Southwestern Quinoa Salad



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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.

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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:

4.24 from 68 votes

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Southwestern
Keyword: southwestern quinoa salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 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.

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

  2. 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. 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!

  3. 5 stars
    Your welcome any day in my life, I love the recipes. Thank you for keeping on your list. Carol Moore

  4. 5 stars
    This is one of my all time summer favorite salads! Perfect on a bed of spinach, topped with a black bean burger, or if you’re feeling extra fancy seared scallops. My husband requests this salad at least once a week. Its also a great dish to bring to a summer potluck. You will not regret adding this to your weekly meal plan.

    1. Yay!! So glad this quinoa salad was a hit, Emma! And yum for adding a black bean burger or scallops, that would be be delish! Thanks for the review!

  5. 5 stars
    Another easy peasy delicious salad from EBF! My picky 6 y/o and husband LOVED it. Simple, delicious, and nutritious. This is will be on repeat this summer. Thank you!

    1. Yay!! So glad this quinoa salad was a hit, Samantha! Thanks so much for trying it and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

    1. Ah yay! This makes me so happy to hear, Melissa. So pumped you’ve been loving this salad. Thanks for the review!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe was a hit with my family! We are eating clean and also have a vegetarian in the family. It’s sometimes hard to find good recipes that have both requirements. This one did not disappoint, my husband called it the new potato salad for summer bbqs! (LOL)

    1. Yay! I love to hear that! So glad this one worked out for the whole family. Thank you for leaving a review and comment as well, I so appreciate it!

  7. 5 stars
    Easy to make with fantastic taste. The only thing I altered slightly was the addition of a tablespoon of maple syrup to the marinade my daughter needs a little sweetness. She loved it.

    1. Aw yay! I am so glad that this salad is a hit, John! Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

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