Quick, Zesty Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

This flavorful nutritious black bean and quinoa salad is one you’ll want to bookmark for those family get-togethers. Simple to make and super delicious.

Full of fiber, essential nutrients, and packed with plant protein.

You’ll be delightfully surprised how yummy this entirely plant-based and gluten-free dish tastes. My kids love it and I enjoy making it.

Quinoa is Nutritious and Versatile

This nutty seed (pronounced KEEN-Wah) has been a staple in our house for many years. Quinoa is a great substitute for pasta dishes. It also goes well in soups, salads, side dishes, and breakfast bowls. You can also eat it hot or cold.

Quinoa is a naturally gluten-free whole grain that’s considered a complete protein (contains all 9 essential amino acids). It’s full of fiber and other essential nutrients making it a must have in your pantry.

Quick tip: Quinoa can taste a little bitter. To reduce the bitterness, wash the quinoa for about one minute in a mesh strainer.

Health Benefits of This Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

All of the ingredients in this black bean and quinoa salad are brimming with nutritional benefits. 

  • Quinoa. This plant-based complete protein is full of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and so much more. It also has a low glycemic index which is great for controlling blood sugar. Quinoa even contains higher amounts of flavonoids than cranberries which have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Black Beans. Meaty and full of soluble fiber and protein helping you feel fuller sooner. They also have a low glycemic index. Black beans are a great source of folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Considered a main protein staple in vegan diets they make a great substitute for meat dishes.   
  • Cherry Tomatoes OR Red Bell Peppers. Both are an excellent source of vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Not only are the ingredients of this dish versatile but the recipe is as well. You can easily swap out cherry tomatoes for red bell peppers and vice versa. I switch it up all the time. Both are an excellent source of vitamin C and other essential nutrients. 

What Makes This Quinoa Salad Zesty?

The zesty dressing that tops off this salad is light and fresh and contains healthy fat. Made with only 5 ingredients you likely have in your pantry. 

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Most of the marinade consists of this healthy fat. EVOO contains mainly monounsaturated fat, specifically oleic acid, which reduces inflammation
  • Fresh Lime Juice. Fresh lime juice is the way to go. This provides the right amount of zesty punch. If you don’t have one on hand you can substitute it with bottled lime juice.
  • Ground Cumin. This spice has antioxidant properties and tastes delicious. 
  • Sea Salt. I use Redmond’s Real Salt. It doesn’t contain an anti-caking agent like many other salts.
  • Red Pepper Flakes. A little goes a long way and gives the marinade the right amount of heat.   

5 Ways to Use Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

  1. This salad makes a great side dish with baked or grilled chicken, salmon, steak, hamburgers etc.
  2. Double or triple the recipe for make-ahead meals.
  3. Eat as a main meal for lunch or as a light dinner.
  4. Serve it warm or cold. 
  5. Bring it to your next family barbecue or office potluck

You’ll love how easy this flavorful and nutritious dish is to make. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as mine does.

zesty black bean and quinoa salad

Quick, Zesty Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

This flavorful zesty black bean and quinoa salad is packed with plant-based nutrition. Sure to be a crowd pleaser and one you can certainly make-ahead for meal planning purposes.
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12


To Cook Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
  • 2 cups filtered water

Other Salad Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added (rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (can also substitue 1 red bell pepper about 1 cup)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Zesty Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small lime, juiced (or 2 tablespoons of bottled lime juice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I use Redmond's Real Salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Prepare Quinoa

  • In a small saucepan, bring water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until quinoa is light and fluffy and the water has been absorbed. About 10-15 minutes.

Prepare Dressing

  • Combine all dressing ingredients olive oil, lime juice, cumin, sea salt, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Whisk together. Set aside.

Combine All Ingredients

  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, black beans, tomatoes (or bell peppers), and green onions. Pour dressing over mixture and gently toss to coat. Stir in cilantro.
  • Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator.
Keyword black bean & quinoa salad, main meal, quinoa and black bean, quinoa salad, salad

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Recipe Rating

  1. Neil says:

    4 stars
    Hello. We made the Quinoa and Black Bean Salad just now. Excellent. Thank you.