This Southwest Chicken Quinoa Salad is made with leftover chicken from the night before that has been seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper.
The other night we had tacos and my delicious restaurant-style Mexican Cheese dip. When we were finished, we had a lot of meat leftover – both ground beef and shredded chicken breast that I had seasoned with salt, pepper, and cumin. I froze the ground beef to use later in taco soup.
But the chicken — I decided to use it to make a delicious Southwest Chicken Quinoa Salad.
How to Make Southwest Chicken Quinoa Salad
This salad starts with a base of delicious quinoa. I like using quinoa because it is rich in various nutrients; it provides protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts above those of wheat, corn, rice, and oats. It’s gluten-free and virtually free of sodium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
I like the Ancient Harvest brand because they are pre-soaked and cleaned already so that step is done for me. They are also perfect for anyone who is living a vegan lifestyle, or who is gluten-free.
So what all is in this salad?
I mix together diced tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, feta cheese, lime juice, and olive oil into a bowl. I set that aside while I cook the quinoa.
Quinoa only takes about 15 minutes to make and is so versatile. You can use it any dish — to make breakfast (like my blueberry quinoa breakfast bowls) — or you can make desserts as well.
You can even use it to make granola, which I am going to be experimenting with soon. One of my favorite recipes is my Turkey and Quinoa Chili.
Once the quinoa is done, I let it cool off a bit and then I mix it all together along with my shredded chicken for the perfect Southwest Chicken Quinoa Salad.
It has a great taste, is good for you, and is perfect for a clean eating lifestyle. There is nothing in this salad that is not good for you!
Check out the recipe below. If you decide to make it, let me know! I’d love to hear what you thought of it!
For More Mexican Inspired Recipes, check these out
- Restaurant Style Mexican Cheese Dip
- Southwestern Chicken Quinoa Bowl
- Pork Burrito Bowl
- Easy Restaurant Style Salsa
- One Pan Steak Fajitas
- 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions (you can cook quinoa in either water or chicken stock to add a little more flavor)
- 4 green onions diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- juice from 2 limes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Feta Cheese
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Saute in a pan on medium-high heat until cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Flip chicken a few times to ensure it gets browned on both sides.
- Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions.
- When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff it with a fork, transfer it to a large bowl, and allow it to cool completely (about 15 minutes).
- In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, ground cumin, black pepper and salt.
- When the quinoa has cooled, add in chopped green onions, tomatoes, feta, and cilantro.
- Stir in dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Leftovers the next day are even better!
Have you ever made this kind of salad before? What is your favorite way to use quinoa?