Southwestern Quinoa

This southwestern quinoa recipe is one of my favorite go-to recipes. I usually serve it by itself as an entrée. Or, it can be a delicious side dish as well!

Southwestern Quinoa Toppings

Topping Ideas

What is life without some fun toppings? Although this southwestern quinoa is delicious without them, top your quinoa with these to spice things up.

  • Avocado slices (my favorite!) or guacamole
  • Roasted veggies – try carrots, fennel or artichokes
  • Salsa or your favorite hot sauce. Make sure to choose a low sodium hot sauce!
  • Dollop of sour cream, plain yogurt, or plant-based substitute
  • Sprinkle of cheddar cheese

Add a Little Protein

For most people with kidney disease, this quinoa has plenty of protein from the quinoa itself and the beans. But, if you are looking for more protein, try adding these options:

  • More black beans (you could easily add 2 cans!)
  • Grilled shrimp spiced with chili powder and cumin
  • Baked or grilled chicken
  • Baked salmon
  • Baked tufu cubes flavored with your favorite salt-free taco seasoning
  • A handful of unsalted nuts

Quinoa and Kidney Stones

Quinoa is pretty high in oxalate. If you have a history of kidney stones and have high oxalate in your urine, quinoa may not be the best choice. You could swap the quinoa in this recipe for brown rice for a lower oxalate option. Learn more about oxalate and kidney stones.

Happy Eating!


Southwestern Quinoa

Quick and easy plant-based recipe to serve as an entree or side dish! This Southwestern Quinoa is sweet and spicy!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 8 cups
Calories: 261kcal


  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 15 oz low sodium canned black beans drained & rinsed
  • 2 plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn thawed
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar


  • Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Do not add salt! There will be plenty of flavor from the dressing and veggies!
  • While quinoa is cooking, combine beans, tomatoes, corn, green onions, red bell pepper, red onion and cilantro in a large bowl.
  • Make dressing by whisking together lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, honey and vinegar.
  • Add cooked quinoa to bowl with veggies. Fold in dressing. Serve garnished with more fresh cilantro if desired. This quinoa is delicious served immediately, or cold.


Nutrition Information (per 1 cup): 261 calories, 11g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 161mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 6g added sugar, 7g protein, 45mg calcium, 411mg potassium, 178mg phosphorus, 63mg oxalate

2 thoughts on “Southwestern Quinoa”

  1. This Quinoa sounds great, but with 63 mg of oxalates per serving it seems like a poor choice for those of us that have a limit to 50 mg of oxalates per day….

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Keith. Yes – this recipe (as is!) isn’t the best for people who need to limit oxalate. You could swap out the quinoa for brown rice and the black beans for garbanzos (or shredded chicken or shrimp!) and it would be much lower!

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