Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

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Bored of the same ole’ salad?  Tired of choosing between iceberg and romaine lettuce, tomatoes or no tomatoes? Why not try a quinoa salad?!


I was “Mayan Riviera Dreaming” the other day (what with the sun FINALLY shining outside), even though we were all stuck inside the house, sick as dogs!  Sometimes just the thought of a warm place (or a great vacation) can lift someone’s spirits.  In our house, food also does the trick!

This is one of our fave quinoa dishes, light and refreshing yet very filling.  It’s one of my go-to recipes, especially during the summer months when we want to eat fresh and light.
It keeps very well in the fridge so don’t be afraid to make this hefty amount…the longer the ingredients sit, the better this quinoa salad tastes!


Don’t want to make this hefty amount?  Check out my out the one-portion baby-friendly “Mexican Salad” recipe.

(Serves 4-6 adults)
2 cups pre-rinsed organic quinoa, uncooked
4-4 1/2 cups water
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn (about 1/2 can)
1 ripe avocado, finely diced
1 ripe mango, finely diced
1 tomato,  finely diced
1/2 lg. cucumber, finely diced
1-2 scallions, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
2-3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne (optional)

Quinoa cooking instructions:
In a medium pot, bring 4 cups water to a boil.  Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium low and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated and the quinoa is cooked through.  If need be continue to add more water (a few tbsp. at a time), stirring every now and again, until fully cooked.
*TIP: Taste often near the end of the cooking process to ensure you don’t overcook the quinoa and end up with a “mushy” Tex-Mex quinoa salad!

Set aside to cool thoroughly or transfer to a large bowl.


Cut avocado in half lengthwise.  Score the pit with a large knife, twist and remove.  Slice the avocado vertically and horizontally into 1 inch pieces.  Remove the pieces by scooping out with a spoon.


Peel mango, cut off large slices around the pit then chop into 1 inch pieces.  Chop the tomatoes and cucumbers into 1 inch pieces (you might want to slice the cucumber a little bit thinner so the pieces are easier to chew), finely dice scallion, and add all ingredients to a large bowl (or the pot, like I did!  I stick with the pot then pop it in the fridge with the leftovers…one less dish to wash!).


Drain corn, drain and rinse beans then add both to the pot with all the other ingredients and mix to combine.  Dress the salad with olive oil, lime juice, balsamic, cumin, and salt and pepper.
*TIP: To avoid over-dressing the salad, start with 2 tbsp. each of olive oil and balsamic then add more according to taste.


I usually let the salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour or two so the flavours can combine and soak through the quinoa.


Serve chilled and store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.


What’s your favourite quinoa dish?

  • mmmm this looks delicious!!! I bet the mango makes it to die for!!! Yum :)

  • Thanks so much for sharing! This looks absolutely delicious. Anything made with avocado and quinoa is a homerun in my book :) Happy Friday! xx

  • Amy

    Ooh I like the added cucumber and mango.

    I make mine with a dressing of pureed chilis in adobo, lime juice and olive oil. Make sure to deseed the chilis or your mouth will be on fire!

    • Lisa @bitesforbabies

      The cucumber adds the perfect amount of crunch! Your version sounds delicious…although I don’t know if I could handle the heat. I love the flavour of spicy food but my taste buds don’t ;-)

  • One of the best things about quinoa is how well it goes with pretty much everything. I can’t wait to give this a try.

  • Christy Maurer

    I would love this! We use quinoa to coat chicken breasts and oven fry them. I love avocado and mango, so this would be great!

    • I’ve made quinoa-crusted chicken as well…the quinoa adds so much flavour!

  • Oh that’s awesome! I’ve been really into quinoa this past year. I need to make this for myself.

  • Jeanine

    Yum! I tried quiona just recently and I am absolutely obsessed with it! This looks so good, I think I would enjoy this!

  • Robin Rue

    That sounds really good. I know a lot of people love quinoa, so I am sure this will be a big hit.

  • touristmeetstraveler

    Quinoa is so crazy good for you, this is an awesome recipe and something I will love to try making myself!

    • I prefer it to rice or other grains any day…it’s so much lighter and flavourful.

  • I’m all about quinoa nowadays! This looks REALLY good. Would love to try this.

  • Rebecca Swenor

    This looks and sounds totally delicious. I have never made a salad like this but I will have to try making it. I haven’t had quinoa before. Thanks for sharing.

  • How delicious! I love quinoa. I’ll definitely have to try this recipe sometime.

  • michele d

    I am so looking forward to trying this recipe out. It looks wonderful.

  • Shirgie Scf

    When I saw the photo, I was like, what kind of food is that? It looks like a Korean version of Bibimpap, but this one has fruits on it and not veggies.. But thank you for sharing the recipe.

  • I love this recipe and will actually try it! Avocado and quinoa are my favorite ingredients. Thanks for sharing :)

    • They’re some of my favourites too…and they go so well together! I made some chicken quinoa burgers the other stuffed with avocado! They were delicious!

  • My boys love quinoa so this would be a hit in our house. Planning on giving it a try next Taco Tuesday!


  • Kelly Hutchinson

    I love that this is a fresher and healthier version of the usual tex mex salad. I never can make quinoa but your recipe makes it seem easy.

    • How do you make your quinoa? I find there are so many different ways to make it. I haven’t had any issues with this method ;-)

  • Roaming Family

    This looks really good. I love using quinoa, and definitely don’t use it often enough. This sounds really tasty!

  • mail4rosey

    Good tip on letting it sit. Some things really do just get better tasting like that… And I’m sorry to hear you were all sick!

  • I keep seeing Quinoa in stores but never new what I could make with it. This looks amazing!

  • That’s a really nice looking salad. SOmething I can definitely get behind as a change up from the typical lettuce based salads.

    • It’s a great protein-packed option for vegetarians, plus it’s much more filling than lettuce-based salads!

  • Shabby Chic Boho

    Looks yummy and tasty, I’ve never tried it and I’d love to try it out!

  • WhispersInspire

    Mmmm, I love quinoa and I am always looking for ways to eat it!

  • Lynn Dee

    I’ve been wanting to try quinoa. I love that your recipe has avocado. I love avocado. I will have to try this soon!

  • Sharon Ulery Ruggieri

    I feel like a dork, I’ve never heard of quinoa…is that bad?

  • Tiffany Cutcliff

    This looks so good! I love quinoa and forgot about how yummy it is southwest style. Coming back later for recipe!