Get ready to add some zest to your meal prep with our Mexican Quinoa Salad! This dish is like a colorful party on a plate, packed with nutrient-rich quinoa and all your favorite Mexican flavors from creamy avocado to zesty lime dressing — every bite is a burst of freshness.

What is Mexican Quinoa Salad?

Our Mexican quinoa salad is a vibrant, flavorful dish that combines the nutritional benefits of quinoa with the bold, zesty flavors found in Mexican cuisine. This salad features a beautiful and colorful medley of ingredients like cherry tomatoes, black olives, and sweet corn, all mingling with the tender, nutty quinoa. Fresh cilantro and avocado add a burst of freshness and creaminess while the jalapeños provide a kick of heat. You’ll be putting this recipe on repeat!

We love diving into this Mexican quinoa salad for a light lunch or dinner but it’s also a perfect side dish at a barbecue or even as a hearty base for a main meal. Whether served cold or at room temperature, this salad is a winner for lunch, dinner, or to take to any party!

Ingredients You Need

Salad Ingredients:

  • Cooked Quinoa – Provides a hearty base that’s packed with protein and fiber, making the salad filling and nutritious.
  • Shredded Lettuce – Adds a fresh crunch and vibrant green color, balancing the other ingredients.
  • Cherry Tomatoes Halved – These bring bursts of sweetness and a juicy texture!
  • Sweet Corn – Contributes a touch of sweetness and crunch, complementing the other ingredients.
  • Black Olives – Add a briny, savory depth that contrasts beautifully with the other flavors.
  • Jalapeños Sliced – Introduces a spicy kick, adding heat and complexity to the dish.
  • Chopped Cilantro – Infuses a fresh, herbal note that brightens the flavors of the salad.
  • Avocados Diced – Adds a creamy texture that balances the spiciness and adds richness for the most amazing mouthfeel.
  • Red Onion Chopped Or Sliced – Provides a sharp, tangy flavor that cuts through the richness and adds crunch.
  • Feta Cheese To Taste – Brings a salty, tangy flavor to the table that enhances the overall taste and adds creaminess.

Dressing Ingredients:

  • Lemon Juice – Adds a zesty, bright acidity that balances the richness of the salad.
  • Olive Oil – Provides a smooth, rich base that helps to bring the flavors together.
  • Black Pepper – Adds a hint of heat, enhancing the flavors without overpowering them.
  • Salt – Essential for bringing out the flavors in the salad and dressing, a pinch of salt ensures that every bite is perfectly seasoned.

How to Make Mexican Quinoa Salad

  1. Cook the Quinoa. Follow the package instructions to cook the quinoa, then let it cool.
  2. Combine Ingredients. Add the cooled quinoa, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, black olives, jalapeños, chopped cilantro, diced avocados, and red onion to a large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
  3. Make the Dressing. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, seasonings, honey, and garlic.
  4. Assemble the Salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad mixture and toss.
  5. Add Cheese. Sprinkle feta cheese on top of the salad.
  6. Serve or Refrigerate. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour to allow the flavors to come together.

Variations

  • Protein – Try adding grilled chicken, shrimp, or even black beans for a hearty addition.
  • Different Veggies – Experiment with adding roasted bell peppers, diced zucchini, or corn to mix up the flavors and textures.
  • Spicy Kick – Increase the jalapeños or add a touch of chipotle in adobo sauce for a smokier, spicier flavor.
  • Cheese Variety – Swap feta cheese for cotija cheese, or try adding shredded mozzarella for a creamy texture.
  • Citrus – Use both lime zest and lime juice for a more intense lime flavor.
  • Seeds and Nuts – Toasted pumpkin seeds or chopped nuts like almonds can add a nice crunch.
  • Sweet Touch – Add diced mango or pineapple for a hint of sweetness that complements the savory ingredients.
  • Vegan Version – Omit the cheese and use agave syrup instead of honey in the dressing to keep it vegan.
  • Grain Option – If you’re not a fan of quinoa, try swapping it out for farro, couscous, or bulgur wheat for a different base.

Can I Store Leftovers? 

This recipe is best eaten fresh but if you do happen to have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for a few days. Just store the dressing separately so that the salad doesn’t get soggy. 

To refrigerate, store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

We don’t recommend freezing this recipe — the ingredients won’t retain their original consistency when thawed. 

More Scrumptious Salad Recipes

Searching for more hearty salads that are as tasty as they are easy? Check out some of our favorite veggie-based recipes! 

Mediterranean Cobb Salad

Shirazi Salad

Italian Chopped Salad

Black Bean and Corn Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing

Mexican Quinoa Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
This vibrant Mexican quinoa salad features fresh veggies, quinoa, feta cheese, and a homemade dressing for a savory salad full of nutrients!

Ingredients  

Salad:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup Black olives
  • 1-2 jalapeños sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 avocados diced
  • 1/2 red onion chopped or sliced
  • Feta cheese to taste

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove grated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Instructions 

Prepare the Salad:

  • Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and let it cool.
    1 cup cooked quinoa
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, black olives, jalapeños, chopped cilantro, diced avocados, and red onion.
    2 cups shredded lettuce, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup sweet corn, 1/2 cup Black olives, 1-2 jalapeños, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1-2 avocados, 1/2 red onion

Prepare the Dressing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and oregano until smooth.
    1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 clove grated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon oregano

Assemble the Salad:

  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat all the ingredients evenly.
  • Sprinkle feta cheese on top as desired.
    Feta cheese

Serve:

  • Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour to let the flavors meld.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 900mg | Potassium: 648mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 980IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

5 from 1 vote

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    my family enjoyes your recipe you post. I’ve made your different salads. they are amazing on a warm day outside. very refreshing to have on hand too. thank you fir your post.
    cherri Papastergion

    1. I see pesto in the first list of ingredients but I don’t see it mentioned in the instructions? how would you incorporate the pesto into this recipe?

      1. Hi Amy,
        Sorry about that. We have updated the recipe and omitted the pesto. However, you can add 2 tablespoons to the dressing if you want! We hope you enjoy!

        Xo,
        Alia & Radwa