Southwest Quinoa Salad (Gluten Free)

Southwest Quinoa Salad (Gluten Free)


So I hear you are getting tired of rice, looking for a way to use quinoa, or maybe you want a new way to prepare salad. Or you just want a quick and easy meal that won’t hurt you at some point. Well you couldn’t possibly get better than this salad…great tasting, and gluten free!


  • Salad
    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups black beans, cooked and drained OR 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
    • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn OR 1 15 oz. can corn, drained
    • 1 cup tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    • 2 scallions, finely chopped
    • 1 avocado, chopped
    • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Dressing
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste


Wash quinoa and drain using a fine mesh strainer. Add quinoa and water to a medium pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until fluffy and tender (about 15 minutes). Remove pot from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and allow to cool. To assemble the bowl, fill bowl with quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, scallion, avocado and cilantro. Prepare dressing in a small bowl and pour over quinoa salad.

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Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

Please Leave a Comment and a Rating

  1. Maria Gabriela
    March 25, 2018

    This is now my go to salad, thenk you for the recipe.

  2. Arman @ thebigmansworld
    June 11, 2015

    mmm this looks absolutely delicious Michele!

  3. allie @ Through Her LookingGlass
    June 11, 2015

    Gorgeous salad Michelle. Everything so yummy and bold pops of flavor!!!!

  4. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    June 11, 2015

    You can never go wrong with the classic Southwest salad!

  5. Levan @
    June 11, 2015

    Michelle, I love the Southwestern take on a traditional Quinoa Salad. This will surely be a hit for dinner guests! Stumbled this, gladly. Amazing photos, as usual! :)

  6. Florian @ContentednessCooking
    June 11, 2015

    I love everything in this salad! From quinoa to the veggies, want it! This is spring in a bowl.

  7. Lydia @Suitcase Foodist
    June 10, 2015

    I love the idea of adding Maple Syrup to the dressing! I’m sure it just makes the whole salad sing!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      June 11, 2015

      It does add a lovely flavor to the salad, thanks!

  8. Chan
    July 30, 2013

    Absolutely delicious. I added a bit more lemon than called for, and it’s amazing. The avocado makes it creamy. I can’t wait to have it for leftovers!

  9. Liz
    December 21, 2012

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious! Even my young kids LOVED it! I accidentally omitted the corn because I thought we had a can in the pantry but we didn’t. It was awesome as is but would be even better with corn! I used the maple syrup instead of agave nectar, too, and left out the cilantro because we’re not big cilantro fans. Will definitely be making this again!

  10. Michelle Blackwood
    August 28, 2012

    Thank you Moni for all your suggestions.

  11. Moni
    August 19, 2012

    Mixing a wild rice with the quinoa makes for an interesting combination. Generally I’ve used any type of fine diced raw veggie, tossed with a light vinaigrette, no real recipe needed, just cook it properly and mix to your hearts content! Also cooking veggies (onions, carrots etc) with your quinoa, or rice adds flavor to the grain. Adding curry is good too.

  12. michelle blackwood
    August 10, 2012

    Thanks Amy for your comment, I’m happy that you made it . I do like my recipes to be bold in flavor.

  13. michelle blackwood
    August 10, 2012

    You are welcome, Daisy.Thank you for responding. I’m so happy you enjoyed and you will double next time.

  14. michelle blackwood
    August 10, 2012

    Thanks Kristen for your feedback, I’m happy you liked it.

  15. Amy
    August 9, 2012

    Found this on Pinterest and upset I have not made it sooner! I was worried about the agave but it isnt sweet. This is so flavorful.

  16. Daisy
    August 2, 2012

    I made this the other night for “meatless Monday”. It was one of the yummiest things I’ve ever eaten! I was sad that I’d only made 1 batch and I didn’t have enough! I am making it again tonight and I’m doubling the recipe! Thank you so much for this!

  17. Kristen
    August 2, 2012

    I just made it. Delicious. An easy to make salad that is definitely great for summertime. I was nervous about the dressing, because I thought it would overpower the salad, but it adds only a hint of flavor.

  18. Michelle Blackwood
    August 1, 2012

    Thank you Kay for your feedback, this recipe is definitely a winner.

  19. Kay
    July 31, 2012

    I made this for my family tonight. They loved it, even my picky 9 year old. I left out the syrup and used fresh corn. It was still delicious.

  20. Michelle Blackwood
    July 29, 2012

    Thank you Jo.

    July 27, 2012

    Great looking quinoa salad, healthy too.