Mexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes

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Quinoa salad with black beans, corn, fresh tomatoes, jalapeños, farmers cheese, lime juice, and cilantro.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Quinoa is quickly becoming one of my favorite foods. How about you? Grain-like, but not really a grain, quinoa has a wonderfully nutty flavor. It’s also happily very good for you, being high in protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, and iron.

Quinoa goes well with Southwestern flavors and especially well with cheese, in particular farmers cheese, a soft, mild cheese like queso fresco or fresh mozzarella.

This quinoa salad is a toss together of black beans, fresh garden tomatoes, corn, farmers cheese, jalapeños, red onions, cilantro, and lime. Yum! It will last for days chilled which makes it a great make-ahead salad for picnics and gatherings. Enjoy.

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6

If you are working with frozen corn, you can add more flavor by taking the frozen corn kernels and searing them directly on a hot pan, without defrosting first. Save time by prepping most of the ingredients while the quinoa is cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted, OR 1 cup of fresh corn, parboiled, drained and cooled (approximately the amount of kernels from one ear of corn)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 5 ounces Queso fresco, Queso Panela, fresh Mozzarella or other mild farmer's cheese, cut into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, including tender stems, packed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Method

1 Cook the quinoa: Put the rinsed quinoa, salt and water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer gently until the quinoa absorbs all the water, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl and fluff up with a fork to help it cool more quickly.

2 Soak onions in lime juice: While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. Soak the red onions in the lime juice and set aside. Soaking the onions in lime juice (or lemon juice or water) helps take the edge off of them.

3 Mix the prepped black beans, corn kernels, tomatoes, cheese, jalapeños, cilantro, and oil into a large bowl.

4 Add quinoa and onions to bean mixture: When the quinoa has cooled, mix it into the bean mixture. Add the red onion and the lime juice and add salt, more oil or lime juice to taste.

Serve at room temperature.

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Links:

Quinoa Salad with Beets, Chickpeas and Orange - from Gluten Free Goddess

Quinoa Salad with Red Bell Pepper and Cilantro - from Kalyn's Kitchen

Quinoa Salad with Mango and Avocado - from Two Peas and Their Pod

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Showing 4 of 50 Comments

  • Lizzie

    I made this with heirloom tomatoes and loved it! Took it to work during the week and sliced up extra avocado. So easy to make and tasty. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Nick Barnett

    Anybody know the nutritional content?

  • Kate

    Hi there! Love this recipe! This will be my ump-teenth time making it. My boyfriend and I make these into tacos, add a little salsa and avocado on there and we have ourselves a good healthy dinner that we can stretch over a few nights. This time I’m going to try to swap out one tomato for a red pepper and adding an extra jalapeño to change it up a bit. Thanks for posting!

  • Trey

    switch the tomatoes for red peppers!!

  • Laura

    What kind of tomatoes do you recommend? Would grape tomatoes cut in half work?

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Mexican Quinoa SaladMexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes