Southwest Quinoa Salad

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Closeup of SW Quinoa Salad watermark

Now that the forecast calls for mid-80s and it feels like unofficial Summer has arrived, I feel like I can finally make something with tomatoes. This easy, delicious and healthy Summer salad will make you feel positively pious and absolutely ready for Summer. To me, quinoa is practically the perfect food. I love the texture, the taste and the way it fills me up without making me feel full.

When I make a salad like this one, I might spend the next week eating it. It makes a beautiful and tasty side for just about anything. And it is healthy, did I mention how healthy it is?

Southwest Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Lowfat Cooking at

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn
  • 1 – 15 ounce can low-sodium black beans
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 large lime or 2 small ones (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

The very first thing is to rinse the quinoa in a strainer for a minute or so. This rinses off the coating that comes on all quinoa. If you don’t rinse it before cooking, it has a slick texture later…almost a little soapy. Just not as good.

Place in a 2 quart saucepan with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit with the cover on for about 10 more minutes. The fluff with a fork. Spread the quinoa in a half-sheet pan and allow to cool completely.

Now here is a trick that makes this salad really easy. Layer the corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, chopped & seeded jalapeno pepper and cilantro on top of the cold quinoa.

Whole pan of Salad watermark

Whisk lime juice, oil, sugar and cumin in a small bowl. Drizzle over quinoa salad, then toss.

Bowl of SW Quinoa Salad

Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.