Quinoa salad with cilantro lime sauce is no ordinary salad. This plant-based, Mexican-style meal is deliciously light and filling. Made with quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and a tangy citrus lime sauce.
A completely plant-based salad that’s full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Make this your go-to healthy lunch or easy, light dinner.
What Is Quinoa?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an edible seed that’s classified as a whole-grain. Quinoa is a good source of manganese, phosphorus, folate, magnesium, and vitamin B1. This edible seed is also a complete protein. Meaning that it contains all 9 essential amino acids that our body cannot produce. On top of that, one cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.
Needless to say, this quinoa salad which is made with other real, whole food ingredients contains the perfect balance of macronutrients.
Quinoa Salad Ingredients
You’ll love how easy this salad is to make. Plus, you can use a couple of shortcuts to make it even simpler.
- Cooked Quinoa– You’ll need about two cups. You can cook your own or use pre-cooked.
- Black Beans– Two 15-ounce cans that are drained and rinsed.
- Romaine Lettuce- You’ll need 8 cups of torn romaine lettuce. This amounts to about 2-3 heads of lettuce.
- Cherry Tomatoes– You’ll need about one cup of halved cherry tomatoes. Grape and Roma tomatoes work as well.
- Onion– You can use half of a white or red onion. You’ll need about half of a cup. Also, consider topping the salad with green onions.
- Avocado– Use half of an avocado to add a dose of healthy fat.
- Cilantro Lime Sauce– Made with cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt.
How to Build Your Quinoa Salad
Quinoa salad with cilantro lime sauce is perfect for meal prep, especially if you’re looking to cook once and eat all week. It also makes for a wonderful plant-based dinner.
STEP ONE: PREP INGREDIENTS
You’ll start by cooking 2/3 cup of rinsed quinoa to make two cups cooked. You can use pre-cooked quinoa to save time. Drain and rinse the black beans, cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and slice the onion and avocado. Finally, prepare the cilantro lime sauce.
STEP TWO: COMBINE QUINOA, BLACK BEANS, AND CILANTRO LIME SAUCE
In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the cilantro lime sauce and stir to evenly coat. You can either move onto to step three or you can place the quinoa and black bean mixture in the refrigerator to cool for 15-20 minutes or overnight.
STEP THREE: MIX AND SERVE
The next step is to mix in the tomatoes and onions. When ready to serve, fill bowls or top plates with a bed of romaine lettuce and add the quinoa, black bean mixture. Garnish with green onions and place avocado slices on the side. Serve and enjoy!
How Long Does Quinoa Salad Keep?
When properly stored in an airtight container, quinoa salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Store the quinoa and black bean mixture separate from the romaine lettuce.
Looking For Other Healthy Salad Ideas?
Prep your lunch for a month by giving these additional salad recipes a try.
- Easy, Greek Chickpea Salad Recipe (With Healthy Vinaigrette)
- Quick, Zesty Black Bean & Quinoa Salad
- Fresh Greek Village Salad
- Dairy-Free Greek Cabbage Salad (Vinegar Coleslaw)
Delicious Quinoa Salad With Cilantro Lime Sauce!
To Prep Quinoa
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (You can also use two cups of packaged, pre-cooked quinoa)
- 1 1/3 cup water
Additional Salad Ingredients
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, no salt added (Drain and rinse)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (Can also use grape or Roma tomatoes)
- 1/2 cup red onion, sliced (Can also use white onion)
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 8 cups romaine lettuce, torn (About 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce)
Cilantro Lime Sauce*
- 3/4 cup cilantro leaves, packed (About 1 bunch)
- 1/4 cup jalapeno, chopped (About 1 large jalapeno. Can substitute with green bell pepper)
- 1 lime, juiced (About 2 tablespoons of lime juice)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (I used Redmond's Real Salt)
- 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
(1) Cook Quinoa
- Add 1 1/3 cups of water and 2/3 cup of rinsed quinoa to a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the stove to high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes until the quinoa is tender.
(2) Cilantro Lime Sauce*
- Prep all the ingredients. Place all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender and mix for 30-45 seconds.
(3) Combine Quinoa, Black Beans, and Cilantro Lime Sauce
- In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa and black beans. Pour in the cilantro lime sauce and stir to coat evenly.
(4) Build Your Salad**
- Lastly, to the quinoa and black bean mixture, stir in the halved tomatoes and sliced onions. Using bowls or plates place a bed of romaine lettuce down first. Then scoop out 1/4-1/2 cup of the quinoa and black bean salad and place on top. Finally, garnish with green onions and a side of avocado slices. Serve and enjoy!