by Olena

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

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Olena Osipov
5 from 3 votes

I make superfood Quinoa Black Bean Salad for lunches all summer. It is full of protein, tasty and easy! Meal prep it on Sunday, make ahead for a party or simply clean out the fridge.

Sometimes I pair easy quinoa salad with even more easy cilantro lime chicken and a dollop of guacamole for a complete meal. Anything Mexican goes. Enjoy!

quinoa black bean salad in bowls with forks

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

I make quinoa salads regularly to use up leftover quinoa. And not only quinoa. Veggie drawers too. I hate food waste. 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 quinoa salad doesn’t taste “healthy” at all, so bring to a summer party.

Everyone loves Mexican food. My husband tells me all the time I cook a lot of Mexican dishes. Ha, true that. We eat a ton of beans and tacos.

I mean, so would you if you could rely on delicious dishes like mango black bean salad, black bean salsa, black bean nachos, black bean zucchini burgers, a black bean quinoa casserole, and even black bean brownies!!

closeup quinoa and black bean salad

Easy Quinoa Salad Ingredients

  1. Super-versatile easy quinoa salad! Having said that, I would not skip fresh jalapeno and garlic.
  2. Quinoa, black beans, cilantro, jalapeno, tomato, red onion and simple spices.
  3. White, red or tri-color quinoa works. Red quinoa is more hearty and chewy.
  4. 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.

A note: This is not throw everything together salad. It is in terms of veggies. But I really-really tested this quinoa salad in terms of the right balance of flavors. It has a zest, kick and a punch. 

quinoa, black beans, red onion, tomato, lime, jalapeno, cilantro, spices

How to Make Quinoa Salad

  1. Cook quinoa.
  2. Chop veggies.
  3. Stir the salad.

If you have leftover quinoa from perfectly cooked quinoa on the stovetop, this becomes 15 minute quinoa black bean salad. Easy and saves you from McDonald’s for lunch.

My quinoa and black bean salad served double duty of cleaning up my freezer after many Instant Pot quinoa and Instant Pot black beans experiments. I cook my own black beans from dried in Instant Pot. They contain no salt. So if you use low sodium or regular canned black beans, add salt to taste.

You can replace black beans with chickpeas. I love a good chickpea salad. I cook dried chickpeas in Instant Pot too. I am obsessed with cooking batches of staples in a pressure cooker!

chopped ingredients in a bowl for quinoa and black bean salad

Does It Go Bad?

Quinoa black bean salad almost tastes better the next day.

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 salad cold but salad taste good warm too (for those days you want something lighter than this Instant Pot black bean soup). So if it’s sitting at a party table for hours, it will taste good. Also no dairy is a bonus.

Salad will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

quinoa and black bean salad in a bowl with a spoon

Why Quinoa Is So Healthy?

As mentioned above, quinoa is pretty much the only vegan source of complete protein. Extremely important for vegans and vegetarians. There is no B12 in other plant-based protein rich foods.

I am a strong believer in balance and moderation. That is why we try to eat less meat and when you do that, you look for filling meatless dishes. And since 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.

Other health benefits of quinoa include very high antioxidants levels, gluten free and low glycemic index. Tons of vitamins and nutrients like iron and magnesium. Anything whole food is good for you. Whole food is something you consume the way mother nature created it and has not been altered by humans.

Hope you learnt something new and be healthy!

More Bean and Quinoa Salads

You might also like this list of 45 healthy salad recipes to browse through!

quinoa black bean salad served in bowls

Enjoy quinoa and black bean salad!

Would love to hear your feedback in comments below.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Superfood Quinoa Black Bean Salad that is full of protein, tasty and easy. Meal prep it on Sunday, make ahead for a party or simply clean out the fridge.
5 from 3 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 large or 6 small sides
Calories: 401kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


  • 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...
    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 here.
    Instant Pot:
    I'm obsessed with
    . 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.


      White, red or tri-colour quinoa works. Red quinoa is more hearty and chewy.
      I cook my own black beans from dried in Instant Pot. They contain no salt. So if you use low sodium or regular canned black beans, add salt to taste.
      You can also add diced mango, corn, avocado (if making ahead add right before serving), finely shredded kale.


      Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 421mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 601IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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