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Quinoa Taco Salad

February 14, 2022

Get your favorite Mexican-inspired flavor with this healthy and easy Quinoa Taco Salad. This meal with inspire you to incorporate more plant-based meals into your life that are full of flavor and good-for-you ingredients.

Quinoa taco salad in a charcoal colored bowl.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a cookbook collector. Granted, I’m pretty sure all the cookbooks I “owned” belonged to my mom until I moved away for college, but if we count those, my collection has always been pretty epic.

Every time a cookbook appears in my mailbox, I’m like a giddy schoolgirl who just stocked up on a new round of highlighters. I was so excited to get Jessica Murnane’s cookbook, One Part Plant. Her mission is simple: Encourage people to start eating one plant-based meal a day. And her cookbook is finally here to help make this mission even easier for me and you.

Jess was kind enough to let me share a recipe so you can get a sense of what I mean by approachable, plant-based cooking. This Quinoa Taco Salad came together so quickly and it’s one of those salads that just gets better each day as it sits and melds together. And once the quinoa was cooked, it literally took 10 mins to make.

Overhead image of quinoa taco salad in a white mixing bowl with a wooden spoon sticking out.

Here’s What You Need

  • quinoa – cook the quinoa according to package directions and let cool to room temperature. This is a great recipe to use with leftover quinoa as well!
  • red onion – add a little zest with minced red onion.
  • cherry tomatoes – I love the fresh burst of flavor cherry tomatoes add. Any type of tomato will work here!
  • chopped cilantro – never doubt the power of fresh herbs!
  • black beans – you can cook your own or use canned black beans for a shortcut. If you’re using canned, make sure you drain and rinse well.
  • seasonings and spices – chili powder, cumin and sea salt.
  • avocado – add healthy fats with diced avocado.
  • lime juice – I recommend using freshly squeezed lime juice as opposed to store-bought.
  • tortilla chips – optional but I love adding tortilla chips for crunch!

Image of the One Part Plant cookbook. Yellow mixing bowl in the background.

How to Make Quinoa Taco Salad

STEP 1: In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, chili powder and lime juice and set aside.

STEP 2: In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, onion, tomatoes, cilantro and black beans. Gently stir in the spiced lime juice, tossing to coat. Add salt to taste.

STEP 3: Before serving, top with diced avocado, hot sauce and tortilla chips if using.

How to Store Leftovers

This salad stores super well! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. I recommend squeezing a little fresh lime juice before serving to revive the flavors.


Quinoa Taco Salad

  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa, room temp
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if canned
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Optional toppings: tortilla chips


  1. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, chili powder, and lime juice and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and black beans.
  3. Gently stir in the spiced lime juice and toss to coat.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and more lime juice if desired.
  5. Before serving top the salad with avocado and hot sauce and then a handful of tortilla chips in the bowl or crushed on top.
  6. Keep for up to 5 days in the fridge and add an extra squeeze of lime juice before serving.

Close up image of the quinoa taco salad in a charcoal colored bowl.

More vegan salad recipes to try:



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  • Reply
    March 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I love cherry tomatoes in quinoa dishes.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 4, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      me too!!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I always find it so refreshing and AMAZING when someone isn’t pushing their believes and diets in others. Everybody is so different and has to make their own experiences. This goes hand in hand with what you always say about labels (which I love your convo with Lexi on the podcast about that!). There’s really no need to put on any label on yourself or others. If a recipe is vegetarian, awesome, if you choose to eat meat though there’s no reason to not make that recipe! It’s not made for vegetarians exclusively. Anyway, these are my 2 cents about that 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      March 4, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Couldn’t agree more! I have friends who are paleo, plant-based, vegan or whatever and if it works for them, more power to them! I just know what works for me and I’m all about leading by example. No point in pushing your beliefs onto someone who doesn’t need or care to listen!

  • Reply
    jordan @ dancing for donuts
    February 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    i love love LOVE quinoa for quick, easy and healthy meals, but i’ve kind of gotten burnt out on it lately to be honest. the flavors in this dish sound delicious and the perfect combo to spruce up my quinoa bowls! thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      I feel the same way. This totally revived my quinoa love! Hope you love it 🙂

  • Reply
    February 28, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks so delicious. I am a plant based eater and can’t wait to try this out.

    Eme x


    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      Hope you love it Eme! It’s super easy and delicious!

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    February 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Davida the podcast episode with Jess was one of my very favourite ones! I didn’t know her before, but listening to her story and her genuinness and integrity were humbling and incredibly endearing. I was very excited when I heard she had a cookbook coming out (I’m a fanatic cookbook collector!) and this recipe looks delicious and so simple! Off to check out the cookbook 😉

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 28, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      Hope you love it, lady!!! You know I’m a total cookbook fanatic too!

  • Reply
    Alison's Allspice
    February 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    I totally agree that you can’t push people into a diet, all you can do is suggest and lead by example. This recipe looks great, I love the simplicity!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      February 28, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      I completely agree! Love its ease as well. Came together super quickly and it’s so delicious!

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