Spicy Quinoa Salad

A healthy, yet bold meal…

Healthy sure doesn’t need to be boring, and chili peppers are always a perfect way to liven things up in our book. Jalapeño pepper meet healthy quinoa and let the games begin. Either black or white quinoa can work here, but black quinoa we believe tastes the best in this recipe. It’s chewier texture and nutty flavor are perfect foils to the grassy and crisp bite of the jalapeño.

Serve this as a light meal or side salad. You can also dress it up with a protein to give it more substance. Chicken, shrimp, or steak all work.

Spicy Quinoa Salad

Spicy Quinoa Salad

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa red preferred, but white can work
  • 1 can red beans drained, 15 ounce can
  • 1 jalapeño pepper minced
  • 1 ear corn see directions below
  • 1 scallion chopped fine
  • 1/2 bell pepper red bell preferred for sweetness, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Oven roast the corn

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Shuck the corn cob to remove any husk and/or silk from the corn ear.
  • Wrap the corn in aluminum foil, then place on a baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Check the corn and roast, if needed, for an additional 2 to 5 minutes to get your preferred grill level.
  • Remove the corn from the oven and cut the corn kernels off the cob. Set the kernels to the side.

Cook the quinoa

  • While the corn cooks, in a saucepan combine the quinoa and water. Bring the mix to a boil, then lower the heat to low and cover.
  • Simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes, then remove from heat.

Prep the salad

  • Combine the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, black pepper, and salt. Stir well.
  • Transfer the quinoa to a large mixing bowl, then stir in the lime juice dressing.
  • Add the red beans, jalapeño pepper, bell pepper, corn kernels, scallion and cilantro. Stir well.
  • Serve immediately or if you prefer the salad to be chilled, refrigerate for two to three hours prior to serving.
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

See more of our spicy recipes…

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 20, 2021 to include new content.
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