A perfect salad to make ahead and bring to large gatherings, this Mexican quinoa salad is a full meal FULL of flavor!! The chipotle lime vinaigrette really sets this salad apart!
I 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!
I love how satisfying it it is without any meat…with all that protein…this salad leaves me satiated for hours!
Crunchy bits of fresh vegetable contrast with tender quinoa, and a spicy lime vinaigrette really sets all the flavor off!
Is Quinoa Healthy?
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! – which is a rare find in a a non-meat food source! A good
Considered an ‘ancient grain,” it was originally cultivated in South America and eaten for thousands of years before it became popular current day.
It is also high in magnesium, fiber, and iron.
It’s totally gluten free, but not paleo or keto.
So if you are not excluding grains from your diet, quinoa is a great addition!
Mexican Quinoa Salad Tips and Suggestions:
- this makes a fabulous dish to bring to any large gathering! It’s perfect for a picnic food and potlucks!
- Add some grilled chicken to make a complete meal!!
- this salad is even better if it can sit for a few hours in the fridge, so try and make it a bit ahead of time!
- diced up jalapeños would be a tasty addition, or red bell peppers if you want to avoid the heat.
- Sheep’s milk feta is a lovely addition here! While I am not a huge fan of conventional feta…traditional Greek feta is made with sheep’s milk and is exceedingly delicious. So read some labels, and see if you can find a true Greek feta made only with sheep’s milk! Taste the difference!
- If you prefer to use homemade beans, these slow cooker pinto beans would be a snap to make ahead and throw in!
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!!
Additional Gluten Free Recipes With Mexican Flare:
- Mexican Scrambled Eggs @ Irena Macri
- Instant Pot Carnitas
- Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
- Ground Beef Taco Filling
Mexican Quinoa Salad Recipe:
If you make this, please leave a comment below letting me know how it goes!
Mexican Quinoa Salad
- 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 1 1/2 cups cooked
- 2 avocados cubed
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!
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.
Prepare your veggies.
Whisk all the dressing ingredients together, taste and adjust the chipotle and salt to your tastes if needed.
Toss the cooled quinoa, veggies, beans. and dressing together. Chill in the fridge for a couple hours, if you can wait that long!
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