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a white platter of Mexican quinoa salad with a spoon on the side.

Mexican Quinoa Black Bean Salad with Chicken

This hearty quinoa salad with black beans is perfect as a cold side dish or a hot main dinner.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 419kcal
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 4 cups chicken stock homemade is best
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 tsp salt see note 1
  • 1 pound chicken breast or thighs pre cooked, see note 2
  • 2/3 cup red bell pepper chopped (about half of a pepper)
  • 2/3 cup yellow bell pepper chopped (about half of a pepper) You can use one whole pepper in one color instead to reduce waste.
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions diced white onion works too
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet corn or two large ears of corn, grilled or boiled
  • 16 ounces black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper
  • 1 cup cotija cheese feta could substitute

Avocado cream dressing (optional)

  • 1/2 cup sour cream plain yogurt works
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice adjust to your preference
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • In a 4 quart or larger heavy pot, heat the broth to boiling. Add salt if you're sure your stock isn't overly salty. Add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low/simmer. Simmer 15 minutes checking the quinoa once while it cooks. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
  • If you want to serve this cold, let the quinoa cool before adding the remaining ingredients. To serve hot, add all remaining ingredients to the pot including the cooked chicken and stir to combine.
  • Serve warm with lime wedges, avocado and cilantro or a few tablespoons of avocado cream.
  • This dish reheats wonderfully and can be made ahead.


Note 1: The saltiness of your stock will determine how much salt to add here. If you have a low sodium stock you should be fine to use the whole teaspoon. Again, avoid using bouillon cubes or powders. 
Note 2: I used sautéed chicken. See the information about how to cook it in the body of the post. You can also boil yours or buy a rotisserie chicken if you choose. 


Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 644mg | Potassium: 807mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 4mg