rainbow quinoa taco salad

rainbow quinoa taco salad_hot for food

My only diet secret is easy. Eat all the colors of the rainbow, most of the time! Just look at the spectrum of color in this Meatless Monday meal idea for rainbow quinoa taco salad.

It’s full of flavor and I especially like the little zing from the creamy sunflower dressing. Taco salad is also a great way to get all the flavors you love in Mexican food, without consuming your weight in corn tortillas.

You might not find a pot of gold at the bottom of this bowl, but you’ll feel good eating it!

Watch how easily it comes together in the video below or keep scrolling for the recipe!

vegan quinoa taco salad recipe
rainbow quinoa taco salad_hot for food
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rainbow quinoa taco salad

Just look at the explosion of color in this quick and easy rainbow quinoa taco salad!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword rainbow quinoa, salad, taco, vegan salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Soaking 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Lauren Toyota



  • 1/2 C rainbow quinoa
  • 1 C water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 8 C chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 398 ml/14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 C frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1/4 C finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 C diced tomato
  • 1/4 C packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • corn chips, for serving

creamy sunflower seed dressing

  • 1/2 C raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  1. In a small pot, combine quinoa, water, and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

  2. Meanwhile, combine diced tomato, red onion, cilantro and lime juice to make a fresh salsa.

  3. Drain and rinse the soaked sunflower seeds, then add to a high-powered blender with remaining dressing ingredients. Combine until very smooth.

  4. Just before serving, dress the chopped romaine lettuce in a large mixing bowl with 4 tablespoons of dressing, then divide portions into serving bowls.

  5. Top each serving with quinoa, black beans, corn, diced avocado, fresh tomato salsa, and another drizzle of dressing. Serve with corn chips on the side if desired.

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6 thoughts on “rainbow quinoa taco salad”

  1. Made this last night for dinner. Used kale instead of romaine and cucumber instead of corn. SO delicious!! Will make this again! I am eating the leftovers right now for lunch and it held up well. The kale isn’t soggy and the quinoa still has good texture. I ground the sunflower seeds/dressing ingredients in a basic Magic Bullet. Used a clove of garlic rather than dried garlic. I am so happy I found this blog. Can’t wait to try more recipes. This one was a hit!

    1. how’s that magic bullet? Does it get things pretty smooth? Have you tried anything with blended cashews in it. Just curious! THANKS!

    2. I watched the video for comparison and mine dressing was very gritty. Tasty, but gritty in appearance. I had to add an extra 1/4 cup water when pureeing in order to achieve a consistency that would pour out. I was concerned about the Magic Bullet’s performance with the sunflower seeds so I let them soak overnight. I have only used the Bullet for herbs, coffee beans, flax seeds, and smoothies containing only fleshy, soft ingredients (banana, peeled cucumber, melon, hemp seeds, etc) because it can’t handle fibrous or hard ingredients, even with liquid added. Once it ground up whole cloves for me, but it left the plastic cup so pitted I had to throw it out. This week I will attempt one of your recipes containing cashews and let you know how the Magic Bullet performs.

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