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overhead shot of Mexican Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing on the side

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

An easy, healthy 30-minute Mexican Quinoa Salad with charred corn, black beans, avocado, and a zesty cilantro lime dressing! Healthy, delicious, and so satisfying. Perfect for meal prep.  

Course Appetizer, side
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Mexican Quinoa Salad, Southwest Quinoa Salad, Warm quinoa salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 - 4 servings
Calories 450 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson


  • 3 cups mixed greens I like arugula, kale and spinach
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa red or white
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 green bell pepper or 2 Jalapeños diced
  • 1 ripe avocado chopped
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • optional - 1 tbsps chipotle in adobo
  • 3/4 cup fresh or canned corn 2 ears of corn, grilled until charred
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped or torn

Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Prepare quinoa first by thoroughly rinsing 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer then bringing it to a boil with 1 cup water or broth in a small saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes.

  2. Prepare all other salad ingredients by chopping bell pepper and avocado, and dicing onion. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a saucepan. Add onions and diced bell peppers and fry for 2 minutes, adding spices and the oregano after 2 minutes. Fry a minute more and add corn and black beans into the pot. Seasoning with somre more salt if needed.

  3. Prepare the dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blending until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt or honey or maple syrup as needed. I also added a dash of hot sauce.

  4. Put all salad ingredients in a big bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro. 

Recipe Notes

  • I have also made this with diced fresh tomatoes, chopped mango, and a little bit of cucumber. SOOOO good.
  • This salad pairs well with salsa, pico de gallo, sour cream, chips, and a margarita!
  • Leftovers keep for up to a few days, though best when fresh.
  • To make this vegan, use maple syrup instead of honey in the dressing. 
  • If you are not vegan, some crumbled feta or queso fresco would be a great addition.
  • This salad tasted best using charred corn ( see instructions above). 
  • I like to cook my quinoa in broth as it makes it more flavorful.