Mexican Quinoa Salad

Presidents’ Day was on Monday and I had completely forgotten that I would have the day off (hooray!) so I had not planned something tasty for lunch. This super delicious Mexican Quinoa Salad was my impromptu what-do-I-have-in-the-pantry lunch. Most of the items needed to make this you’re likely to have in your cabinet already. So, it makes a great meal to insert towards the end of the month when you’re trying to get the most out of every last penny of your grocery budget.

While we’re talking about it, I’m also trying to cut out more meat from my meal plans to cut costs. Produce generally costs less than meat, so this is a great, protein-packed main course. Plus, there are SO many possibilities for this recipe. You can serve it like I did with some cheese and Greek yogurt. You could serve it on some whole wheat tortillas with some spinach, cheese and Greek yogurt for a new take on tacos. You could even serve it with some chips and make it a Mexican party dip!

For this recipe, as I said, I was cleaning out the cabinets so I used canned ingredients. You can, of course, use fresh ingredients or dried beans that you have prepared. Also, instead of the list of seasonings, you could use a taco seasoning packet.


Mexican Quinoa Salad
Prep time: 2 min. | Cook time: 35 min.

What you need:

  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 1.25 c. chicken broth*
  • 15.5 oz. can corn
  • 15.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 15.5 oz. can black beans
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 1/4 t. onion powder
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1 t. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

*To save on cost, I use chicken base to make my chicken broth. If you do that, you’ll need 1.25 c. water and a little more than a teaspoon of chicken base.


  1. Rise the quinoa thoroughly before you cook it to get rid of the bitter taste. I don’t have a fancy strainer. I just put a paper towel to cover up the holes in my pasta strainer, ran water over the quinoa and let it drain through the paper towel.
  2. In a pot, combine the quinoa, chicken broth and all seasonings, then stir.
  3. Bring that mixture up to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat to low, cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. When the quinoa is finished, give it a stir. It’s okay if there’s still some liquid still in the pot.
  5. Finally, add the corn, black beans and tomatoes to the quinoa and stir to combine.
  6. Serve in bowls with a pinch of cheese and a bit of Greek yogurt or sour cream!

How easy was that?! Now, you too can enjoy the fabulousness that is quinoa!


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