Black Bean Quinoa Salad


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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
4.95 from 20 votes
Review Recipe

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Deliciously simple, full of fresh veggies all tossed in a zesty lime dressing, this is the perfect easy lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 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
Dressing
  • 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

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Instructions

  • 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 vegetables and toss to coat. Add quinoa and combine.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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
Keyword black bean quinoa salad

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Holly

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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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Comments

  1. This recipe is AMAZING. I mean so so delicious! Can you tel me how big a serving size is? I assumed about 1 cup but wasn’t sure.5 stars

  2. This. Is. Phenomenal!!! I just finished making this, and it is my new favorite recipe! Can’t write much, as I really just want to keep eating this amazing quinoa salad. Thanks so much for this recipe!5 stars

  3. Hi there! I’m making this recipe this weekend–so glad I found your site! Is it possible to substitute the red wine vinegar for distilled white or apple cider vinegar (or something else)? Thank you.

    1. I have not tried the dressing with distilled white or apple cider vinegar. But I would love to hear how they turn out for you! You could also your favorite store-bought vinaigrette dressing for this salad.

  4. Loved this recipe, the ingredients are right up my alley. I added some leftover rotisserie chicken and doubled the dressing. But only dressed the half my husband and I would eat tonight. Will add the dressing to the other half right before we eat it. For a dinner serving, this really only makes 4 servings even with the chicken.5 stars

  5. Long overdue review! This is a staple for dinner. I make it at least twice a month and it’s on the rotation. Thank you so much for such a fresh and easy recipe! (I do use way more vinegar than it calls for.)5 stars

  6. This salad was so easy to prepare and I can’t stop eating it! It’s delicious and so healthy. Thank you for sharing this recipe.5 stars

  7. This salad was AMAZING!! I doubled the dressing and it was the perfect amount. I also added 1/2 cup chopped parsley and 1/4 cup mint from my garden and used white wine vinegar since I didn’t have red. I used 1/3 each red, yellow and orange bell peppers for more color and served with grilled chicken breast. I will definitely be making this again soon!!5 stars

    1. Those additions sound delicious Emily! I love when I get to incorporate fresh garden veggies into my dishes!

  8. This looks delicious! I’d love to make this for lunches during the week! My only concern is how long it will last with the avocado. Does the lime dressing prevent it from browning or would you suggest adding in freshly chopped avocado each day? Thanks!

  9. The thing I love about this salad type is that we can always take advantage of leftovers flexible but it’s still super healthy and juicy!

  10. I made this delicious salad.  It was very tasty and I enjoyed it.  I was wondering how many fats are in this recipe.  I am working with the YMCA on a Diabetes Prevention Program and we count fats, not calories.  It’s working!  I would like to share this with our group.  Thanks!

    1. This recipe contains 8 servings, and has 11g of fat (per serving). Although whole grains & beans are very healthy, they contain a LOT of carbs, so that’s also something very important to watch out for, as well as sugar content.4 stars

  11. This is right up my alley! Although I could still totally eat your cowboy caviar with a spoon and without the quinoa and be happy too :) And I totally agree about *extra virgin* olive oil having the wrong flavor profile for a dressing like this!