Get ready to fall hard for this simple and delicious Quinoa Salad recipe that will be everyone’s favorite side dish, or add protein to make it a complete meal.

Want more healthy recipes? I love this Spring Roll Bowl, Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, or Bulgur Salad!

Quinoa Salad made with black beans, tomato and avocado, served in an oval serving dish.

I’ve been crushing on this Quinoa Salad for over a decade.

It really was love at first bite when I had this specific quinoa salad at my twin sister’s bridal shower, circa 2012. I immediately begged my friend, Ali Linthorst, for the recipe and we’ve been in love with it ever since.

I mean, it’s a bonus that it’s healthy, protein-rich and packed with iron and fiber, but I mostly care that it’s absolutely delicious and full of fresh ingredients. I serve it as a side dish often, but we also enjoy it as a hearty meal, with grilled chicken, shrimp, and mango added to the mix. It’s also great for potlucks since it’s gluten-free and vegetarian.

If you love quinoa, try a Quinoa Burger, Thai Quinoa Salad, or Bulgur Salad!

How to make Quinoa Salad:

Cook Quinoa and Make Dressing: Cook quinoa in vegetable broth according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool for 20 minutes. In another bowl, combine dressing ingredients.

Cooked quinoa in a pot, next to another photo of quinoa salad dressing mixed together in a cup.

Combine: Pour quinoa into a large bowl. Add black beans, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and avocado. Drizzle dressing over salad and stir gently.

Enjoy immediately, for best results, or refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

Fresh veggies and black beans chopped for quinoa salad, then added to the salad.

Make Ahead Instructions:

To Make Ahead: This southwest quinoa salad recipe is best enjoyed the same day, but it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days–just don’t add the avocado until ready to serve.

More Salad Recipes:

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The best Quinoa Salad recipe with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and a light dressing.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Save Recipe


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth , chicken broth, or water
  • 15 ounce can black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 5 green onions , chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro , chopped
  • 1 avocados , chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste



  • Cook quinoa and vegetable broth according to package directions. Once cooked, fluff with a fork, then allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  • Whisk dressing ingredients in a bowl: olive oil, lime juice, cumin, and red pepper flakes.
  • Assemble: Transfer quinoa to a large bowl. Add black beans, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and avocado. Pour dressing over salad and stir gently to combine. Serve immediatly.


Add Protein: Make it a meal by adding 12oz grilled chicken breast, shrimp, tofu or steak

Macros Recipe Adaptation

Add 12 oz. cooked chicken breast

Per Serving Amount

284 grams


398kcal, Fat: 17g, Carbs: 36g, Protein: 26g (serves 6) | MFP: Southwest Quinoa Salad (TBFS Macros)


Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 10gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 596mgPotassium: 657mgFiber: 10gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 553IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 3mg

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I originally shared this recipe May 2019. Updated May 2024.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

4.95 from 19 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this the other night with a few modifications. I didn’t have enough quinoa on hand so I used couscous and we added grilled chicken. It was delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    I served this at our Memorial Day lunch yesterday with some vegetarian guests. It was one of the first things gone and everyone asked for the recipe. Thanks!

    1. Hi Mike,
      The salad lasts well in the refrigerator but I would wait to add the avocados until you are ready to serve!

  3. Yummy! My sister, Cortney, LOVES LOVES LOVES salads like this! I’m for sure passing this recipe on to her too!! Thanks lady!

  4. I have had this, and I can personally vouch that is is like the most amazing quinoa salad… EVER!

  5. Is the quinoa measured before cooking it? I used 1 cup prepared quinoa and it didn’t seem like enough.