AT 11:05 am

        I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Kayla! Love the addition of the hard boiled egg. Thanks so much for the review and star rating. I so appreciate it!

    2. Christina
      June 14, 2021 AT 8:44 pm

      5 stars
      Delicious salad and easy to make. Everyone liked it. Thanks for another great recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 15, 2021 AT 10:33 am

        So glad you enjoyed this salad, Christina! Thanks for making it and coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    3. D
      April 25, 2021 AT 4:30 pm

      1 star
      Music is so obnoxious, I had to turn the volume off. I would like to join this site, but not is this music is always blasting.

    4. vicki
      April 7, 2021 AT 10:59 am

      5 stars
      Used what I had… leftover sweet potatoes, black beans, and charred the corn a little in a pan before adding. Used some leftover orange juice along with the lime for the dressing. It was yummy! Added the last of my broccoli sprouts too.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 7, 2021 AT 12:01 pm

        Yay!! So glad you love this salad and were able to make it work with the ingredients already on hand. Thanks for the review. I appreciate it!

    5. ALana
      March 17, 2021 AT 4:55 pm

      5 stars
      I made this last night for my family and it was a huge hit! I’m hoping to make a double recipe and was wondering what the best way to store leftovers would be?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 17, 2021 AT 5:45 pm

        So glad this recipe was a hit! You could easily store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last about 5 days. 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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