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Loaded with fresh and healthy ingredients, this vegan Southwest quinoa salad is all kinds of delicious. Made with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and avocado, it’s fresh, zingy and full of flavor.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Olive oil: Used for roasting the potatoes and also to dress the salad. Feel free to substitute with avocado oil.
- Quinoa: Use tri-color quinoa for this recipe for extra, which is a mix of white, black and red quinoa. It has a great mix of textures and flavors. You can use also use white quinoa.
- Sweet potatoes: Peel and cube the sweet potatoes, season and roast them. Roasting really brings out the natural sweet flavor.
- Black Beans: Drain and rinse the beans well before using. Black beans work well in this recipe, but you can switch out to red kidney beans.
- Corn: You can use frozen, canned or fresh corn off the kernels for this salad.
- Vegetables: Bell pepper, red onions and avocado.
- Lime juice: No Southwest salad is complete without lime juice. Use fresh rather than bottled for the best flavor.
- Seasonings: Salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and fresh cilantro.
How to make southwest quinoa salad
Cook the sweet potatoes
- Peel and chop the potatoes, season and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Roast until golden brown.
Cook quinoa and assemble the salad
- Simmer the quinoa until cooked. Let sit and fluff.
- Add all of the salad ingredients to the quinoa.
- Combine and season to taste.
Tips for making the salad recipe
- Be sure to rinse the quinoa before cooking. Quinoa has a natural casing that can taste bitter and soapy. Rinse it in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
- Toast you quinoa before adding the liquid. This helps to bring out the natural nutty flavors for a really delicious dish.
- Dice the sweet potato into small cubes. This will cut down on cooking time. Cut them into similar sizes so that they cook evenly.
- Add in some shredded chicken or chickpeas for a fuller meal. This Southwest quinoa salad is filling as it is with 28g of protein, but you can easily add in some extra protein if you like.
Frequently asked questions
This quinoa salad is delicious served as soon as you’ve made it so that the quinoa and sweet potatoes are still warm, or, you can make it ahead of time and serve chilled.
If you want to make this more than a day or two ahead of time, it’s best to leave the avocado out, as this will start to brown. Without the avocado, it will keep well covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can easily enjoy this Southwest quinoa salad as it is as a lunch, or spoon it over some fresh greens like spinach, lettuce or arugula. It makes a great side too to accompany grilled chicken or salmon.
This Southwest quinoa salad is so easy to make and bursting with fresh flavors. It makes for a great vegan main dish, or a delicious accompaniment to a main meal. However you serve it, you’re going to love it.
More salads to try:
- Vegetarian Tuna Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Avocado Blueberry Salad
- Mediterranean Potato Salad
- Vegetarian Cobb Salad
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Southwest Quinoa Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!
Southwest Quinoa Salad
- 3 ½ tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 cup uncooked tri-color quinoa rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons salt plus more to taste
- 2 medium sweet potatoes cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 10 ounce bag frozen corn, thawed
- 1 bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and diced
- ¼ red onion finely chopped
- 1 avocado pitted and chopped
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Roast sweet potatoes
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper. Arrange on prepared sheet and roast until golden brown, 25-30 minutes, mixing potatoes halfway through.
- Heat ½ tablespoon oil in a medium save pot over medium high heat. Add quinoa and toast until fragrant, 2 minutes.
- Add 1 ¾ cup water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and reduce to a gentle simmer and cover.
- Cook for 15 minutes, remove from heat (while keeping the pot covered) and let stand for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff and keep warm.
- To pot of cooked quinoa, add roasted sweet potatoes, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, beans, corn, pepper, red onion, avocado, lime juice, zest, and fresh cilantro.
- Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Mix and serve immediately or let cool and serve chilled.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.
Omg tried this for today’s lunch and it was sooo good! I didn’t have quinoa so I skipped that but it still turned out great! I also used red beans and purple sweet potatoes because that’s what I had. This won’t be the last time I’m making it. Thanks, Yumna!
I am so glad you enjoyed it, Mae! Great idea to use red beans and purple potatoes I bet that ways so good!
Your recipe says to use sweet potatoes but the pictures and videos look like you used yams.
These are sweet potatoes, but I’m sure yams could work in this recipe too!
So refreshing and flavorful! My husband and I loved the combinations of flavors and the crunch of the bell pepper with the sweet creaminess of the roasted sweet potatoes. We can’t wait to eat the leftovers. I’ll definitely be making this one again!
Thank you so much! That makes me so happy to hear. Hope you continue to enjoy!
Absolutely amazing. I made it as a breakfast bowl instead and kept all the ingredients hot. I topped it with some scrambled eggs and a bit of salsa. Super super good.
Sooooo good and very filling!! Thank you .
Best dinner ever! I’ve had this saved for a long time and finally made! Definitely adding my my weekly dinners!!!
So glad you finally made it and loved it! Yay!!
Normally it’s hard to ask my son to eat sweet potatoes, but this time, he ate the roast sweet potatoes and the rest of the Southwest quinoa salad happily. Thank you, Yumna!
That’s incredible! Love that he enjoyed it all!
Omg I broke my fast with this salad and it was perfect ! I followed the recipe and squeezed some more lime. My whole family enjoyed it. Very refreshing and filling ! Thank you Yumna!
I’m so happy to hear that! Lime really is a must in this recipe! Yay!!