Quinoa Taco Salad

Hello friends! I can’t believe there’s only 5 days to go until the wedding! We’ve been watching the weather for Saturday like a hawk — so far it looks okay. Fingers crossed — our wedding is outside!

I’ll share more details on the planning we’ve been doing this week tomorrow, but for now — a new favorite meal! Quinoa taco salad. :)


I whipped this up on Saturday for lunch for me and Matt and we enjoyed leftovers again for lunch on Monday. It’s really easy and delicious, too!


Here’s the “recipe” — feel free to get creative!

Quinoa Taco Salad

  • Cooked quinoa
  • Tomato, chopped
  • Peppers, chopped
  • Black beans, drained/rinsed
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Salsa
  • Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • A few shakes of cumin
  • Hot sauce, if desired
  • Cilantro, chopped (optional)

Just throw it all into a bowl, mix, and enjoy! The proportions are up to you — it doesn’t have to be exact for this recipe at all, and that’s the fun in it.


Dining al fresco!


Up close and personal. :)


Plus grapes on the side.


Easy, right? Give it a shot yourself!

Variations of this meal are also great as a packed lunch for work. I originally made a variation of this for lunch last week, which was what inspired making a bigger batch on Saturday. I made a big thing of quinoa (1.5 cups dry) in the morning while I was getting ready for work, ate some of it with the lunch you’re about to see, and then used the rest of the leftover cooked quinoa to make the big taco salad on Saturday.


The packed lunch version started with salad greens.


I added chopped peppers…


Black beans and the quinoa…


And topped it with lots of salsa (add more than you think you’ll want — it will soak in!).


Grapes to enjoy with it!


For some snacks (either morning or afternoon), I packed an apple with a Justin’s almond butter packet:


And a Chobani yogurt.


All ready to go!


Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

p.s. I also wanted to share for those of you in the DC area that next week (October 15 to 20) is Growing Healthy Schools Week! The week is a celebration of school gardens and farm to school programs throughout District schools and takes form in classroom chef demos, farm field trips, nutrition lessons, school garden activities, in-class farmer visits, etc. Childhood nutrition is a big interest of mine and I so wish that I could participate but Matt and I will be gone for part of the week on a mini-honeymoon and then I’m busy the weekend after with Army 10 Miler stuff. Bummer!

If you’re interested, check out the fun events they have going on and please support them if you have a chance! The October 20th bike tour of the school gardens sounds really fun, as does the restaurant fundraiser on Monday (October 15) — all you have to do is go out to eat and part of your purchase will be donated to the cause!


  1. 1

    That salad looks delish! Yay for your almost wedding!! Are you going to have someone recap it on the blog?

    • 2

      I’ll be recapping it myself! But probably not until I have all the professional photos a little while later. I’ve been debating what to do since I don’t want to keep you all in suspense, though. I was thinking I might just post a few initial photos on Sunday, then wait to do my real recaps until I get the official ones back a few weeks later… thoughts?

  2. 4

    Looks great!! I love quinoa and the taco flavors!

  3. 5

    Great idea, Anne! I’ve been loving quinoa lunches lately too! My current go-to recipe is quinoa combined with whatever veggies I have on hand, basil, feta, garlic powder, and chickpeas with a drizzle of balsamic! I usually accompany it with a boiled egg or 2 on the side for some extra protein!

  4. 7

    Quinoa is the best! I lived off that stuff when I was in Peru this summer! The Peruvians have so many varieties and way of cooking it; I can’t wait to make them now that I’m at home!

  5. 9

    Looks amazing – like a healthy alternative to my Chipolte obsession. ;)

  6. 10

    This looks great! I have a half package of quinoa that needs to be used up. Perfect!

  7. 11

    Yummy! I’m going to try this! My first attempt at quinoa. Hopefully it won’t be a Pintrest moment where it looks better in the picture than it does in real life. :)

  8. 12

    That taco salad looks delicious!

  9. 13

    I’m even getting excited about Saturday, Anne. I hope you can have it outside too. What time of day or evening? I hope it is a beautiful day for you.

  10. 18

    Yum! The taco salad looks delicious and super easy. I bet it would be good wrapped up in a tortilla too!

  11. 19

    I just got back from my honeymoon (alot of blog reading to catch up on) – i was the same as you – we ALMOST got a tent it was party cloudy and chance of rain later. Thank god it didnt’ rain until we were all eating dinner – i was paranoid during the ceremony i heard a plane and thought it was thunder.

    Advice from a bride that got married 2 weeks ago –
    things are going to go wrong hopefully minor things – I just let it roll off my back – we got married by a priest and rabbi rabbi stepped on my train and ripped the lace there was nothing i could do so whatever… they wouldn’t let us take pictures by the water cause some rent a cop said we needed a permit?? we took a couple then left :-( whatever… just let it all roll and focus on your day and you and Matt i’m telling you it’s going to go by so quickly. Now that we are back from our honeymoon i feel like i dont’ remember my wedding it went so quickly! I keep looking at my pictures on facebook that people posted. Remember to take a step back during the wedding with Matt and look around at everyone and how everyone is there for you and your husband; dancing and having a great time. Take it all in and all the love that is there for both of you.

    I will do sun salutations for you!!!!

  12. 20

    I love adding avocado + salsa + black beans to quinoa [and a dollop of plain Cho] but never have added all of the other ingredients, yum!

  13. 21

    That Quinoa taco salad looks amazing! I love fresh ingredients like avocados and grape tomatoes. So Yum! I’m gonna have to try this one.

  14. 22

    Thanks for this recipe!! I just discovered quinoa and am now on a hunt for all recipes to use this in!!! :)

  15. 23

    I have everything to make this – even half an avocado waiting for someone to eat it before it goes bad.

  16. 24

    Looks delish with all the fresh healthy ingredients

    Keeping my fingers crossed for the weather during your wedding -especially since my dress is short sleeves :-)

    I can’t wait…’s going to be so much fun!!!!

  17. 25

    Looks delish! Where did you find the 90 calorie packs of Justin’s? I’ve only seen the bigger ones. Thanks!

  18. 27

    My first time making a ”fannetastic” recipe..huge success! This was so good!

  19. 29

    All the foods I love in one bowl! Quinoa, avocado, cilantro…spicy deliciouess. Thanks.

  20. 30
    Laura Matute says:

    Hi Ann!

    Your Quinoa Taco Salad looks great. Just have one problem: we don’t get Quinoa here in Venezuela so easily. Yet, want to try your recipe and wonder if it would be too crazy replacing the Quinoa with Cous Cous. Would very much appreciate your feedback on this.

    Concerning your wedding, I’ve been following your preparation for such an important event in your life. Must confess that it took me back in time to my own. I must say that Tricia is right, something could in fact go wrong, but anything so bad to ruin the magic of such a happy moment. You will remember afterwards and laugh about it. For instance, we use to hide inside the wedding cake a small piece of jewlery like a charm or medal, tide up to a ribbon. So there will be many ribbons for the single ladies to pull and see who gets the gift. I forgot about that and no gift was tide up to any of the ribbons. It was a short awkward moment but right after I went up to the top of the stairway and threw the bouquet and everybody forgot about it in a blink….lol

    Tricia is also right when saying that it will go by quickly…..yes…..but you will never ever forget your wedding day. It will stay in your memory, every moment, every smile, every glance, every face, just everything, and you will enjoy over and over again. I still do 34 years after…..

    Crossing fingers for a sunny saturday for you guys. Everything will go just fine.

    Wish the best for you and Matt. Please post some initial photos. Please do….

    • 31

      Thank you for such a sweet comment! That’s funny about the ribbons in the cake – oops! :) And I will definitely post a few photos right away on Sunday for a sneak preview!

  21. 32

    I HAVE to try making quinoa. It looks so versatile.

  22. 33

    It sounds delicous, could add some corn in there too!! Could always serve in wraps/tacos for a bit more carb loading! Can’t wait to see wedding photos! x

  23. 34
    Adventurer says:

    Looks awesome — and full of good stuff! Well done –

  24. 35

    4 days till the big day, Anne!! I’ll have my people praying for beautiful weather ;). But you know, all the outdoor weddings I’ve been to (and I’ve been to MANY) were blessed with PLENTY of sunshine..the most perfect weather you could ever have asked for! Hope you can find comfort in that..hope being the key word ;)
    The quinoa bowl looks very similar to what I eat almost everyday at school. So easy to carry around and to eat, right? So versatile..other than salsa, you can add soy sauce, salad dressings, citrus juices, sriracha, bbq sauce..i mean sky’s the limit here ;).
    My 7 mo. old nephew tried quinoa for the first time (oh and my sister…she’s been eating foods she used to never touch before just so that Noah can be the healthiest baby ever!). They both weren’t a fan but give it some time, and I’m certain that they’ll come around! Hope you have a wonderful day!!

  25. 37

    Did you eat it hot or cold?

  26. 39

    We just made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing!! I added a little seasoned ground turkey. My kids ate theirs with some tortilla chips & the hubby and I had it as-is. We have plenty of left overs for lunch tomorrow. I’m so glad to have this recipe!

  27. 40

    I made this last night for my lunch today. Can I say AH-MAZ-ING??? Sooo good!!

  28. 42

    Your salad looks delicious! I love that you added the avocado right into the salad. I have made a similar salad ( and served it with some homemade pita chips.
    Thanks for a great post!

  29. 43

    Quinoa, I love you so much :)

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