Mexican Quinoa Salad

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Mexican Quinoa Salad - Gluten & Dairy FreeI have a good friend that likes to make a version of this salad that is fondly referred to as, “Crack Salad.”  It is an apt name, as quinoa salad, in all it’s variations is incredibly delicious AND addicting!

Not that you need to shy away from gobbling this fresh salad: quinoa is one healthy little grain (technically it is a seed)!  It is a complete protein (all 9 amino acids are there!), so no need to go surfing around for all your nutrients.  It is also high in magnesium and fiber.

If you are unfamiliar with this grain, this is one of the best ways to enjoy it, even for the skeptics out there.  With a slight nutty flavor, this grain is sure to please and people will be asking you for a recipe in no time flat!!

Does anyone else have a quinoa salad variation they love?

Mexican Quinoa Salad - Gluten & Dairy Free

Mexican Quinoa Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small 6" cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed, or about 1½ cups cooked
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • Dressing:
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (your choice of cider, plain, or rice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey or 3-4 drops liquid stevia
  • 4 teaspoons chipotle puree (to taste)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Place your quinoa in a fine mesh colander and rinse thoroughly.  This removes the bitter coating that is not at all tasty or welcome, so do not be tempted to skip this step!
  2. In a medium sauce pan with a tight fitting lid, bring the water and rinsed quinoa to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat, all the liquid should be absorbed.  Set side to cool.
  3. Prepare your veggies.
  4. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together, taste and adjust the chipotle and salt to your tastes if needed.
  5. Toss the cooled quinoa, veggies, beans. and dressing together.  Chill in the fridge for a couple hours, if you can wait that long!


Mexican Quinoa Salad - Gluten & Dairy FreeThis recipe was shared on Mostly Homemade MondaysNatural Living Mondays, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Naturally Sweet Tuesday,GF & DIY TuesdaysHearth & SoulTasty TuesdaysWaste Not Want NotWonderful Wednesday, GF WednesdayReal Foods Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday,  Pennywise PlatterGF Friday,

It's only fair to share...Share on YummlyTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

Posted in Main Dish, Sides & Salads Tagged with:
33 comments on “Mexican Quinoa Salad
  1. Jane says:

    Yum! This looks so good!

  2. amber says:

    Gorgeous salad, Tessa!

    They have this salad in the deli (nearly the same) at my local Coop and I LOOOVEEE it. So awesome to have a recipe to make my own. Plus they add corn which is a big no-no for me.

    Hope you’re having a great weekend.


  3. We love Quinoa! Always looking for a good healthy recipe too! thanks for sharing! i found you at the Better Mom Blog hop. I’m following you now and hope you’ll check out my blog and follow me back!

  4. Jasmine says:

    This has been my favorite quinoa salad of late:

    But I can’t wait to try yours!

  5. Oh YUM! I want that now! The dressing sounds particularly amazing.

  6. Just tried quinoa for the first time yesterday and it IS fabulous! Can’t wait to give this recipe a try…

  7. Crack salad, now that made me laugh :) But very appropriate given how wonderful quinoa is. Love the Mexican flavors in this salad, so tasty! Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon!

  8. I love quinoa and making a salad is one of our favorite ways to use it. We linked up some of our favorite quinoa recipes on our most recipe TV Tuesdays on how to cook quinoa for beginners.

    Some quinoa brands come washed mine does and I love being able to skip the step 😉

  9. I ADORE Quinoa! I actually just posted a Quinoa Mac & Cheese recipe, but I have LOTS of leftovers, and often make something very similar to your salad. Lunch tomorrow, I think!

    Stop on by SalmonAtSeven and enter my launch giveaway!

  10. Rachel says:

    That looks sooooo good! I love quinoa salads! I’m definitely going to have to try yours!

  11. Winnie says:

    We looooooove quinoa, and this salad looks and sounds wonderful.
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe :)

  12. kitblu says:

    I make tabbouleh with quinoa. It gets rave reviews and it is so healthy.

  13. Jen says:

    Love this time of year with all the fresh veggies. This looks yummy. Thanks for coming back and sharing with FF. :)

  14. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Tessa,
    Your recipe looks awesome! Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  15. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  16. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your recipe has been chosen to be on Today’s Feature Post from Cast Party Wednesday! Thank You for sharing your recipe with us! Have a GREAT week!
    —Sheryl @ Lady Behind The Curtain—

  17. Michelle says:

    This looks great. I am going to go grocery shopping to get the ingredients this afternoon. Thanks for posting!

  18. Carole says:

    The subject of this week’s Food on Friday is Salad. It would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . I found this through Melt in Your Mouth Mondays

  19. Kelly says:

    That looks so delicious. I love salads made from grains!

  20. Tammy Eakes says:

    Super YUM! Can’t wait to try this :->
    Visiting from Allergy Free Wednesday. My link is for GF, V Espresso Protein Brownies. The link is
    Hope you’ll check it out! Thanks.

  21. Andrea says:

    This recipe, like all of your recipes, looks fantastic! I bet that dressing would be good on a lot of different salads. I love the smokiness of chipotle peppers, and I can’t wait to try this.

    Off to pin it. Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

  22. Swathi says:

    Delicious salad, thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.

  23. Pure Ella says:

    Looks delicious! 😉 My kind of lunch 😉 xo

  24. Thanks for coming by the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. Love your post and appreciate you taking the time to share. Pinning today!
    Pure Grace Farms recently posted…Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop #79My Profile

  25. How come everything you post looks so amazing? YUM!
    Chantelle Swayne recently posted…Orange and Cinnamon Loaf (Paleo Fruit Cake Sans Raisins) {Grain, Dairy and Refined-Sugar Free}My Profile

  26. Sarah Pie says:

    Quinoa is awesome!! This looks like a great fast and fresh recipe for a summer party :)
    Sarah Pie recently posted…WIAW: The Budget Bites EditionMy Profile

  27. Love this! I’m featuring it tonight on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and pinning it, so thanks for sharing, Tessa :)

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Welcome, I am happy you are here!

My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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