This corn and black bean Mexican quinoa salad with feta is loaded with veggies, beans and hearty quinoa. Makes for a light lunch or side with dinner. Perfect to go along with those summer barbecues too.
This recipe was originally posted in August 2015 and has been updated with new pics, more recipe details and small tweaks in the recipe.
I always have cans of beans in the house. They are super tasty, super versatile, inexpensive and tasty!
This quinoa salad recipe is definitely a weekday staple for easy lunches. You’ll want to eat this ’cause it tastes so good, but it is seriously good for you!
I also always have lots of veg in the house…actually, sometimes too much. I mean, it’s me, hubby & Riley…how much food can we eat? Actually, less than I sometimes think.
Sometimes I may overbuy, especially when we make the occasionally trip to Costco. And who wants to waste food? Not me! I can’t stand having to throw food out that’s spoiled! It’s absolutely unnecessary, it’s wasteful and I just feel awful about it. Who doesn’t?
This corn and black bean quinoa salad came about one day when I had a bunch of ingredients I wanted to use up and, of course, it had to taste good. Now, I make this Mexican quinoa salad on the regular. Love it so much!
Why is this Quinoa Salad with Feta is Great!
- It has quinoa, which is loaded with protein, fibre and minerals.
- There is hearty black beans.
- It includes lots of veggies, like bell pepper and tomato
- This one is gluten free and vegetarian.
- Meal prepping? This quinoa salad is great for that! Make a batch on Sunday for easy weekday lunches.
- Can be enjoyed as a main or side dish.
- Comes together in minutes.
- Tastes scrumptious!
How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly
The base of this delicious meal prep salad is quinoa. I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t grow up eating quinoa. It just wasn’t a thing. These days though? I’m all about it and it’s a regularly stocked item in our pantry.
Sometimes the outside of quinoa can be bitter so it is recommended to rinse the quinoa under cold running water for about 30 seconds before cooking (I do this even if the package says that it’s rinsed already). Drain and then cook. Every variety/package could vary. Typically, though, it’s a 2 to 1 ratio of water to quinoa.
Bring water to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 to 15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy and cooked. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before removing cover and fluffing with a fork.
Tips: If you want to add a little more flavour to the quinoa, cook in veggie broth instead of water. You can also add a pinch or so of salt to the pot of quinoa/water (I opted not to for this recipe, but you could totally add salt if you wish).
If you’d rather cook the quinoa in an Instant Pot, this is a great recipe for cooking quinoa (from My Wife Can Cook)!
How to Make It
Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics –
- Cook quinoa and let cool. Use ⅓ cup of dried quinoa. It will roughly triple in size to give you the 1 cup cooked quinoa needed for this recipe.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients and lay to one side.
- Chop veggies and cilantro. If you want to char the corn on your bbq, do that. Otherwise, just remove the kernels from the cob.
- In a large bowl stir together the cooled quinoa, veggies, cilantro and dressing.
- You can either stir in the feta cheese or top the quinoa salad with it.
- Garnish with extra cilantro if you want.
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More Tips and Variations
If you can get your hands on, use ‘unsalted’ black beans. Rinse and drain and use in recipe.
Queso fresco could be used instead of feta if you prefer.
You can grill the corn before removing kernels or simply remove the kernels and enjoy as is. I’ve made both ways and both are delicious!
Speaking of corn, if you only have frozen on hand, use that. Thaw before using. Alternatively, use drained canned corn.
Want to keep this quinoa salad straight up plant based? Simply omit the feta.
Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge and enjoy within 3 to 4 days.
More Easy Salad Recipes you May Enjoy
Hope you love this Mexican quinoa salad recipe as much as we do!
If you make this easy quinoa salad recipe, be sure to leave a comment below. Love hearing from you! Thank you!
Mexican Quinoa Salad with Feta
Corn and Black Bean Mexican Quinoa Salad with Feta
- ⅓ cup quinoa (cooked per package instructions (1 cup cooked))
- 1 ear corn , kernels removed (about ¾ cup)
- 19 ounce can unsalted black beans , rinsed & drained
- 1 bell pepper , diced (whatever colour you prefer)
- ½ cup fresh cilantro , chopped (or parsley)
- 1 chili pepper , minced
- 4 stalks green onion , chopped (about ⅓ cup)
- 1 roma tomato , insides remove (liquidy membrane) and diced (about ½ cup)
- ⅓ cup feta cheese , crumbled (queso fresco)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 lime , zest & juice (about 2 tablespoons of juice)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Corn and Black Bean Mexican Quinoa Salad with Feta
- Cook quinoa per package instructions. Let cool slightly. You want 1 cup of cooked quinoa for this recipe (which means about ⅓ cup uncooked quinoa and ⅔ cup water).Note: I typically cook by using 2 parts water to one part quinoa; bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until tender and water is absorbed. Turn off heat and leave for about 10 minutes with cover on. Then, remove cover and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool a little.
- While quinoa is sitting with cover on after cooking, prep other ingredients. Then, combine everything in a large bowl (cooked/cooled quinoa, corn kernels, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro (or parsley), chili, green onion and tomato). Stir to combine.
- Stir in olive oil mixture/dressing.
- Top with crumbled feta or stir in through salad. Enjoy!
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, zest and juice of lime, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper.
- If you can get your hands on, use ‘unsalted’ black beans. Rinse and drain and use in recipe.
- Queso fresco could be used instead of feta if you prefer.
- You can grill the corn before removing kernels or simply remove the kernels and enjoy as is. I’ve made both ways and both are delicious!
- Speaking of corn, if you only have frozen on hand, use that. Thaw before using. Alternatively, use drained canned corn.
- Want to keep this quinoa salad straight up plant based? Simply omit the feta.
- Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge and enjoy within 3 to 4 days.