Southwestern Quinoa Pasta Salad (vegan, gf)

I saw this image on How Does She’s Facebook page today and it couldn’t be more accurate.

Michigan Seasons

As far as I’m concerned, March can start going out like a lamb any day now. I’ve had enough snow and cold weather. Bring on the sunshine, Lord. Please. My sister, who now lives in Texas, brought her six kids home (to Michigan) for a visit over Spring Break. Talk about backwards – going from Texas to Michigan! My idea of Spring Break doesn’t involve building a snowman, but that’s what they did…

Spring Break Snowman

They stayed with my parents, who live a couple of hours from me. I was getting ready to head down for an overnight visit with the whole gang and I needed a quick dish that I could whip up and bring along. I found a recipe for vegan, gluten-free Southwestern Quinoa Pasta Salad that looked somewhat family-friendly. If nothing else, I figured my dad would like it. Unfortunately, I was running behind, so I barely took any photos of it before I ran out the door.

Southwestern Quinoa Pasta Salad #vegan #glutenfree


The recipe comes from Wendy at Cooking Quinoa, whose entire site is dedicated to quinoa recipes. I don’t know how she continues to create so many clever new recipes involving quinoa, but she does! She’s even got several e-cookbooks available. Her recipe category list is impressive and even includes vegan and gluten-free sections. As far as I can remember, this is the first recipe of Wendy’s I have tested – and I will definitely be going back for more. This one passed with flying colors.

Southwest Quinoa Pasta Salad #vegan #glutenfree

As I suspected they would be, my dad and Hubs were the biggest fans. I thought it was spicy enough as it was, but Hubs adds hot sauce to everything cuz he likes a lot of heat. If you don’t care for spicy food, then just leave out the jalapeño and chipotle peppers. For the photos, I just sliced the avocado and placed it on top, but you’ll definitely want to chop it up and mix it in. For the dressing, I threw everything (except cilantro, which I mixed into the salad later) in my Vitamix to save time. After tasting the dressing, something was a little off so I added another ¼ cup or so of lime juice and it seemed to do the trick. The salad can be served hot or cold. Personally, I preferred it warm.

Southwest Quinoa Pasta Salad #vegan #glutenfree

I’m sorry these photos are pretty much all alike. As I said, I was in a big rush. I’ve got some yummy Salted Caramel Corn shots that will hopefully make up for it (coming soon). Oh, and I can’t leave out the part about Hubs making “nachos” with some of this salad, crushed tortilla chips, hot sauce and Daiya shreds all mixed together in a bowl, re-heated, and topped off with vegan sour cream. I’m pretty sure he thought he was a culinary genius. I wonder what the Top Chef judges would think.


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  1. says

    Your hubby’s “nachos” sound really good to me, ha ha ha. Seriously. I am so with you on the snow situation. We are on day 3 here, we had an ICE storm on Monday! I LOL’d at the “one day when it’s warm” on the pie chart because the day of my 1/2 marathon it was 66 degrees. Two days later, SNOW. Gotta love living in the Northeast, ha.

  2. Matina says

    This recipe was fantastic. I am super excited to have a high protein, healthy recipe to send in my husband’s lunches and the fact that it doesn’t have to be warmed up is a bonus. He & I both loved the recipe. Thanks!

  3. Jenny says

    Just came accross your recipe and noticed you graph of weather and had to laugh. I live in Vegas where the complete opposite of the graph is the story of my life. The whole “winter” section needs to be replaces with 100+ degree summer, and the summer weather should be replaced with beautiful 40-50 degree winter weather. You get a nice warm day in march and get your hopes up, we get a nice cold day in Novemeber and get our hopes up! But anywho! It’s almost October and this Thursday is supposed to get down into the mid 70’s (Back up into the 90’s this weekend) so we are going for a picnic while we can enjoy being outdoors! Excited to try the recipe!

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