Southwest Quinoa with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette

Southwest Quinoa (1)

Last weekend, Kara, Cliff and Winnie had Cliff’s family over for dinner. One of his cousins and her family were moving to South Carolina the next day so this was the last time they’d be getting together for awhile. Kara decided to make one of our favorite meals…tacos!


We decided on this quinoa dish as a side to the tacos. Whereas we normally choose refried beans and rice as sides to tacos, this time we went with refried beans and the super food quinoa! Quinoa is in fact a super food, right? I’m pretty sure it does super things like make you skinny and make you look younger so I’m going to call it a super food. I’m no expert, of course.

Anyways, the quinoa came together beautifully. We doubled the recipe so there was plenty for me and Cliff to eat a big bowl for lunch and enough for them to serve at dinner. Topped with crushed tortilla chips, avocado, cotija cheese and a cilantro garnish, it was full of flavor and a good balance of creamy, crunchy and tang.

Here’s what you’ll need

Soften the onion and garlic then toast the quinoa before cooking

Toss in the black beans and corn, plus the diced bell peppers

Pour in the vinaigrette


Serve with yummy toppings!


Southwest Quinoa (1)

Southwest Quinoa with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish


  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, just until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the quinoa and toast, stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the water has absorbed. Use a fork to fluff up the quinoa, then set aside.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, lime juice and zest, salt and pepper and cilantro. Taste and add more salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, black beans, corn and bell peppers.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa and toss well.
  • Serve with crushed tortilla chips, cotija cheese, sliced avocado and extra cilantro. Serve hot or cold.


Optional toppings: sliced avocado, cilantro, cotija cheese, crushed tortilla chips
Keyword Quinoa