Quinoa Black Bean Salad is a perfect side dish for a crowd and an easy make ahead salad to enjoy all week long. Lightly balanced with flavorful cumin, lime, and cilantro, you can enjoy this fluffy salad easily as a no meat Monday main dish as well.
As a parent, it can be pretty hard to have a variety of side dish items every day of the week. We get stuck on old favorites and simple recipes like homemade cream corn and honey carrots, but I also want my kids (and my husband and myself!) to try new things on occasion. This quinoa salad hits the bill just for that.
The beautiful tri-colored quinoa used makes for a gorgeous display but its also quick to make and can serve a ton. Also a great dish for a large crowd or picnic, you can make your quinoa ahead of time and pull together a fresh salad day of.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
High in protein, this black bean quinoa salad with delicious red cherry tomatoes is a great way to get your fiber and serve up a beautiful, tasty, and delectable quinoa salad. Mouthwatering and flavorful, this basic quinoa salad side dish can be altered to have a Mexican or Southwest spin but is perfectly lovely and light on its own. Enjoy the zesty lime and cumin seasoning that is not overpowered and really lets the quinoa shine through.
I like it best served cold!
- 1 cup quinoa, dry
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 5 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- lime juicer
- hand whisker
- This quinoa recipe be made in 20 minutes and also makes quite a bit. I’d say it serves at least 8, more if it’s a side dish and 6-8 if it’s a main dish.
- Quinoa salad (as is) has no dairy and is a vegetarian and vegan friendly recipe option
- You can make the quinoa the day before (that’s what I did) and pull together the full fresh salad the day you plan to serve it.
Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. (You can also make your quinoa in an instant pot but I personally have not done it)
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, and green onions.
Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat.
Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.
*How to Use Quinoa Note*
You can also use this type of quinoa salad as a base for other recipes.
- Add in a lettuce wrap and top with chicken (or not) for a healthy lunch, mix as a power bowl, or even serve right on some spinach for a perfect salad.
Is quinoa only a side dish?
You can absolutely make this quinoa salad as a main dish! Obviously the serving size would change but leave as is for a vegetarian option or add chicken protein for a more filling option.
Can Quinoa help you lose weight?
Quinoa has no specific rules that help you lose weight but is high in fiber, quite filling, and perfect recipe choice for a balanced and healthy variety diet. Other benefits of quinoa in your diet include:
- Lower carbs than white rice
- High quality protein (considered a super food)
- Gluten Free
- Whole Grain
- Fluffy and light flavor (Similar to CousCous Salad)
What can I put in a Quinoa Salad?
You can add chunks of diced red and green bell peppers, jalapenos for spice, or soft pieces of ripe avocado for a change up in flavors. To make more of a Mediterranean spin, add feta cheese and cucumber or a more Greek quinoa salad spin, add kalamata olives, feta and red onions.
Worth noting is there are a lot of olive types and seriously, I LOVE olives. You can try mixing up kinds of olive flavors which would go great with this side dish.
Quinoa Salad Printable Recipe
Love this recipe? Other quinoa recipe ideas from around the web you may enjoy: