Zesty Quinoa Salad Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Zesty Quinoa Salad Recipe
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Zesty Quinoa Salad
See how to make an out-of-this-world quinoa salad with a tangy kick! See more
  • READY IN 30 mins

Zesty Quinoa Salad

Recipe by  

"This bright and colorful salad is a great summertime recipe (or anytime you want to feel like it's summertime). Light and citrusy, it's a whole new way to enjoy quinoa. Lime juice and cilantro give a refreshing kick, while quinoa and black beans provide tasty vegan protein. If you're not vegan, add even more protein by adding chunks of chicken or turkey. Yum!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    10 mins

    30 mins


  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
  3. Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • This salad tastes great right away, and even better the next day when all the flavors have had the chance to marry. Enjoy!
  • You can also steam the quinoa instead of boiling if desired.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 18, 2012

Wow! This was outstanding! I only used one tsp. of cumin, but followed the rest faithfully. I also served it warm because I tried it on a fall evening. Can't wait to taste it cold. Very very tasty!!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 10, 2012

I was a little disappointed based on the other reviews here. I thought this was way too salty, and the citrus from the limes was overpowering. If I make it again, I'd likely cut the salt and citrus in half. Also, I'm not sure the 1/4 cup of oil was worth the added calories. I may cut that by 1/2 as well.

Oct 12, 2012

This is my absolute favorite quinoa recipe! I have been looking for one my whole family would eat and not only did they like this...they asked for seconds!

May 21, 2013

This is a great recipe for summer parties. I'm sorry I followed some of the suggestions. I had no problem with the amount of lime juice, oil, or salt, but then I doubled the recipe, used a can of black beans and a can of garbanzo beans, used fresh tomatoes vs. canned, and added cucumbers, fresh minced garlic, and a little honey. I would caution folks to cook the quinoa al dente lest the salad becomes mushy.

May 22, 2013

Here are the changes i recommend: I first toasted the quinoa for about 10 minutes with a little olive oil. I also upped the quinoa to 1.25 cups (but same 2 cups water). I only used one lime. I added about a cup of fresh white corn (2 ears). I topped the dish with diced avocado. Perfect!!

May 19, 2013

This recipe was quick and easy and AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! I made a couple changes to suit my taste... I cooked the Quinoa in vegetable broth, I used only 1/2 tsp salt and closer to 2 tsp of crushed red peppers. Then I added diced avocado. This will become a regular dish in my house for sure!

Apr 05, 2013

Loved everything about this dish. The lime juice, red pepper flakes, and cumin make an otherwise simple dish taste zesty and complex. Instead of canned black beans, I cooked my own (VERY low sodium this way) along with garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and edamame. I used 3/4 cup each black and garbanzo beans and 1/2 cup edamame.

Apr 20, 2013

Outstanding combination of flavors. I haven't been a Quinoa fan until this salad. I concluded I prefer Quinoa cooked a little on the al-dente side so I cooked it for 10 minutes and then strained (to remove the excess liquid) and cooled it in a mesh colander. Used a combination of red and white Quinoa, sundried tomatoes to taste instead of fresh and reduced the salt to 1/2 teaspoon. Perfect! Delicious fresh made and delicious after it's been chilled. This salad is "company" worthy and one I know I'll be enjoying often on its own or as a side when grilling. Thanks scrumdiddly for sharing.


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  • Calories
  • 270 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 33.8 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 11.5 g
  • 18%
  • Fiber
  • 8.4 g
  • 34%
  • Protein
  • 8.9 g
  • 18%
  • Sodium
  • 739 mg
  • 30%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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