Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //
Dairy Free, Dinner, Food, Gluten Free, Lunch, Salads & Bowls, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian


This is a pretty nerdy confession… but it’s really fun for me to try to recreate restaurant dishes I love at home! I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what ingredients were used and attempting to make restaurant-inspired cuisine — it pushes me out of my comfort zone and I end up combining ingredients I wouldn’t usually pair together (like the Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing in this recipe). My Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls are inspired by the Viva Bowl at NYC’s Local Thyme (where I ate lunch almost every day during my time in Manhattan!) — but with my own spin, and tons of extra veggies! Did you know that today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day?


Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //

This bowl is full of fresh, seasonal vegetables and nourishing ingredients like sweet potato, corn, cherry tomatoes and avocado. It’s rich in omegas, vitamins and nutrients — and it’s totally clean, but oh so delicious! The Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing in this recipe adds richness and depth to the dish while providing tons of heart-healthy fat. My Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls are brimming with plant-based protein sources like quinoa, black beans, and almonds — ideal for people like myself who eat mostly vegan. If you’d like to add a meat accompaniment to the dish, I’ve listed some suggestions towards the bottom of the post.

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //

I found some beautiful organic red quinoa last week, so I’ve used a mixture of that and the regular quinoa I usually purchase from Costco. Feel free to use whatever type of quinoa you have on hand. I eat quinoa frequently, it’s pretty much replaced rice in our house — it’s a grain like rice, but it’s also a complete protein, it’s simple to prepare, and it goes with just about anything! If you’ve never tried quinoa, this is your perfect opportunity. I bet you’ll like it!

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //

And check out these wooden bowls! Remember how I mentioned I’ve been obsessed with natural wood lately? I found this set of 4 vintage bowls for $1. Score!


(Serves 4)

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls

• 1 1/2 cups quinoa (I used a mixture of regular whole grain and red organic quinoa)
• 4 cups cherry tomatoes (I like a variety of colours)
• 1 large sweet potato
• 2 cobs of corn
• 1 can black beans
• 1/2 cup whole natural almonds
• 1 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
• 3 tbsp cilantro
• 3 tbsp green onion
• 1 lime (cut into wedges)

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //

Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing

• 1 large avocado
• 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
• 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 shallot or 2 tbsp red onion
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp salt

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //


Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing

Add all ingredients to your Vitamix (or similar) and blend until smooth.

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls

1. Start by preheating your oven to 400°, and boiling a large pot of water. In the meantime, peel and dice your sweet potato into 1/2″ pieces.

2. Boil 3 cups of water in a medium pot. Once boiling, add the quinoa and prepare it according to the directions on the label. 

3. Husk the corn. Once the water comes to a boil, add corn cobs to one bowl and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked (corn will become bright yellow), carefully remove from boiling water and set aside to cool.

4. Scatter the sweet potato pieces on a baking sheet, dressing with a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Once oven comes up to temperature, bake for 15 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Once tender, remove from oven to cool.

5. Start chopping and slicing all the remaining veggies and adding them to a large salad bowl. Open your canned black beans and add them to the salad bowl.

6. Chop the cilantro and green onions, adding 3/4 of them to the salad bowl, and reserving 1/4 for garnish. Slice the lime into wedges to serve with extra garnishes.

7. Warm 1 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil) in a small pan over medium heat. In the meantime, chop almonds. Once oil is heated, add chopped almonds to the pan and toast until lightly browned, turning often to avoid burning. Sprinkle with salt. Remove from heat and reserve for garnish.

8. After corn is cool, cut the corn kernels off of the cobs into a bowl. Add cooled corn kernels and sweet potatoes to the salad bowl.

9. Add the dressing to the salad bowl, and toss until well-integrated. Serve immediately, with extra garnishes on the side.

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //


There’s plenty of protein in this salad without meat — but barbecued shrimp skewers or chicken would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish!

What are your favourite ways to eat quinoa? I’m always up for trying new recipes, so leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you! And if you try my Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls, let me know how you like them.

Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls //

Thank you to Style At Home, The Calgary Herald, FeedFeed and The Food Bloggers of Canada for featuring this recipe.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and contains my genuine thoughts and recommendations. JustineCelina uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my links. Your purchases help to support!

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  • Reply Megan @ Straight From The Jar September 11, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Um hi! I want 10 of these! They sound like a perfect detox lunch or dinner. I’m a sucker for anything southwestern so these are making their way into my kitchen soon! (Also, love the colour in your pictures!)

    • Reply Justine September 11, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Hi Megan, thanks for stopping by, and for the sweet comment! I love these bowls, they’re definitely a staple over here. 🙂 I’m going to head over and check your blog out now.

      Have a great weekend!

  • Reply Alanna @ One Tough Cookie September 11, 2015 at 11:16 am

    These look delicious! We used to eat so much quinoa, and then I suppose we must have just overdone it because we haven’t had any in a while. This seems like a great way to get back on track! Thanks for posting. 🙂

    • Reply Justine September 11, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Thanks Alanna! I definitely go through phases with quinoa too. This recipe was posted at the start of the summer when I was deep into a quinoa phase! It’s my favourite quinoa bowl recipe. If you try it, please report back! 🙂

  • Reply Teresa September 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I really like the combination of flavours you’ve assembled for this salad. My partner is vegan and has celiac disease. I think he’d be very happy with this for his meal.

    • Reply Justine September 11, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks Teresa! If you try it, let me know how you like it! 🙂 Have a great weekend.

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  • Reply Kimberley | HealthyLifeRedesign May 26, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Justine, these quinoa bowls look delicious! I love the colour and freshness of all the tasty veggies and your avocado lime dressing sounds amazing. Looking forward to trying this!

    • Reply Justine May 26, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Thanks so much, Kimberly! Please report back if you try them — I’m always looking for feedback on my recipes. 🙂

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