Southwest Quinoa Salad

southwest quinoa saladYesterday I had the opportunity to take a tour of a children’s hospital nearby, and I had so many emotions going on inside of me. It was the first time I realized that in 5 weeks I won’t be sitting in the back of the classroom listening to lectures and drinking coffee, but I will be on the floors of the hospital interacting with patients, doctors, nurses… Even though I have been preparing for years, it is now the closest it is has ever been. Seeing so many tiny babies and children so sick and thinking about the great amount of responsibility it takes to care for them as a hospital pharmacist made me so empowered! I hope I can make a difference someday 🙂

On busy days like yesterday, it is nice to have something already made in the refrigerator for lunch or dinner. I made this southwest quinoa salad with black beans, corn, red pepper, red onion, cilantro and chili lime pistachios from NatureBox – let me warn you, it is incredibly addicting! I love this flavor combination. You can eat it plain, or drizzle a chili lime vinaigrette over it (see recipe below). What is your favorite quinoa recipe? I think I told you when I made these vegetable quinoa cakes that quinoa has been my new addiction – I can’t get enough of it, and just love how versatile it is! It is very healthy too, especially if you tend to have a more vegetarian diet because it is one of the best non-animal protein sources.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Southwest Quinoa Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Type: Side
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup organic white quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup NatureBox chili lime pistachios, shelled
  • 1 cup black beans
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup corn
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
Chili Lime Vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • ½ tsp finely chopped jalepeño
  • Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium pot.
  2. Add quinoa and cover.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed.
  4. In the mean time, add olive oil, lime juice, jalapeño, salt and pepper to a salad dressing cruet or small bowl and shake or whisk together well.
  5. Place the dressing in the refrigerator to chill.
  6. Once done, remove the lid and allow quinoa to cool for about 15 minutes.
  7. Add pistachios, black beans, red bell pepper, corn, red onion and cilantro.
  8. Drizzle with chili lime vinaigrette and toss everything together.



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  2. Mariette's Back to Basics says:

    Dearest Kristianne,
    You’ve come a long way already and you may feel very proud of yourself. Besides your study you also take care of yourself in a very healthy way. Hats of to you!
    Love this recipe and that will be used very soon.
    Thanks for sharing and wishing you good luck.

  3. john@kitchenriffs says:

    Quinoa is such good stuff! I haven’t used it in a salad like this, but definitely something I want to try. Love all the colors and the great texture! And the flavor combos look incredible. Thanks for this.

  4. Jackie l says:

    Kristianne, you should feel great about the work you are studying to do. I donate money every month to a local children’s hospital but would love to be in there helping the children everyday. That’s amazing that you will be doing that for a living.

    And what a great salad you get to come home to! I love quinoa 🙂

    xo Jackie

  5. Bam's Kitchen says:

    Good luck with your clinical rotations. I know it is always scary the first few times as you finally need to put into practice what you have been learning, but you will be under the watchful eye of a lead pharmacist and you will do well. I am always at awe to see how many food bloggers are actually in the medical field. Maybe it is our desire to take care of other people that makes us want to feed them well. I love your delightful hearty but light salad with the lime and cilantro and little bit of heat I know it will be gorgeous. Take care, BAM

  6. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’ve worked in hospitals and I’d have to say, being in the paediatric ward was always the most trying – so many emotions. Your quinoa salad looks wonderful and I think the flavours would be amazing – no wonder you say it’s addictive and yes, having something to come home to is always so welcoming xx

  7. Laura Lee Brennan says:

    Came across this recipe an hour ago (on FB?) … happened to have most of the ingredients, whipped out and yum! Thank you !!

    Changes/additions I made:
    ~spread the quinoa on a cookie sheet to cool. While cooling, I sprinkled Tajin and cumin powder on the rice while it was still warm. ‘Embedded’ the flavors nicely.
    ~added diced jicama since I had it on hand
    ~subbed sunflower seeds for pistachios

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