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Quinoa Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Quinoa Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Quinoa Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing is a protein-packed, make ahead-friendly lunch or dinner. Filled with nutritious ingredients, gluten free, vegetarian, and only 30 minutes to make.
Course Salad/Side Dish
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 415kcal


  • Medium Saucepan with Lid
  • Mixing bowls


  • 3/4 cup dry (uncooked) quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (sub chicken broth)
  • 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chiles in adobo)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen/thawed (or canned) fire-roasted corn (sub sweet corn)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

Creamy Chipotle Dressing

  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (see notes below for vegan alternative)
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I use avocado oil mayo)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chiles in adobo)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder


  • Combine quinoa, broth, adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer, covered, until the quinoa is fluffy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let quinoa cool for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare Creamy Chipotle Dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk to combine.
  • To the bowl with quinoa, add black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds; toss to combine. Add dressing and stir well to coat. Enjoy warm, chilled, or closer to room temperature.


Store leftovers in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 4 days. 
Vegan Chipotle Dressing: To make the dressing vegan, omit Greek yogurt and mayonnaise, and instead pour 2/3 cup boiling water over 1/3 cup raw cashews. Let sit for 30 minutes, transfer soaked cashews and water to a blender, add remaining dressing ingredients, and blend on HIGH until smooth and creamy. 


Serving: 1.25cups | Calories: 415kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 780mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 6g