Southwest Quinoa Salad

/ /

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (186 votes, average: 3.74 out of 5)

We are delighted to feature a recipe from Plant- Powered Families. The cookbook author Dreena Burton shares over 100 delicious, whole foods plant-based recipes in her book. All of the recipes have been taste-tested by her 3 children— including this Southwest Quinoa Salad.

Serve the salad as it is or pair it with roasted vegetables.




  • 21/2–3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4–1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2–3/4 cup chopped avocado, tossed in squeeze of extra lime juice (see note)
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (opt for organic, frozen is fine)
  • 1/2 cup mild or medium salsa (see note)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional; can substitute flat-leaf parsley)
  • 3–4 tablespoons chopped green onion (just the green portion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, or more to taste
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon sea salt (see note)
  • 1/8 rounded teaspoon allspice


Serves 3–4

  1. In a large bowl, combine the lime juice, agave nectar, quinoa, black beans, avocado, corn, salsa, red bell pepper, cilantro, green onion, cumin, sea salt, and allspice. Add extra lime juice and sweetener to taste, as well as any additional seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Avocado Note: If making this salad ahead of time, do not add the avocado, as it will discolor. Toss together all the ingredients, chill, and then work in the avocado/lime juice before serving.
  3. Salsa Note: I normally like mild salsa, but you can use a medium salsa in this salad. For kiddos, you may want to use a mild salsa. I find 1/2 cup is just enough, but feel free to add another few tablespoons if you like it saucier!
  4. Salt Note: Start with about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, then adjust to add extra later if needed. You may want a little more depending on the brand of salsa that you use.