This vegetarian quinoa taco salad is absolutely delicious, whether you’re vegetarian or not!
It really hits the spot when you’re craving a big savory, crunchy taco salad, but don’t want to feel overly full or eat something heavy.
I use my favorite Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad as the “meat” for this quinoa taco salad. It’s full of protein, good carbs, healthy fat, and fiber, plus has amazing flavor.
One of the best things you can do when cooking at home is to prepare more of what you’re making for later in the week. This healthy vegetarian taco salad is a great way to use extra black bean and quinoa salad from earlier in the week.
Quinoa Taco Salad Ingredients
- Black Bean & Quinoa Salad: I use my Black Bean & Quinoa Salad Recipe as the base for this quinoa taco salad. If you don’t have time to make it, you can simply use a cup of cooked quinoa mixed with a can of drained and rinsed black beans. Be sure to use a little extra dressing and salt if you go that route.
- Romaine Lettuce: Romaine is crisp and crunchy, which makes a great taco salad base. You can also use iceberg lettuce and/or shredded cabbage or any lettuce you have on hand.
- Avocado: Smooth, creamy avocado is not only good for you, but it also adds great texture variation with the beans and crispy lettuce & chips
- Tomatoes or Pico de Gallo: Depending on what you have and what you like, add a few chopped tomatoes, Pico de Gallo, or even some of your favorite salsa on top
- Tortilla Chips: A few crushed tortilla chips make this healthier version of a taco salad just like the original. Try to use organic tortilla chips – almost all of the corn in the US is genetically modified and the small extra cost of organic tortilla chips is well worth it for your health.
- Quick Lime Dressing: Mix up a quick and easy lime dressing with some fresh lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, and a little red wine vinegar for some extra tang if you happen to have some on hand. At the very least, just squeeze some fresh lime juice all over your salad for an even quicker way to bring it all together.
This recipe is really flexible and you can make it exactly to your preferences.
Variations & Substitutions
- Make it vegan: You can add some shredded cheese if you’d like, or leave out the dairy (cheese, sour cream, yogurt) for a vegan taco salad.
- Make it spicy: Add a minced jalapeno to the quinoa salad for some extra spice and kick if you like spicy food.
- Up the protein: If you’re like me and like vegetarian food but also eat meat, you can add some shredded chicken to this already awesome salad to up the protein.
If you prepare the quinoa salad fresh for this recipe, make extra for a healthy lunch or side dish later in the week.
We use my favorite black bean and quinoa salad as the base for this delicious vegetarian quinoa taco salad recipe and it never gets old. I’ve been making this for over a decade and still love it. The 10-minute prep time assumes you already have the quinoa salad made, give yourself 30 minutes if you need to make the base.
For the dressing (makes 2 servings, easily doubled)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- big pinch of sea salt
For the salad
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped (hearts of romaine are particularly good here)
- 2 cups Black Bean & Quinoa Salad
- 1/2 medium avocado, sliced
- 10 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1/4 cup pico de gallo
- a handful of organic tortilla chips
- Prepare the Black Bean & Quinoa Salad (hopefully you made it earlier in the week)
- Prepare the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. The dressing is optional – the black bean & quinoa salad is already dressed. Add the dressing depending on how you like the flavor of your salad – we do this about half the time we make it.
- To prepare each salad, place the following on the plate in this order:
- 2 cups chopped lettuce
- 1 cup black bean and quinoa salad
- 1/4 of an avocado (about 5-6 slices)
- 8-10 cherry tomato halves
- 5-8 organic tortilla chips, crushed with your hands (we like the extra thin kind)
- 1-2 tablespoons of dressing, if using
Optional: Add some grilled or shredded chicken if you’re a meat eater, or some shredded cheese if that’s how you like your taco salad. A tablespoon of fresh salsa is also great on top (but it’s delicious with or without it).
Keywords: Vegetarian Taco Salad, Vegetarian Dinner