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Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Southwestern Quinoa Salad highlights the best flavors of summer – a mix of black beans, corn, and tomatoes atop a bed of quinoa, tossed in a Homemade Creamy Avocado Dressing

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing | | #recipe #quinoa #salad

Guys. Gals. I need a tan. I’m like whiter than I was in the winter. AND! I’ve got this gig I am going to on Friday, BlogHer Conference (YAY!), and I will be the whitest broad there! Gah! I don’t do fake-n-bake. I am trying to hold onto this skin for a couple more years. Once the wrinkles start, I’ll buy my own tanning bed and sleep in it. Until then, it’s me, my bronzer, and the sun. Sometimes on the sun-thing.

So. Will you please excuse me while I torture you with another salad recipe? It’s been a whole (almost) week since the last time we chatted about a saladOops.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a salad addiction. But, come on! Look at those beautiful summer colors! I love it! Maybe I should start throwing some protein in there so it won’t look so salady anymore.

But, that’s all I want to eat these days. In my case, warm weather = light eating.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing | | #recipe #quinoa #salad

This Quinoa salad and I are BFFs! We hung out every day for three days in a row. Again, in my case, I eat things over and over and over again… something I have talked about before.

Also, in my case, I eat quinoa with yogurt… (I will stop using the phrase “in my case” after this, but I should tell you that in my head, I am saying it in the same tone as the “American Pie” girl when she says, “and this one time at band camp“… ).

As I said, I like to eat my quinoa with yogurt. It’s good! I also eat rice with yogurt. That 5-minute stuff is too bland without something creamy added to it. Yes, sometimes I don’t cook and turn to 5-minute dinners. Eh.

Speaking of yogurt, there’s some of that in this Creamy Avocado Dressing. I thought, why not throw yogurt in the blender with some avocado and see what happens! Apparently I wasn’t the first one to think of this genius dressing, but whatever. Mine is better. 😛

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing | | #recipe #quinoa #salad

As always, the best thing about these salads is that they are one, a meal, and two, they come together in minutes. While the quinoa cooks, you can chop up the tomatoes, open up the cans of corn and black beans, and you will still have time to whip up the dressing. All in all, this should take you about 20 minutes from start to finish. If you are looking to make a delicious dinner with quinoa, check out my Quinoa and Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes recipe.


Overhead view of quinoa Southwestern salad garnished with sliced avocado and lime wedges in a bowl.

Quinoa Southwestern Salad

Katerina | Diethood
This easy quinoa Southwestern salad is a mix of nutritious quinoa, flavorful black beans, sweet corn, and fresh tomatoes. Drizzle over some homemade creamy avocado dressing and dig in!
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Servings : 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


For The Salad
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa , cooked
  • 1 can (15 ounces) corn kernels, drained and well rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and well rinsed
  • 2 tomatoes , diced
For The Creamy Avocado Dressing
  • 1/2 avocado , peeled and pit removed
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  • Prepare the quinoa by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add in 1 cup quinoa, stir, reduce heat to a simmer and cover; cook for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime prepare your vegetables and the dressing.
For The Dressing
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust to taste.
  • Place quinoa on a large plate and top with black beans, corn, and tomatoes.
  • Serve with dressing on the side.


This salad can be served as an appetizer or a light lunch.


Calories: 290 kcal | Carbohydrates: 33 g | Protein: 8 g | Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Cholesterol: 3 mg | Sodium: 111 mg | Potassium: 554 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 3 g | Vitamin A: 580 IU | Vitamin C: 12.4 mg | Calcium: 70 mg | Iron: 2.3 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Salads/Side Dishes
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: quinoa southwestern salad, southwest quinoa salad, southwestern salad recipe
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26 comments on “Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing”

  1. This is so good! Just made this as a last-minute lunch for today, and eating it right now! I didn’t have any red bell peppers, so I added tomatoes instead, and used frozen corn and canned black beans. I’m sure it’d taste even better fresh, but this is great for a quick meal! Thanks for sharing.

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    She Rocks Fitness

    This looks awesome! I have all the ingredients and need to use up some avocados before they go bad. Can’t wait to try…thanks for sharing! 🙂

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    Katja Williams

    I tried quinoa for the first time since my 14 year old son is now into his fitness and power foods. I added some fresh mint to the avo dressing and swapped the yogurt for fat free sour cream. This is now going to be a staple in my house d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s Thank you for broadening my pallet 🙂

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      That is so awesome!! I loooove the addition of mint! Such a great idea!! Thank you and I am SO happy to know that you enjoyed it! Enjoy the weekend!

  4. I just made this and it was a big hit, even the husband enjoyed it. I added diced avocado between the toms and the corn and I seasoned the blakbeans with cumin, chili powder, and garlic. I also used veggie broth to make the quinoa. We didn’t miss the “meat” at all, it was so flavorful. Thank you for sharing!

  5. What a meal! I love the salad, but I especially love that Creamy Avocado Dressing. It might just end up on the salad I have planned for tomorrow night.

  6. I love the avocado cream with this! I hope you had a great time at the conference! And believe me…I’m probably whiter than you this summer. It’s driving me nuts!

  7. Avatar photo

    I have no quinoa (the unfurled prophylactic thing really gets to me) however I do have barley and farro which ought to sub. Meanwhile, though, the avocado sounds really tasty and something I’ve never tried before.
    And my pale pasty skin? Well, let’s just say nah. Let’s not. I don’t know the public viewing this comment well enough to go there.

    Enjoy the conference, Kate!

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    Sarah De Diego (Journeys of The Zoo)

    I have quinoa in my cupboard and y M0ther raves about it but I haven’t tried it yet. I et couscous almost every day so I’m not sure why that is.

    As for avocados, we eat that so Ill definitely try that recipe out.

    I am a new follower of yours via BlogLovin and would love it if you linked up to my weekly BlogLovin Hop ( Hope to see you every Thursday.

    Looking forward to connecting further.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo
    journeysofthezoo at hotmail dot com

  9. Gorgeous salad! If I were a normal, boring, salad – I’d be super-jealous.

    I’m pale as new snow too! It’s okay. 😀

  10. This looks so good! I’ve been wanting to make quinoa salad for a while now, and this might be the first one I try! I love how bright and summery it looks.
    Also the dressing sounds really good and different from most avocado dressings that I’ve tried.

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    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    Gorgeous healthy quinoa and bean salad, Kate! Love quinoa and it is nice knowing when you eat it that it is a complete protein. I need this after all the badness I’ve been eating of late, LOL! Thanks for sharing!

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    Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I love this colorful salad and it looks so healthy that I could eat the entire thing guilt-free, right? 😉

  13. Actually, black beans are a high protein food. 🙂
    This looks so good! I’m new to quinoa and am obsessed. Can’t get enough of it. (or black beans or corn or avocado for that matter hehe) Thanks! Can’t wait to try it. 😀

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Dang! I should have said “meat” instead 🙂 But you know what I mean. 🙂 I hope you have a chance to try it… I could not stop eating it.

  14. Looks awesome! I love all things quinoa…and avocado…..and black bean…..ok I might want to marry this salad

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    Denise Browning@From Brazil To You

    I am laughing and laughing… I have finished one of my next posts yesterday which recipe is a quinoa salad (not a southwestern). Well, it really seems that good minds think alike. Your salad looks delish. The avocado sauce (instead of sliced avocados) was a creative idea. Have a great week, Kate!

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    Emily @ Life on Food

    I would be eating this everyday too if it was available. I need to get more quinoa. I had so much for the longest time and then all of a sudden the pantry is empty.

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