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

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

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »


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.
All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

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!


  1. Pingback: Autumn Quinoa Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette - Rachel Cooks

  2. Love quinoa. Love cumin. I’m hooked.

  3. Pingback: 80 Quinoa Recipes » Rachel Cooks

  4. 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!

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

  6. 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!! :)

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

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

  10. 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

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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!!

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

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

  16. 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.

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

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

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

    • 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!

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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. ;)

  23. Beautiful salad with all the ingredients I love.

  24. looks so refreshing and healthy! i wish you were starting to feel slightly better :(

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

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

  27. 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. :-)

  28. 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.

  29. Love this, especially the sound of the dressing!

  30. 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!

  31. 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!

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

  33. um yeah, this sounds like dinner :)

  34. 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! :)

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

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

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

  38. Mmmm…this looks delish!!! Love all of the freshness. :)

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

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

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

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *