Southwest Quinoa Salad

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I love a cold, protein-packed salad in the summer. Especially when the temps outside are hitting 110°! I made a batch of this to take up north while we visit my family for my sister’s birthday today. I can’t wait for them to try it! Since my sister is a vegetarian, I made some quinoa using veggie stock instead of chicken broth, and left the chicken breast out of it.

This is amazing without chicken as a side dish, or with the chicken for a one-bowl meal. Make a big batch of it and you can eat on it for days! I love not having to turn the stove on in the summer.

Are you a quinoa fan? I wasn’t sure about it when I first made it years ago. It’s a bit earthier tasting than rice. But I’ve found that cooking it with some kind of stock (beef, chicken, veggie) gives it wonderful flavor. Plus, quinoa has protein, fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, B vitamins, phosphorus, zinc and iron, healthy fatty acids among plenty of other good-for-you stuff! This ancient grain was considered by the Incas to be the “mother of all grains” but it’s actually a whole seed.

Any reason you eat it, quinoa is tasty and makes this salad one of my favorites this summer. Make sure you refrigerate it for a few hours before serving to really let that lime juice and seasonings penetrate all the ingredients. Seriously, y’all, this is so, so good.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

1 c. quinoa (I used tri-colored, but any color is delicious)
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
Cilantro, chopped fine and then measured to 1/4 c. About half a bunch.
4 green onions, chopped
1 large or 2 small red bell peppers, diced
1-2 jalapeños, diced small (as preferred for heat)
2 limes, juiced
a drizzle of olive oil, about 2 Tbl
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. garlic powder
salt + pepper to taste

Optional: 2 large chicken breasts, grilled, cooled and chopped.

  1. Combine quinoa and stock and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 12 minutes. When all stock is absorbed, remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
  2. Once the quinoa is cool, combine with all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving to allow all the flavors to marry.
  

Simple, tasty as hell, nutritious. Get your summer on and get out of that kitchen quickly, y’all! Be sure to tag me in your pics on social media! I love seeing your kitchen creations!

PS I snapped this picture of Remy pouting while I was trying to shoot these pictures. He is such a diva, always wants attention!

Pouty face

Jenna Danielle