Quinoa Taco Salad

This Quinoa Taco Salad is one of my favorite lunches – it’s so easy to throw into a container on the way out the door.

It also makes a great dinner!

It has a great balance of veggies, fiber, protein, and healthy fat to keep you full and satisfied.

quinoa taco salad

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Before I share photos and a loose recipe for this quick and easy meal, here’s a video showing just how simple it is to throw together!

I love a good taco salad. 

Anyone else?

But I don’t always want a super meaty, chip-heavy version of taco salad – that definitely has its time and place, but sometimes you just want something a bit lighter and fresher, you know? 

Enter: this quinoa taco salad. 

quinoa taco salad

Filling and delicious, and with great Mexican flavor, but packed with veggies and light enough to enjoy for lunch without feeling like you need a nap 5 minutes later. 

Sign me up!

quinoa taco salad

This “recipe” is really flexible – feel free to get creative with additions and quantities. No measuring necessary!

Just toss everything together in a bowl (or even in a packable container) and toss to combine.

Then you’re good to go!

No, seriously.

That’s it. :)

quinoa taco salad

If it’s too dry, add more salsa.

If it’s not flavorful enough, some salt and pepper and a few shakes of cumin will up the ante – or, add some Mexican-style hot sauce!

Not a cheddar cheese fan? Feel free to use feta instead – either will be delicious!

quinoa taco salad

Looking for more volume and texture variety?

Serve it atop greens – arugula, mixed greens, or baby spinach would all work well here. 

Want more healthy fat?

Throw in some avocado (this can also be in place of the cheese, if you’re focusing on a plant-based diet).

quinoa taco salad

Here’s the loose recipe, but again, feel free to get creative. 


Quinoa Taco Salad

Prep Time 5 minutes Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time 5 mins Total Time



  • cooked quinoa
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped bell peppers
  • black beans, drained and rinsed
  • salsa
  • diced avocado
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • chopped cilantro


Just throw it all into a bowl, mix, and enjoy! Again, 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.


Recipe Notes


While you’re cooking the quinoa – make extra, and try one of these other quinoa recipe faves from my recipe archives!

And for more Mexican-themed deliciousness, check these recipes out:

What’s your favorite Mexican-themed meal?

Mine is probably tacos, or enchiladas – although I do love taco salad!


  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 :)

  30. 44

    How long does this keep?

  31. 46
    Megan Taylor says

    I made it and didn’t like it much, but my son liked it. I think I had too much quinoa, maybe not enough tomato, but overall it just was kinda tasteless and uninteresting. I know it’s healthy and it looks like I would like it… I was thinking maybe it needed some kalamata olives and/or minced onion to improve taste and texture. Any ideas? It might help to know your portions.

    • 47

      Hm – sorry you didn’t enjoy it! Try adding some salt and pepper, and make sure you add a LOT of salsa – that’s basically the flavor adder!

  32. 48

    This salad looks DELICIOUS! I’m not a huge fan of beans (I know worst dietitian ever) so I would sub chicken, but I love everything else about it! I especially love the picture with the falling cheese!

  33. 50
    Roadrunner says

    Looks awesome! Will have to try it! Thanks, Anne!

  34. 51

    Amazing, this is really mouth watering just looking at the photos. Definitely, would try this weekend.

  35. 52

    Loved it. Added sour cream.

  36. 54

    Congratulations on your wedding, on your firstborn, and to a wonderful blog, Anne! I have read your pregnancy diaries apart from the lovely recipes you shared and I am so amazed at how you were able to pull through the 40 weeks. I’m not a mother yet and hope to be one day. I’m just truthfully inspired by your diaries; so thank you so much for that. The pictures of your quinoa taco salad recipe looks mouth-watering and healthy in all aspects; and I can’t wait to try this one soon! Do you think it will ruin the recipe if I omit or use a little amount of black beans and add some croutons and feta cheese in? Hoping to get your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance!

  37. 58

    This look amazing, and like a much healthier version of the taco salad my mom would make me as a kid! I can’t wait to try it


  1. […] also had a really good lunch salad last week that I hadn’t made in ages – a variation on my Quinoa Taco Salad (<- recipe) but with brown rice instead of quinoa since it’s what I had on hand. I also added […]

  2. […] went to their house on the lake, cooked out, and got all the babies together. I made Anne’s quinoa taco salad, which was a […]

  3. […] cook extra and use the rest to make one of my other recipes, like my Quinoa Taco Salad. […]

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