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Gluten Free Dairy Free Santa Fe-Style Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is one of my all time favorite gluten free grains.  I’m always looking for new recipes to incorporat it into our menu.  And salads?  I love to eat salads.  Lettuce salads, GF pasta or grain salads, potato salads –  I like them all!  When I saw this an easy-peasy, yet delicious recipe combining two of my favorite things, I just had to try it.
When I made this salad, I cooked up a triple batch so I could freeze some for another day.  I used some leftover chicken stock I had had on hand, replacing half of the water in the recipe.  I find that the tomatoes are softer in texture after freezing (of course) but that didn’t bother my family.  If you prefer, freeze the salad without the cherry tomatoes, adding them in after thawing and right before serving instead.  For this salad I used black beans that I cooked ahead and froze, but canned back beans that are well rinsed also works well in this salad.  Tricia just did a Sliced and Diced post on black beans and found that a can of black beans equals 1 3/4 cups cooked beans.  Thanks, Tricia!
Gluten Free Dairy Free Santa Fe-Style Quinoa Salad makes a delicious side dish served with Chicken with Apricot Sauce (on the upcoming June menu) or served with Mexi-Burgers or Garlic Dijon Chicken.  Santa Fe-Style Quinoa Salad is also great with tacos or served as a vegetarian main dish with some sliced avocados.  So yummy!

Santa Fe-Style Quinoa Salad


adapted from Donna Klein’s Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen by aglutenfreeguide.com


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cups gluten free picante sauce, mild or medium
  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon grounds cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 3/4 cups home cooked black beans)
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn, cooked, drained and cooled
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped


In a medium saucepan, stir together water, picante sauce, quinoa, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover pan and toss quinoa with a fork. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly.  While still warm, add the remaining ingredients to the quinoa mixture, tossing well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve slightly warm or let cool to room temperature.

Freezing Directions:

To freeze, allow to cool completely, then package in individual lunch serving sizes.  To serve:  Thaw and warm through.  Serve warm or at room temperature.    Note:  the cherry tomatoes will have a softer texture after freezing.  My family doesn’t mind, however, if you prefer freeze the salad without the tomatoes.  Add them after thawing and before freezing.

Servings:  6

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16 Responses to “Gluten Free Dairy Free Santa Fe-Style Quinoa Salad”

  1. […] week I share Santa Fe-Style Quinoa Salad from the upcoming July menu at Once a Month Mom.  Tomorrow keep an eye out for the Gluten Free […]

  2. Love this, it looks and sounds excellent, thanks!

  3. J Stritesky says:

    Do you mean 1/2 cups picante or 1.2 cups? Thanks, looking forward to trying this soon!

  4. J Stritesky says:

    I cooked this up this morning for lunch. My first attempt at making quinoa and this recipe is awesome! Sooo delicious and healthy. Thank you!

  5. Amberley says:

    When this recipe printed out with the Gluten and Dairy free October plan, it told me 1.33 cups of jalapenos! I’m glad I thought it was wrong and came to check here.

    Everything else I’ve made seems to be right and we’ve all liked what we’ve tried so far, thank you!

  6. […] and Salads Chef Salad Tossed Salad Taco Salad Santa Fe Quinoa Salad Jambalaya Broccoli Potato Soup Potato Soup Chicken Jalapeno Popper Chili Chicken Enchilada Soup […]

  7. […] Santa Fe Style Quinoa Salad (make two, freeze one), omit corn, add white meat from yesterday (E) […]

  8. Maureen says:

    Just wanted to clarify how much corn _ is it one 1/5 cup
    Or one 1 1/5 cup?

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