When it comes to food, if Mexican flair is involved, count me in! This Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing is just what you need to brighten up your weekly lunches. It’s a complete meal on it’s own- packing plant based protein + fiber from the quinoa, black beans, and chickpeas- but is also great thrown on top of greens for extra micronutrients, or served alongside any of your favorite main dishes.
Perhaps my favorite part about this Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad is the creamy avocado cilantro dressing. I mean, all I want to do is lift that spoon out of the bowl and drive it straight into my mouth *insert drool emoji*. Avocado is certainly in my top 5 favorite foods- it makes literally everything taste better- but I love how it adds a richness to this otherwise light plant-based meal, making it even more satisfying (especially for those who aren’t totally sold on vegan eating yet).
The best part about this recipe is the fact that the only prep you have to do is chopping, and then it can all literally be tossed together in one bowl. With minimal cooking involved, anyone can master this recipe- done and done!
This Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad will quickly become one of your go-to lunches. The crunchiness of the peppers and green onions keep it fresh, the heartiness of the beans keep you full, the nuttiness from the quinoa is the extra little bite you need, and the creaminess of the avocado dressing combined with the brightness from the lime tie everything perfectly together! I can’t wait for you to try it!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 3 bell peppers - I prefer 1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow
- 1 can black beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 can chickpeas - drained and rinsed
- 5 green onions - just cut off the top and bottom then use all parts of the onions!
- 1 jalepeno - de-seeded and minced
- 1/2 cup pepitas - toasted, even better if tossed with chili powder and sea salt before toasting!
- Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dressing
- 1 1/2 avocado
- 3/4 cup cilantro - pretty much an entire bunch
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 1T agave (or raw honey) - sweeten to taste but should only be a hint of sweetness
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2-1 tsp chili powder - to taste
- 2-4T water or avocado oil*
- Combine quinoa and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 13-15 minutes, until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- While the quinoa is cooking, wash, de-seed, and finely chop the bell peppers, green onions, and jalepeno. Add all to the mixing bowl.
- Drain and rinse both cans of beans, add to the other ingredients.
- In a small food processor, combine all the avocado dressing ingredients (except the water/oil) and puree until smooth. Add additional water or oil 1T at a time, until it reaches the consistency you prefer (it should still stay pretty thick).
- Pour the Avocado Cilantro Dressing into the mixing bowl, and stir until evenly combined. Season with sea salt to taste. Can serve cold or at room temperature. Top with crunchy pepitas before serving.
Note: If you plan to make this ahead before serving for a party/event where presentation really matters, wait until the last minute to toss with the avocado dressing, as air will start to turn the avocado a darker color.
*Water works great to thin the dressing slightly without any added calories. However, if you want a richer flavor and additional healthy fats, avocado oil also works great.