This healthy Mexican Quinoa Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette is hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian main dish salad or serve it as a side with your favorite protein. Works great for meal prep too!
I have a lot of quinoa salads here on the blog and I love them all equally. Today I’m sharing the updated recipe and photos for this Mexican Quinoa Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette that I first made back in 2014. If you love Mexican and Southwest inspired recipes, then you’ll love this salad!
What Do I Need to Make the Mexican Quinoa Salad?
- Black beans
- Red bell pepper
- Red onion
- Honey or agave syrup or maple syrup to make it vegan
- Chili powder and cumin
This quinoa salad is great if you meal prep your lunches for the week. I also like to make it as a side dish for dinner along with this Tequila Lime Chicken or these Steak Fajita Skewers with Cilantro Chimichurri. It’s also a salad that’s hearty enough to eat on it’s own if you’re looking for something vegetarian.
Can I make this Salad Vegan?
Yes. If you want to make the quinoa salad vegan all you need to do is swap the honey in the vinaigrette for either agave or maple syrup. Be sure to use pure maple syrup and not the artificial flavored stuff.
Do I Need to Rinse the Quinoa?
I always suggest rinsing quinoa before you cook it. Quinoa has a natural protective coating on it called saponin. This coating is bitter and often what people say they don’t like about quinoa. To get the coating off, pour the uncooked quinoa into a mesh strainer and run it under cold water for about a minute. When the water runs clear, the coating should be off and ready for you to cook with.
To make the Mexican Quinoa Salad, start by cooking the quinoa. This takes about 15 minutes, which is just the right amount of time to prep the rest of the ingredients for the salad. Once the quinoa is cooked, let it cool to room temperature and then add in the onion, red bell pepper, black beans, jalapeño, corn, cilantro and spices.
Can I Substitute the Quinoa for Something Else?
If you’re totally opposed to quinoa you can substitute it with brown rice, orzo, couscous, or even cauliflower rice for a low carb option.
The Honey Lime Vinaigrette is what really brings this salad to life. It’s tart, sweet and I love the Mexican spices in it! I like to make all of my vinaigrettes in a small mason jar. Simply add all of the ingredients to it, screw on the the lid and vigorously shake it. I find that the shaking does a better job than my whisk and ensures everything is emulsified.
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and taste for seasoning. Depending on your tastes you may want to add more salt and pepper. You may also want to bump of the lime in the salad with extra juice or zest. This salad can be served at room temperature or refrigerate it until you’re ready to eat.
More Quinoa Salads
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and minced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Rinse the quinoa and cook according to package instructions. Let it cool to room temperature.
- While the quinoa is cooling prep the remaining ingredients for the salad. Once the quinoa is cooled add in the remaining ingredients.
- In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss everything together.
- Serve the salad immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Nutritional information based on 4 servings.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 26mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 13g