Fiesta Quinoa Salad

Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

I just love quinoa! I had never cooked with it until I made this black bean & corn quinoa salad and let’s just say that I have been completely obsessed ever since. I also have this mango & black bean quinoa salad on the blog too. I really could not pick a favorite. They all have very similar ingredients but yet taste so different.

Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

This fiesta quinoa salad was born out of sheer desperation to eat something besides junk food. I mean seriously, there was leftover Oreo cream pie in the fridge, slices of pizza the size of my head leftover from my husband’s work luncheon, a slice of lemon blueberry cake that my neighbor brought to me, {no flour} triple peanut butter monster cookie bars in the freezer, and a pan of lemon cookie cheesecake delight. All of that just sitting in the fridge staring at me. I usually have somewhat good self control but not the other day. It was just bad. I needed something healthy and light. Basically I needed real food 🙂

Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

Lots of quinoa, cherry tomatoes, avocado, orange pepper, and corn all covered with a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing. So healthy and filling too! I love to make a quinoa salad at the beginning of the week and then eat it for lunch for a few days. If I have something prepared and ready to eat, I end up eating better foods at lunch time instead of eating the leftovers from my kids’ mac n’ cheese or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  

Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

I think my favorite part of this is the creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing. The creamy part comes from the sour cream (I use light sour cream). It’s only 1/4 cup but it adds so much flavor. If you want to make it even healthier go ahead and use plain yogurt or greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. Or, just leave it out and make a cilantro lime vinaigrette without the creamy part.

Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

This would also be a yummy side dish to take to a summer bbq or potluck! I hope you enjoy this one.

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

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Ingredients

    quinoa salad
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • cilantro lime vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • zest and juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Place quinoa in a colander and rinse with water. This cleans the quinoa and helps it taste better.
  2. Combine the rinsed/cleaned quinoa, water, and salt in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium low. Let cook for about 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine the room temperature quinoa, orange pepper, avocado, black beans, corn, and cherry tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  4. In small bowl combine all the cilantro lime vinaigrette ingredients and whisk together. Pour over the quinoa salad and stir to combine.
  5. You can either eat right away or put in the fridge for 2-3 hours and eat it cold.

Notes

You can use any canned corn variety you like. I love the fire-roasted corn, but you could use a sweet yellow corn or white corn, or the mexi-corn variety. Whichever one you want.

If you want to make this even healthier, use plain yogurt instead of the light sour cream. Or leave out the "creamy" part all together in the vinaigrette.

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Fiesta quinoa salad is a healthy side dish or a delicious light lunch. Loaded with quinoa, beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet orange pepper, avocado and covered in a creamy cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing!

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