Rachel Cooks

Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

The pregnant version of me is not always a meat lover. Especially when that meat is prepared by me. I just can’t stomach it. However, when the pregnant version of me doesn’t get enough protein, there are killer headaches and crankiness involved.

Okay, if we’re being open and honest here–perhaps the headaches and crankiness would be present even if I ate a whole cow. God bless my husband and his patience.

Anyways, I look for ways to incorporate protein without throwing a big fat chicken breast on my plate. Chicken is the worst. Bacon? Bacon I can handle. Go figure.

This Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing is sure to become a summertime favorite with its unique dressing! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

This salad is a great source of protein both because of the beans and the quinoa. I love quinoa. Have you hopped on the quinoa bandwagon yet? If you aren’t familiar with this grain, I cover some of the interesting facts in this post. One of my favorite, and slightly unconventional, uses for quinoa is in pancakes. These pancakes freeze perfectly and make a great breakfast on the run. I’ve also done savory quinoa pancakes. I swear I’m not obsessed with pancakes. Really. Swear.

And there are more quinoa recipes! I love the stuff. I often cook a whole package and stick it in the freezer. Cuts down on prep time and it freezes really well. This recipe was perfect for lunch, dinner or even a quick snack. It is super filling as is, but I added some chicken breast for hubs. To make up for the headaches and crankiness.

Quinoa Salad with Cumin Lime Dressing

Yield: 5 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

This quinoa salad makes a great lunch and is perfect for picnics.


5 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
one 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob
2 cups halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and diced
1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (~1/2 of a bell pepper)
2 avocados, diced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (~1 lime)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil


1. Mix first four ingredients of dressing together in a small measuring cup or bowl. While whisking, add in olive oil.
2. Combine all salad ingredients in very large bowl. Pour dressing over and gently stir until combined and all ingredients are coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

  • This tastes great with some salty, crunchy tortilla chips. You can even use them in place of a fork.
  • This makes A LOT. Great for a crowd, or great left over.
  • Firmer (less ripe) avocados work better for this recipe as they will not mush as you stir it.
  • I took some cooked, diced chicken breasts out of the freezer to add to my husband's salad. Between the quinoa and the beans, this salad has plenty of protein but my man needs his meat.

Verdict: Delicious! This recipe is so versatile that you could add in whatever veggies you have on hand.
Husband’s take: “It is better than I expected.” “The dressing makes it.” He loved it! E didn’t like it at first (I think it was a texture thing with the quinoa), but once we gave her a few chips and let her scoop it up with the chips, she was all about it.
Changes I would make: None. Like I said though, there are many variations possible. Add feta, use chickpeas instead of black beans, whatever you want!
Difficulty: Lots of prep work but comes together quickly once you get all the veggies chopped.

This Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing is sure to become a summertime favorite with its unique dressing! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!
When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!

48 Responses to “Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing”

  1. megan @ whatmegansmaking — August 15, 2012 at 6:33 am

    I love the idea of using chips to scoop this up – sounds like a perfect meal in my book 🙂

  2. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — August 15, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I love quinoa salad of any sort. It’s a definite fave of mine. Yours looks terrific.

  3. shelly (cookies and cups) — August 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

    This looks like the perfect light dinner or lunch! I am all over it!

  4. Miriam @ overtimecook — August 15, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I’m suddenly wondering why I haven’t made quinoa salad in ages. This one looks amazing- I’m gonna have to try it!

  5. Ali | Gimme Some Oven — August 15, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Mmmm…this looks delish!!! Love all of the freshness. 🙂

  6. Kathryn — August 15, 2012 at 9:21 am

    This sounds really tasty, I love all these flavours and that dressing sounds perfect!

  7. Mackenzie {SusieFreakingHomemaker} — August 15, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I love quinoa!! And I love anything in a southwest flavor!! I am so making this!! Cumin lime dressing sounds fab!!

  8. carrian — August 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

    This looks gorgeous and delicious. Love the recipe, and your writing.

    • Rachel — August 15th, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

      Thank you so much Carrian!

  9. Lesa @Edesia's Notebook — August 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I haven’t cooked with quinoa yet, but I don’t know why. I’ve got to try to remember to get some next time I go to the store. This salad is beautiful, and I love the idea of eating it with chips! 🙂

  10. Heather @ Heather's Dish — August 15, 2012 at 11:15 am

    um yeah, this sounds like dinner 🙂

  11. Judith — August 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    This sounds (and looks!) delicious! I can’t wait to make this!

  12. Cassie — August 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I’m not a big meat eater and I never have been. We eat a lot of quinoa in our house for that reason. Luckily my husband loves it too. I am in love with this dressing!

  13. amy @ fearless homemaker — August 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Oh yum, this looks amazing! Even though I’m not a vegetarian anymore, + haven’t been for many years, I still love meat-free meals + snacks. This looks perfect!

  14. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — August 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Love this, especially the sound of the dressing!

  15. Bree — August 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I was the same way when I was pregant-chicken especially grossed me out!
    This looks beautiful. I make a very similar, lazier version, that I have on my website.

  16. Kim | At Home With Kim — August 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Rachel, I just pinned this and can’t wait to make it! Looks so good. I love that you are finding ways around your kitchen even though the pregnancy tastebuds are kicking. 🙂

  17. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — August 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I would eat this up and it’s so pretty! Wish you felt better!

  18. Jamie @ Thrifty Veggie Mama — August 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I love quinoa! I wasn’t vegetarian when I was pregnant with my first baby and I couldn’t stand the sight of chicken.

  19. Julie @ Table for Two — August 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    looks so refreshing and healthy! i wish you were starting to feel slightly better 🙁

  20. Bonnie K — August 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Beautiful salad with all the ingredients I love.

  21. Geni — August 16, 2012 at 5:08 am

    I am definitely on the quinoa bandwagon Rachel. This salad looks fantastic, fresh and so summery! And definitely chock full of protein. I was the same way when pregnant…no meat! I couldn’t smell it either. I would make my husband go to my parents’ house to eat or eat in the car. Consider your husband and very lucky man that you just get cranky. 😉

  22. Laurie {Simply Scratch} — August 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    It’s a bowlful of goodness right there! I love the flavors in the dressing too… simple and scrumptious 🙂

  23. Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! — August 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

    What a beauty of a salad!! Love the color of this dish. And I love how healthy and filling it is! A perfect summer dinner.

  24. Mom — August 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Looks delicious! Love your photos (I’m crazy about your salad set). Did you use heirloom tomatoes?

    • Rachel — August 16th, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

      I got them from a farm stand–they were labeled as “Michigan Cherry Tomatoes,” but there were red, orange, yellow and purple. They were great!

  25. Margaret Carrico — August 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I have never tried quinoa before but this looks so good I am going to try it this weekend. The dressing sounds delish.

    • Rachel — August 17th, 2012 @ 8:22 am

      Thanks! I hope it turns you into a quinoa addict 😉

  26. Baking Serendipity — August 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I am loving quinoa salads this summer too. I haven’t scooped them up with chips though…this could definitely get dangerous 🙂

  27. Nutmeg Nanny — August 19, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Yum! What a great looking dish! I’m usually looking for ways to cut down my meat eating since I feel like I eat too much of the stuff.

  28. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — August 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I can’t wait to try this!! Looks delish.

  29. Danijela @ Coffee Stylish — August 20, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I have never tried quinoa before, but this salad surely looks decious. I think i might give it a try. Beautiful pictures, as always 🙂

    • Rachel — August 20th, 2012 @ 8:23 am

      Thank you! I bet you will love quinoa!

  30. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — August 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    First, I love to see your mom in the comments. My mom is a “regular” at my site, and I love it! And second, this salad has my name written all over it. Cumin + lime + my fairly new love of quinoa = perfect!!

  31. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — August 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I love quinoa! This dressing sounds great for the salad, I will have to try it soon. I am always looking for new and different ways to make it!

  32. JulieD — August 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I love everything about this salad, Rachel. It’s gorgeous!

  33. Stephanie — August 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    I love incorporating cooked quinoa into bread dough so it’s good to know that I can make a bunch and then freeze it!

    This salad looks amazing. Now that summer is sort of fading away I’m trying to cling on by eating every summer salad possible

  34. Jenny @ BAKE — August 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

    what a brilliant way of getting extra protein into your diet! and looks absolutely delicious and summery

  35. Feast on the Cheap — August 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    The post-partum you will TOTALLY be into this salad too. I have a 7 week old who’s a nursing machine and my mom made me a quinoa salad that literally sustained me for a week straight. Hold onto this one…

  36. Herbivore Triathlete — January 4, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Oooh, looks fantastic! I love quinoa, never knew it froze well, thanks for the tip. I will defnitely have to cook a batch this weekend and add it to my freezer stash. I always feel less stressed when my freezer is full of food that I can pull out on a busy work/school night.

    • Rachel — January 4th, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

      I agree–love a stocked freezer! Makes things so easy.

  37. Aggie — February 5, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Reading the comment above – didn’t know quinoa froze well!!

    I could eat this salad every day, especially with salty crunchy tortilla chips. Yum. Looks so delicious – love all those colors.

    Thanks so much for linking up!! 🙂

  38. Nim — February 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    This looks divine! I’m looking forward to trying out a bunch of your fantastic recipes. What a great blog. 🙂

    • Rachel Gurk — February 12th, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Glad you like my blog. 🙂

  39. anika — May 26, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    I made this for my memorial day block party today and it was a hit, so yummy, I’m looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  40. Christine | Mid-Life Croissant — August 14, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Love quinoa. Love cumin. I’m hooked.


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