I love to make a big batch of quinoa early in the week, serving it hot the first time, and then keeping the leftovers on hand in the fridge for salads. My current favourite? This delicious Chicken Salad with Salsa and Quinoa!
This nutritious and refreshing salad makes the perfect lunch or light supper. It’s also great at a potluck or on a buffet if you make a double batch. Colourful and quick to throw together, it makes healthy eating easy and delicious.
Love Your Leftovers
The inspiration for this recipe came when I tried this Avocado Corn and Tomato Salsa from The Blond Cook. I made my version of the salsa to go alongside some cooked salmon but there are only two of us, which meant there was quite a lot left over. I popped the leftover salsa in the fridge, and when I was looking for ingredients for a fresh and easy lunch the next day, it jumped right out at me.
There was also some cooked chicken which I had made using my Easy Lemon and Herb Chicken Marinade on hand, as well as some leftover quinoa mixture I had served with the salmon the night before. A little light chopping and mixing and I had enough delicious salad for four.
The lime juice in the salsa had kept the avocado looking bright and green, and the flavours of the salsa and marinade complimented each other perfectly. It was a real hit!
An Adapted Salsa Recipe
I did adapt the salsa recipe a bit, leaving out the garlic and red onion. I also replaced the whole large jalapeño chili with a smaller amount of chopped fresh red chili because it would have been to spicy for us. In addition, I replaced the cilantro (coriander) with parsley as my husband really doesn’t like coriander. I’m sure the original version tastes amazing, but we absolutely loved this adaptation.
Is This Recipe Gluten Free?
Quinoa is generally considered gluten free, although I have noticed there is some debate about this. The rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
Can I Switch Up The Grains in this Salad?
I’ve also made the recipe with a mix of bulgar wheat, red and white quinoa. It was definitely not gluten free, but it was delicious.
How Can I Serve Chicken Salad with Salsa and Quinoa?
As I mentioned before, this salad is great as part of a buffet. You can also use it as part of a mixed salad plate.
My favourite way to serve it is to put a couple of spoonfuls per person in a pretty bowl for a fast and easy lunch. I sometimes serve some toasted pita bread alongside. It’s also nice served over lettuce, and makes a great packed lunch. Just be sure to include chiller packs to keep it nice and cold!
Chicken Salad with Salsa and Quinoa – Printable Recipe
- 2 cooked chicken breasts made with my Lemon and Herb Chicken Marinade, diced in small squares
- 1 cup cold cooked quinoa (red or white or a mix of both)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh red chilis (to taste)
- 1 small can (about ½ cup) whole kernel yellow corn, drained
- 1 avocado, pit removed and diced in small cubes
- 3 tomatoes, de-seeded and cut in small cubes
- dried or fresh parsley for garnish (or cilantro/coriander if preferred)
- To make the salsa:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and chopped chilis.
- Set aside.
- Put the corn, avocado and tomatoes in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the top and stir gently to combine.
- To assemble the salad:
- Put the chopped chicken, cold cooked quinoa and salsa in a very large bowl.
- Stir gently to combine.
- Serve in a bowl, over lettuce or as part of a mixed salad plate.