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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
Yes! When I am out of cooked black beans I substitute chickpeas, usually my Instant Pot chickpeas.
More Quinoa Recipes to Try
- Broccoli quinoa salad
- Quinoa tabbouleh salad
- Quinoa falafel
- Spinach artichoke quinoa casserole
- One pot chicken quinoa
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
- 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.