This southwestern chipotle quinoa salad is perfect for potlucks and picnics. Or serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken any night of the week.
There are times when I ponder what it might be like to go vegetarian. I made an attempt the other night to walk on the light side by cooking up a veggie burger for myself. All was going along swimmingly - a whole wheat bun, a grain and bean-filled patty, and a dollop of yogurt-dill sauce leftover from the Pan-Fried Bulgur Cakes. The saturated fat count was low, no animals were harmed in the process, and I was feeling very proud of my meatless meal. That is, until I topped the burger with a strip of crispy, salty bacon. It rapidly became clear to me that I am not cut out to be a vegetarian. And let me tell you something - that was the best veggie burger I have ever consumed.
In an attempt to pay penitence for meat-filled indiscretion, I fixed a truly vegetarian dish for lunch today. Quinoa, my whole grain paramour, became a hearty meal when mixed with black beans and corn, and tossed with a spicy and sweet dressing made from lime juice, cumin, chipotle peppers, and honey. It was so satisfying that I felt momentarily guilty for my bacon gaffe the night before.
How to make southwestern quinoa salad
COOK THE QUINOA: Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh sieve and give it a good rinse under running water. Combine quinoa and fresh water in medium saucepan set over high heat. Once the water boils, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until all of the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl.
MAKE THE DRESSING: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, agave nectar, cumin, chipotle pepper and salt. Chipotle peppers are sold in cans and are usually labelled as "Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce". While whisking constantly, slowly poru in the extra-virgin olive oil to the chipotle mixture to form a dressing.
ADD THE REST: Stir the rinsed black beans and corn kernels corn kernels into the quinoa.
TOSS WITH DRESSING: Add the chipotle dressing to the quinoa and gently toss to combine. Stir in ¼ cup chopped cilantro. Serve warm or refrigerate to serve cold later.
More quinoa recipes to try
Moroccan Chicken Quinoa Salad
Quinoa with Braised Fennel
Quinoa with Caramelized Mushrooms
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed well and drained
- 2 cups cold water
- ½ cup canned black beans rinsed and drained
- ½ cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) corn kernels
- ¼ cup minced cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey (not vegan)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon seeded & minced chipotle pepper (sold in cans, in adobo sauce)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in medium saucepan set over high heat. Once the water boils, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until all of the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Stir black beans and corn kernels into the quinoa. Add the chipotle dressing to the quinoa and gently toss to combine. Stir in cilantro. Serve warm or refrigerate to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, agave nectar, ground cumin, chipotle pepper and salt. salt, and chipotle pepper. While whisking constantly, slowly add the extra-virgin olive oil to the chipotle mixture to form a dressing. 1
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Love this recipe! I've made it a few times and each time, I find it tastes even better.
Dara (Cookin' Canuck)
I'm so glad to hear that, Kimberly. It's one of my favorites, too.
Finally a recipe with quinoa that I really enjoy. I've been wanting to use this grain, but hadn't found the right recipe to eat it regularly. Thank you! I didn't have honey or the peppers so I substituted agave nectar and hot sauce, seems that the sweet spicy combo still worked.
this looks divine. quinoa is a very healthy gain and you can do alot with it..thanks for sharing your recipe
Natalie (The City Sisters)
The is such a perfect recipe! We are cooking for a brood this weekend in Texas and this will be the perfect side dish to our pulled pork tacos! Can't wait to try it!!
Melody Fury - GourmetFury.com
This is a beautiful recipe! I would love for you to enter it to our 8th monthly veggie contest. This month's theme vegetable is corn!
More details: http://tiny.cc/ikije
Have a great day 🙂
Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker
Awesome summer dish! I love quinoa and black beans 🙂
I love the addition of corn! I always enjoy a little crunch with quinoa, and this sounds really good.
Love it! I still have yet to try quinoa...crazy, right? 🙂 I definitely want to give this a try.
I am a quinoa fanatic! This one sounds great!
Love this one Dara!
I love quinoa - this recipe looks fantastic! Great flavors going on.
i love quinoa salad, your dressing sounds awesome. we will definitely be using it next time!
great recipe, I love wuinoa and the dressing I can imagine adds great flavor..
Trudy (veggie num num)
The dressing sounds so light and delish! What a wonderful veggie lunch.
Mmmm that looks so healthy and delicious!