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Low-Calorie Mexican Quinoa and Chicken Salad Recipe

It might even be better than Chipotle. Yes, really.
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Not sure how to incorporate quinoa into your day-to-day meals? This recipe is a great place to start. With salsa, black beans, corn, onion, and avocado, along with fresh herbs, this Mexican quinoa is a super-flavorful take on the superfood.

This Mason jar salad only takes around 30 minutes to prepare, and you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days. In this case, the extra time will only make the dish even more flavorful as the lime juice, cilantro, and garlic soak into the chicken and quinoa. Think meal prep, but without the dried-out, leftover meat—this Mexican quinoa meal will be just as fresh when you go to have it later.

Just make sure that when you go to load up the Mason jars, you add in the quinoa first. You'll want to put the heavier ingredient on the bottom, to prevent the rest of the mixture from getting crushed or soggy. And when you're ready to eat it, just shake up the jar and put it on a plate—it really is that easy to make this easy quinoa and chicken salad recipe.

Nutrition: 413 calories, 19 g fat (3 g saturated), 375 mg sodium, 9 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 21 g protein

Makes 4 servings


8 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
3 Tbsp refrigerated salsa
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup chopped tomato
3/4 cup canned no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup frozen roasted corn, thawed
1 small red onion, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

How to Make It

  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken and salsa.
  2. Divide quinoa among four pint jars. Layer with tomato, black beans, corn, chicken mixture, onion, and avocado, pressing ingredients down as you fill, if necessary.
  3. In another small bowl, combine lime juice, oil, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Spoon dressing over layers in jars. Cover and chill up to 3 days. Shake jars before serving.

Eat This Tip

The only grain that's a complete protein (meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids), quinoa boasts 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per cup.

100+ healthy breakfast ideas that help you lose weight and stay slim.

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