An easy to make southwestern quinoa and black bean salad that takes 15 minutes to assemble and can use up your leftover quinoa! This salad is packed with lots of veggies and is low fat! 

Southwestern Quinoa and Black Bean SaladYou know the feeling that you get when you get back from vacation? *sad face x100*

I think I might have mentioned it a bajillion times already (not to mention the number of pictures bombarding your instagram feed) but we just got back from a relaxing vacay with temperatures that weren’t anywhere near the 100s. I’m still grieving the loss of the vacation, and slightly cross from the flipflop tan lines that i’ve gained from being back in Texas (in less than a week I tell you). But i’m really excited to show you some pics of the trip!

Today’s post has half of the vacation photos because i’ve got a lot of pics I want to share and plus i’m slow. There I said it. Oh but before that. SALAD. Because I ate way to many unhealthy things on this vacation. So we must detox the system with good for you southwestern quinoa and black bean salad. In the mix we’ve got quinoa (duh), black beans (double duh), corn, red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and red onions. And this cilantro-lime-jalapeno dressing that will make you kick your legs up in the air and scream ‘yee-haw’.

No joke. Okay, on to vacation pictures!


We landed in Chicago on a late Wednesday afternoon and first thing on Thursday morning the hubby and I were off to Millennium Park. Millennium Park houses a number of really interesting sculptures by various artists as well as a beautiful garden right in the heart of the city. It is also the home of the forever famous “Bean”. For anyone that hasn’t seen this mammoth sized masterpiece up close, it is breathtaking. 1. it is literally a bean-shape. 2. It’s a mirrored surface. Which means selfies with the bean, selfies everywhere! My favorite part about The Bean is the fact that it reflects the sky as well as the buildings surrounding it. Therefore it is forever changing. I love it!

After spending a half hour (more like an hour) taking pictures selfies with the bean, Anees and I got a taste of an amazing Chicago-style dog and a really unique gyros cheeseburger. The weather was picture perfect so we sat on a ledge and took in the beauty of the park and enjoyed out food. If you aren’t familiar with a Chicago-style dog, it’s a beef frankfurter topped with yellow mustard, a pickle spear, tomato wedges, sweet peppers, white onions, pickled sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. <– Wikipedia approved.

This is exactly why I need this southwestern quinoa and black bean salad now, i’ve been bad on this trip. Really. bad.


One of my most favorite parts about this trip was the architecture tour that we took. Even though i’ve spent half my life in Chicago, the most fun i’ve had are the trips i’ve taken back home. I love walking the city like a tourist! So this architecture tour that we took was about an hour long boat ride where the tour guide talked about all the different styles of buildings that are present in the city. She gave us some basics to be able to spot what type of architecture school the buildings came from. My favorite – definitely the art-deco style of buildings.

Part dos of vacation pictures are hopefully going to make it up by the end of the week. No promises and fingers crossed.

Now back to a healthy bowl of southwestern quinoa and black bean salad.   Southwestern Quinoa and Black Bean SaladThis salad is like a southwestern black bean and corn salad with quinoa and a flavor packed cilantro jalapeno lime dressing. I’m using these adorbs little mini grape tomatoes I found at the store today. You can use cherry tomatoes or just chopped salad tomatoes or even Romas. No need to sweat it.

For the dressing we’re using lots of cilantro! Stems + the leaves. The stems actually contain a lot more flavor than the leaves do, so be sure to use them for this cilantro jalapeno lime dressing. We’re spicing the dressing with a hint of cumin and garlic. Because around here, garlic is mandatory. What gives this dressing a nice richness is the greek yogurt. It adds a bit of tang an a lot of body. But it also gives this dressing an amazing, out-of-this-world flavor.

So if your summer has been anything like mine, you’re probably going to need a heaping bowl of this quinoa and black bean salad too.

Time to simmer-down and reel it back in before my favorite time of the year – autumn and a million pumpkiny, holiday inspired desserts. ♥ Southwestern Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Yield: 8-10

Southwestern Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

An easy to make southwestern quinoa and black bean salad that takes 15 minutes to assemble and can use up your leftover quinoa! This salad is packed with lots of veggies and is low fat!

Southwestern Quinoa and Black Bean Salad


For the cilantro jalapeno lime dressing:

  • 1 cup cilantro, packed (leaves + stems)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno (seeds + ribs removed if you don't want it to be super spicy)
  • 1 lime (juice + zest)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

For the Southwestern Quinoa Salad:

  • 5 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions (about 1 1/2 cups dry)
  • 1 - 15 oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup mini grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onions, diced
  • 1 large haas avocado, diced


    For the dressing:

    1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour dressing in a container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    For the southwestern quinoa and black bean salad:

    1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing when ready to serve.

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    Easy southwestern quinoa and black bean salad uses leftover quinoa and takes just 15 minutes to make. The perfect quick and healthy lunch! #quinoasalad #southwesternsalad #blackbeansalad |