Black Bean Quinoa Salad is an easy fresh salad that can be enjoyed as a meal or a side! Deliciously simple, full of fresh veggies and loaded with flavor, this is the perfect easy lunch or dinner.

We sometimes add in grilled chicken or even leftover taco meat if we have it (and top it with a dollop of sour cream and salsa).Black Bean Quinoa Salad in a bowl with serving spoonsCowboy Caviar as a Meal

I’ve been serving Cowboy Caviar at parties pretty much forever. It is one dish everyone raves about and it’s pretty healthy (if you don’t count the tortilla chips because it’s all about balance over here).

I know how well loved my Cowboy Caviar recipe is and I really wanted to find a way to turn it into a complete meal (because really, I just want to eat it with a spoon).

With just a few simple tweaks to the dressing and the addition of quinoa, this Black Bean Quinoa Salad was born!

Easy Quinoa Salad

The best part is that it’s SO easy to make!

A simple combination of fresh vegetables, black beans, corn and quinoa in a zesty lime dressing makes this the perfect weekday meal!

Black Bean Quinoa Salad ingredients in a white bowl

Quinoa Is so Versatile!

If you’ve never made quinoa before, it’s easy to make (you can find out how to cook perfect quinoa here). It’s similar to rice but I find it cooks up a bit quicker.

It can be served warm or cold, served by itself or incorporated into a dish in place of rice.

Make Ahead: Black Bean Quinoa Salad is a complete meal in a single bowl and can be made ahead of time. It’ll keep for a few days making for the perfect lunch recipe! If making ahead of time, I prefer to leave the avocado out of the recipe and add some just before serving.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad in a bowl with spoons scooping it out

Amazing Health Benefits

Quinoa Salad is loaded with goodness!  think of this seed as a grain, it’s the perfect healthy carb to incorporate into our diets and is protein packed!

While I add my favorite Mexican inspired veggies, you can swap up this Black Bean Quinoa salad by adding in your favorites (or whatever you have in the fridge). If you happen to have leftover tacos & fixings or leftover fajita fillings, they all make great additions.  I’ve also subbed chickpeas for black beans in this easy salad since I love Chickpea Salad so much!

This quinoa salad recipe is created with a quick and easy homemade lime dressing.  You can most certainly use your favorite store bought dressing (red wine vinegar dressing is a good choice).

Black Bean Quinoa Salad ingredients

Tried and True Quinoa Salad Dressing

This quinoa salad dressing was tested countless times. A few tips to make sure it turns out delicious:

  • Do not use Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  The bitter flavor (which I normally welcome in most dishes), does not blend well in this recipe.
  • The dressing is intended to be light and fresh in this recipe, if you prefer a heavily dressed salad, you may like to add more dressing.
  • Use fresh lime juice.  A fresh lime costs about $0.50 and is worth its weight in gold flavor wise.  (Taste the two side by side and I promise you’ll never buy bottled lime juice again).
  • The salad will soak in the dressing as it sits so you may need to add more or less depending on time.
  • Cook your quinoa in broth (instead of water) for extra flavor.

I most often serve this black bean quinoa salad as lunch or a side however it makes a great meatless main. If you happen to have leftover taco meat or grilled chicken, they are perfect added to this recipe!

More Salads That Eat Like a Meal

Black Bean Quinoa Salad ingredients in a white bowl
4.91 from 40 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Deliciously simple, full of fresh veggies all tossed in a zesty lime dressing, this is the perfect easy lunch or dinner.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 2 roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 ripe avocado diced
  • 15 ounces black beans 1 can, rinsed and drained
  • 12 ounces corn 1 can drained
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • ¼ cup green onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • cup cilantro chopped


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • Cook quinoa according to package directions and allow to cool.
  • Combine quinoa, tomatoes, avocado, black beans, corn, bell pepper, green onion, jalapeno and cilantro in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Pour over quinoa salad and toss to coat.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.


4.91 from 40 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 206 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 725IU | Vitamin C: 27.3mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. This is delicious- tastes light with no overpowering flavors, fast to make and a very satisfying supper or lunch. The first time, I made the recipe exactly as written. Today I plan to make it again omitting the avocado and adding instead thin slices of celery. Very yummy recipe.5 stars

  2. Even though I am restricted and didn’t add corn and my avocado wasn’t ripe yet, this recipe is delicious. I only exchanged the vegetable oil for macadamia nut oil. Definitely a good, healthy salad choice.

    I question Instruction 3 which says to add the quinoa which was already added to the veggies in a previous instruction.5 stars

  3. I made it & it was delicious. I had all the ingredients except jalapeno & cilantro. Which was fine by me. I did add about 1/2t seasoned salt & a little more lime juice than called for. I will make it again.5 stars

  4. I don’t know how this got such rave reviews. It is incredibly bland and I’ve made it three times now thinking I’ve done something wrong. The whole family just thinks it’s icky. It tastes way different than what it looks. I keep thinking it’s going to be this fresh tasting light salad, but it tastes bland and is not cover up that dry quinoa taste. taste. we’ve even had salad dressing and cheese to it, I finally deleted it out of my library cuz I’m tired of making the same mistake over and over again… I keep thinking it’ll be good and it’s just not.2 stars