Healthy Vegan Quinoa Fiesta Salad with Chipotle Sauce

Vegan Quinoa Fiesta Salad

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop, Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Vegan

This healthy quinoa taco salad is completely customizable to suit your taste. Follow this recipe as closely or as loosely as you feel like, either way your fiesta salad is going to come out delicious. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.



For the Cilantro Chili Lime Quinoa (makes 4 salads)

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
  • big handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp each chili powder, paprika and garlic powder
  • generous pinch of sea salt

For the Cashew Chipotle Sauce (makes 4 salads)

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo plus 2 tsp of the adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup

For the Fiesta Salad

  • diced avocado
  • diced fresh tomato
  • handful of shredded romaine lettuce
  • black beans
  • corn kernels
  • crushed tortilla chips¬†(see notes)
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • cubed tempeh (see notes)
  • diced bell peppers, any colour
  • diced red or white onion, or chopped green onion


  1. Cook the Quinoa. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. I cooked 1 cup dry which made 3 cups cooked, or enough for 4 large burrito bowls. Once cooked, mix with cilantro, lime, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika and sea salt.
  2. Make the Chipotle Sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to a high-speed blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
  3. Assemble the Fiesta Salad. To assemble the salad, start with some romaine lettuce then top with the rest of the ingredients, including 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa, drizzle with a generous amount of the chipotle sauce and enjoy.


  • To make your own tortilla chips, slice a corn (or wheat) tortilla into strips and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until crispy. Once the strips are cool enough to handle, crumble them over your salad.
  • To make the tempeh, cut a block of tempeh into cubes then either cook over medium-heat in a non-stick pan until starting to brown or bake at 350 degrees on a lined baking sheet until browned, about 15-20 minutes. I used a flavoured tempeh but if your tempeh is plain, toss it with some garlic powder, chili powder, sea salt, pepper and paprika after heating.
  • The sauce makes enough for 4-6 large salads. Adjust the rest of the ingredients as needed.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 594
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Carbohydrates: 86 g
  • Fiber: 17 g
  • Protein: 25 g

Keywords: quinoa taco salad, healthy, plant-based