Mexican Quinoa Bean Salad

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January 29, 2020

Editor’s Note: Bhavana often brings delicious grain and bean salads for all of us to enjoy after bootcamp, but since she is good at ‘just throwing ingredients together”, we usually can’t pin her down for a recipe. So, after she brought this salad for us to enjoy at a group brunch, she wrote:
“I finally made the salad with my girls helping me so that they can slow me down in order to take exact measurements to create this recipe!” Thanks, Bhavana and family!

This recipe is easily adapted to your own taste. Feel free to add or delete ingredients as you wish. The collection of vegetables and beans added to the quinoa are pictured below. For a lighter side dish, use more quinoa and less of the others.


1 cup quinoa, dry
1/2 cup green bell pepper
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup carrots
Jalapeños (1 tbsp to 1/4 cup based on how spicy you want it!)
15 oz can red kidney beans
15 oz can white beans (kidney or cannilini or navy )
15 oz can black beans
15 oz can corn or fresh corn from the cob

Spice mixture: (or see alternative below)
Juice of 1 medium/large lime
1 packet of dry vegetable seasoning dip mix ( I use Knorrs brand but any brand will do)
1/2 to 1 pkg of Old El Paso taco seasoning mix (to taste)
1/2 tsp ground cumin powder


  1. Cook one cup quinoa as per package directions. You can use all water or 1/2 water and 1/2 vegetable broth. Let cool and fluff with a fork so that the quinoa is loosened.
  2. Fold into same large bowl the beans and corn after you have drained and rinsed and removed most of the water. Add the cooled cooked quinoa to the bowl.
  3. Add the spices as above, or see variation below. All ingredients are mixed gently together and then served either room temperature or cold (your preference).

It’s great made ahead of time and chilled before a summer gathering!

Bon appetit

Variation for spice mix:

Instead of the cumin, and both seasoning mixes, use Mexican spice blend from About 1/2 of this recipe is a good amount for the quinoa salad.

2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.


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