Zesty Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa Black Bean Salad is delicious, fresh, colorful and nutritious!  I love when a recipe can boast all of those characteristics.

close up of quinoa salad

Other Recipes Like This: Lime, Corn and Cilantro Quinoa (warm), Southwestern Bean and Pepper Salad, Black Bean & Corn Stuffed Avocado

It has a zesty southwestern inspired dressing featuring cumin, coriander, garlic and lime.

quinoa and black bean salad w

No need to worry about protein intake with this grain salad! Quinoa is a complete protein and together corn and beans also covers all the essential amino acids. So whether as a main dish for lunch or as a side dish to celebrate Cinqo de Mayo or any time of year, this Quinoa and Black Bean Salad hits the spot.

Recipe for Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Print Recipe
4.2 from 5 votes

Zesty Quinoa and Bean Salad

A colorful, delicious and nutritious salad, perfect for picnics and potlucks.
Prep : 5 mins
Cook : 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup frozen thawed or canned (drained) corn kernels
  • 1 cup cooked canned black beans
  • 1/4 cup red pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup orange pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper chopped
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Dressing
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, rinse, rub and swish under running cold water for about 2 minutes to remove natural coating.
  • Add rinsed quinoa, salt and 2 cups water to medium saucepan and cover with tight fitting lid. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until water is absorbed.
  • Cool quinoa and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooled, cooked quinoa, corn kernels, beans, peppers, green onions and cilantro or parsley.

Dressing

  • Combine oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a well sealed jar.
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Pour over quinoa mixture to evenly distribute.
  • Serve cold.

Notes

Lots of room for variations! Add avocado, tomatoes, cheese, change the color of peppers, the type of beans, even the type of grain/seed (eg from quinoa to brown rice).
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Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Sodium: 728mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Iron: 2mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: black beans, plant proteins, quinoa, vegetarian
quinoa black bean salad on lap with leg in cast
Comfort food with plenty of protein for healing my broken leg.

Variations To Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Parsley for Cilantro

I’m a fan of cilantro and think it’s fantastic in this salad. However, I know not everyone enjoys the taste of cilantro. At a family dinner, when I served this salad as a side dish, I split it into two bowls, one with cilantro and one with parsley, each garnished with a sprig of green on top to identify which one was which. Everyone enjoyed their version.

quinoa and black bean salad w2

Add Avocado

Add the creamy texture and rich flavor of avocado to this salad, especially if you’re serving it as a main meal. Filling and delicious!

quinoa black bean salad with avocado
Pieces of avocado makes a great addition.

Use Creamy Avocado Sauce instead of Vinaigrette

If you love cilantro and avocado, replace the oil and lime juice vinaigrette with this creamy avocado sauce or use them both for ridiculously awesome flavor.

avocado sauce

Stuff a Sweet Potato or Avocado

Make this salad, stuff it in a sweet potato and drizzle with the avocado cilantro lime dressing.

avocado creamy dressing on sweet potato
Quinoa black bean salad in a baked sweet potato with creamy avocado dressing.

Serve On A Platter

When feeding a family or group where you’re not sure of everyone’s taste preferences, serve this salad on a platter so everyone can assemble their own salad bowl. Offer other toppings on the side – salsa, creamy avocado sauce, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, etc.

quinoa salad platter
Serve on a platter and let everyone assemble their own salad bowl.

Will you give this salad a try? Or are you already a fan? If so – what’s your favorite way to serve it? Comment below or share your photos and ideas with me on instagram @getgettys or Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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