The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Quinoa Taco Salad

4.87 Mitt(s) 8 Rating(s)8 votes, average: 4.87 out of 58 votes, average: 4.87 out of 58 votes, average: 4.87 out of 58 votes, average: 4.87 out of 58 votes, average: 4.87 out of 5

Prep:

Cook:

Level: Easy

System:

4

Description

Quinoa “Taco” Salad has all the flavor and protein of a regular taco salad, but is so much healthier. It tastes clean and rich with flavor. This version uses a mixture of baby spinach and cilantro as a substitute for iceberg lettuce, a common taco salad ingredient. Instead of corn tortilla chips, you have the nutty flavor and slightly crunchy texture of quinoa.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 whole Red Onion, Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ cups Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • ½ cups Yellow Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • ½ cups Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1-½ teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoons Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder, Or More Depending On Heat Preference
  • 1 dash Cayenne Pepper
  • 15 ounces, weight Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • ¾ cups Diced Tomatoes, Fresh Or Canned
  • 2 whole Limes, Divided
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces, weight Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Cilantro
  • ⅓ cups Cheddar Or Feta Cheese
  • 1 whole Avocado, diced

Preparation

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, swirl a bit of olive oil in a saute pan. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, until translucent and tender. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne and peppers and saute for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the black beans, tomatoes, and the juice of 1 lime. Stir in the quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill.

Roughly cut baby spinach into strips like you would shred iceberg lettuce for tacos. Remove about 1 cup of cilantro leaves from the bunch, rinse and pat dry, and toss with the spinach. Divide spinach and cilantro mixture evenly among 4 salad plates. Top each plate with a scoop of the quinoa salad. Top each salad with your choice of cheese and diced avocado. Cut the remaining lime into slices to garnish the plates.

17 Comments

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Avatar of sec1222

sec1222 on 3.8.2011

So good! Make it tonight if you are craving taco salad! Easy, great flavors and it is a gorgeous dish to look at too!

Avatar of coldiah

coldiah on 4.20.2010

I made this for dinner tonight. I was very flavourful and I felt good eating it

I’m not a fan of tomatoes so I put in some corn instead and grated just a smidge of cheddar on top. It was a very satisfying meal. Thank you for sharing.

Avatar of culinarycapers

culinarycapers on 4.5.2010

Can’t wait to make this… and congrats on having this recipe published in the Costco Magazine!

Avatar of rosilevi

rosilevi on 3.30.2010

GREAT salad. I used pepper jack cheese and added sour cream and salsa on top (with the lime it created more of a “dressing”). Will definitely make again and appreciate that it is actually a taco-style salad that is healthy!

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tiffani3 on 3.28.2010

I forgot the garlic, which significantly detracted from the final product, but it was still good!

8 Reviews

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Avatar of sec1222

sec1222 on 3.8.2011

My first time using quinoa! This has got to be one of the best tasting taco salads I’ve ever had. It was all we could to do not eat it all up in one night! The flavor was absolutely great. This will definitely be in on the regular rotation from now on.

Avatar of luluwithers

luluwithers on 1.24.2011

great recipe.
made this as a side dish for fish tacos.
adjustments I made were: I subbed chipotle chile powder and added fresh corn. also subbed pico de gallo for the tomatoes (I had a big tub in the fridge).
next time i make this I am going to add diced mango to cut the heat a little.

Avatar of cookoutsidethebox

cookoutsidethebox on 10.4.2010

I printed this recipe forever ago and FINALLY made it over the weekend. I wish I would have made it sooner. I made it exactly and it was sooo good. Way better than the quinoa salad they sell at Whole Foods.

Avatar of karebear47

karebear47 on 9.18.2010

All of the flavors really came together in this dish in an amazing way! I loved it, and the avocados on top were just perfect.

Avatar of agoldberg

agoldberg on 7.7.2010

We made this last night (without the spinach) and it was a good side dish to the spicy black bean burgers we were having. We didn’t have tomatoes so we omitted those and added some fresh corn instead. It was great!

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