Superfood Quinoa and Black Bean Salad is the perfect meal prep for easy lunches. Full of plant based protein and great taste, this veggie loaded, naturally gluten free salad comes together in only 30 minutes!

Other make ahead healthy salad recipes we enjoy are Mediterranean quinoa salad, Jennifer Aniston salad and Southwest quinoa salad!

Quinoa and black bean salad in two bowls with forks.

Quinoa and black bean salad with lots of cilantro, zesty lime juice, diced fresh jalapeno and lots of extra virgin olive oil. Load up and your body will thank you!

Me and Alex split an entire bowl for lunch  and let me tell you that was I ever full. Quinoa is a seed and a source of complete vegan protein.

But this easy bean quinoa salad recipe doesn’t taste “healthy” at all, so bring to a summer party.

Quinoa salads are a great way to use up leftover quinoa. And not only quinoa. Veggie drawers too. I hate food waste.

Black bean quinoa casserole is another dish with similar flavors that we love!

Quinoa is a Versatile Superfood

Quinoa while similar to rice offers so many more nutritional benefits! It’s both a complex carb and complete source of vegan protein, while also containing both antioxidants and B vitamins.

It’s no wonder that I have over 30 quinoa recipes that include this gem in their ingredient lists!

Serve it warm, cold, on its own, or incorporate it into recipes! With its slightly nutty subtle taste, it can easily be substituted for other grains in most dishes.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Quinoa, black beans, cilantro, lime, tomatoes, red onion, olive oil, garlic, spices, jalapeno.

This is a super versatile easy quinoa salad, but here are the essentials that I would not skip adding as they add zest, kick, and a punch of balanced flavors.

  • Quinoa: White, red or tri-color quinoa works. Red quinoa is more hearty and chewy.
  • Black beans: Another source of fiber and protein in this salad. You can use canned beans or cooking dried beans at home is very easy as well.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds so much taste! If you aren’t a fan, substitute parsley.
  • Jalapeno: Seeded and minced, unless you love the heat.
  • Tomato: Fresh and juicy, I love local tomatoes in season but tomatoes on the vine work year round.
  • Lime juice: Fresh lime juice is best for not only taste, but bottled lime juice contains preservatives.
  • Red onion and garlic: Adds aromatic savory taste.
  • Simple spices and olive oil: Makes up the rest of your dressing. I like extra virgin olive oil, cumin and salt.

The truth is you can add any Southwestern fitting veggies and fruit like diced mango, corn, avocado (if making ahead add right before serving), finely shredded kale, bell pepper and cucumber.

How to Prepare Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa salad with black beans comes together easily in only 30 minutes!

Chopped onion, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeno with black beans, quinoa and spices in bowl.

Cook quinoa, use package directions or use my how to cook quinoa on the stovetop or Instant Pot quinoa methods.

While quinoa is cooking, chop your vegetables. Add vegetables, black beans, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper to a large salad bowl.

Fluff cooked quinoa and add to the bowl. Stir gently to combine ingredients and serve warm or cold.

Quinoa and black bean salad in a large salad bowl with a spoon, two white bowls in background.

Is Quinoa Salad Healthy?

Black beans and quinoa are high in protein and complex carbs, combined with healthy fats rich olive oil and veggies you get a complete meal in one bowl.

Plus this salad is packed with vegetables which add many wholesome nutrients!

It makes a satisfying lunch or make a meatless meal out of it for a healthy dinner! It’s very allergy friendly too as it’s gluten free and dairy free.

How Long Does It Last?

Quinoa black bean salad almost tastes better the next day and keeps well refrigerated for up to 4 days.

It is perfect for making ahead and you can double or triple the recipe. Make on Sunday for a week of easy lunches or prepare the night before for a party.

I personally like quinoa salad cold but it’s taste great warm, too! If it’s sitting at a party table for hours, it will taste good. Also no dairy is a bonus.

More FAQs

What else can I add to this salad for variety?

The truth is you can add any Southwestern fitting veggies and fruit like diced mango, corn, avocado (if making ahead add right before serving), finely shredded kale, red bell pepper and cucumber.

You may also love this mango black bean salad or Mexican bean salad.

Can I use other beans in this salad?

Yes! When I am out of cooked black beans I substitute chickpeas, usually my Instant Pot chickpeas.

What to serve with this black bean and quinoa salad?

I love to pair this with cilantro lime chicken and a dollop of guacamole for a complete meal. Anything Mexican goes really!

More Quinoa Recipes to Try

Closeup of black bean quinoa salad.
quinoa black bean salad

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Superfood Quinoa and Black Bean Salad is full of plant based protein and veggies. A naturally gluten free meal or side ready in 30 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Servings 4 large or 6 small sides
Calories 401
Diet Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup dry quinoa 2.5-3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 14 oz can low sodium black beans rinsed & drained
  • 2 large tomatoes diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 2 large limes juice of
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • Cook quinoa as per package instructions or follow these methods.
  • Stovetop: I personally like to cook quinoa with a ratio of 1 cup dry quinoa to 1.5 cups water. Unlike most packages that state 1:2 ratio. Bring to a boil, cook on low for 12 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes and fluff. This way quinoa comes out less mushy. See detailed tutorial on how to cook quinoa.
  • Instant Pot: I'm obsessed with Instant Pot quinoa. It takes 30 seconds of prep and I walk away. Quinoa comes out fluffy and each grain separate after 9 minutes.
  • While quinoa is cooking, chop the veggies. In a large salad bowl, add black beans, tomato, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.
  • Fluff quinoa with a fork and add to the bowl. Stir gently to combine and serve cold or warm.


  • Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Add all ingredients to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Stir right before serving.
  • Color of quinoa: White, red or tri-color quinoa works. Red quinoa is more hearty and chewy.
  • Black beans: I cook my own Instant Pot black beans from dried. They contain no salt. So if you use low sodium or regular canned black beans, you may need to use less salt.


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 421mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    Really delicious…..that and a salad made a perfect summer dinner! I will make again, I am sure…..

  2. 5 stars
    Another delicious recipe, thank you!

    Cooked quinoa, and black beans in Instant Pot with your detailed instructions and both turned out perfect! Bonus, I have black beans for another one of your great tasty recipes🙂

    1. So happy to hear of all the recipe success and isn’t the Instant Pot great for batch cooking grains and beans? yay!

  3. 5 stars
    My whole family LOVED this dish! It was very flavorful!! It’s the perfect amount of lime juice, it is so wonderful with the cilantro! I used 2 cans of black beans instead of 1, and I didn’t have jalepeno so I chopped up about 1/4 c of green pepper and added about 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper to replace. Delicious! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this on Friday , and had it again on Saturday . Even better on day two . We loved it . I only used about 1/2 of a bunch of cilantro , because our cilantro here is always sold in huge bunches . Thanks for all of your hard work to provide this site .

    1. OK perfect for me! I’ll make a big bowl tomorrow and it’ll last me the week for lunches at work. I can’t wait to try this version.

5 from 7 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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