Quinoa Taco Salads With Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

There’s no way you’ll miss the meat in this all veg taco salad.

by Jamie Vespa, R.D. Recipe Developer

Some research points to fatty red meat as a potential trigger for UC symptoms. So in lieu of ground beef (which is high in saturated fat), this taco salad uses zesty spiced quinoa, which is a lean source of plant-based protein. Get the scoop on how we developed our UC Cooking Club recipes!

Total Time
45 min


  • ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup lower-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp. prepared taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp. lime zest, plus 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ½ tsp. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn, thawed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced


    1. Combine quinoa, broth, and taco seasoning in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 15 minutes, and fluff with a fork. Place in a bowl and transfer to refrigerator to chill.
    1. Meanwhile, combine lime zest and juice, chili powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and maple syrup in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually stream in oil, whisking constantly, until combined.
    1. Place lettuce, black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, and remaining ¼ tsp. salt in a large bowl; toss to combine. Divide evenly between each of four bowls. Remove quinoa from refrigerator and spoon evenly over salads. Drizzle Chili-Lime Vinaigrette over top and garnish each salad with sliced avocado.

Nutrition Info

Per Serving: 374 calories; 23g fat; 3g saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 704mg sodium; 37g carbohydrate; 12g fiber; 9g protein; 7g sugar; 91mg calcium; 3mg iron; 764mg potassium
Jamie Vespa, R.D.
Meet Our Writer
Jamie Vespa, R.D.

Jamie is a registered dietitian, nutrition and food journalist, and digital influencer who operates the health-centric food blog and social media accounts, Dishing Out Health. She's the former Assistant Nutrition Editor at Cooking Light magazine. Prior to that, Jamie worked as a Clinical Nutrition Specialist with a focus on counseling organ-transplant recipients at a hospital in Tampa. She completed both her undergraduate dietetics degree and graduate clinical nutrition degree at Florida State University. Jamie lives in Denver.