Southwest Quinoa

By Laura Fuentes | September 24, 2015
We weren’t big fans of quinoa until we tried it this way. Make this hearty dish part of your lunchbox rotation.


  • 1/2 cup (115g) plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup (115 g) shredded Cheddar cheese
For the Quinoa:
  • 2 cups (475 ml) water
  • 1 cup (173 g) quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup (195 g) jarred salsa
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup (4 g) finely chopped cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly crossways
  • 1 can (15 ounces, or 425 g) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (130 g) frozen corn
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped


To make the quinoa: Bring the water to a boil, then stir in the quinoa, lower the heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, and turn off the heat. Cover and let sit for 6 minutes—you’ll know the quinoa is ready when you see the little white “tail” of the germ around the outside edge of each seed.

Once the quinoa is done, add the salsa, chili powder, and cumin, folding to combine well. Mix in cilantro, scallions, beans, corn, and tomatoes. Fold a few times until thoroughly combined.

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, lime juice, salt, pepper, and garlic. Add the dressing, folding gently to combine.

Top with the avocado and cheese, and garnish with additional cilantro.

For a school lunch: Pack the leftovers in a container. This salad is great eaten cold or at room temperature as well.

Yield: 4 servings

  • southwest quinoa recipe by Laura Fuentes