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Mexican Quinoa Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing

Mexican Quinoa

This colorful, one-dish salad has so many vibrant components that it will make everyone in the family happy. Arrange your kids’ favorite items on their plates—tender chicken, cubes of creamy avocado, juicy tomatoes, crisp corn, black beans, a heaping spoonful of fluffy quinoa—before tossing the rest together. 

Serves 4 | Total Time: Less Than 30 Mins


  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Applegate Naturals Grilled Chicken Breast Strips, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. For the dressing, combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and cumin in a blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside while you make the salad.
  2. Cook the quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, for 10 minutes. 
  3. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve. 
  4. Bring about 1 ½ inches water to a boil in the same pot. Set sieve with quinoa over pot (quinoa should not touch water). Cover sieve with a clean kitchen towel and a lid, folding the edges of the towel up over the lid. 
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and steam quinoa until dry and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl. When cooled, add half of the dressing and toss to combine.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the corn in a small pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute. Drain well and set aside to cool.
  7. Before mixing the salad, set aside the ingredients your kids will enjoy and arrange decoratively on a plate, providing some extra vinaigrette for dipping, if you like.
  8. Add the beans, chicken strips, tomatoes, avocado, scallions, and reserved corn to the quinoa. 
  9. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve at room temperature.