This superfood black bean & quinoa salad recipe is one of the most popular recipes on this blog—people love it so much, they don’t even notice it’s vegan.
It also happens to be one of the very first recipes I posted on this blog over 10 years ago, so it’s stood the test of time! I still often make a double batch on a Sunday afternoon.
Quinoa Is a Versatile Superfood
Quinoa’s fluffy texture and versatility easily add protein, antioxidants, and B vitamins to vegetarian or vegan dishes, and it’s yummy at any temperature.
This superfood is easy to substitute into almost any recipe. Its subtle, nutty taste makes it an excellent fit for beefing up soups, salads, side dishes, or even breakfast bowls with a little extra nutrition.
Health Benefits of this Black Bean Quinoa Salad
All of the ingredients in this black bean quinoa salad are great for you. Here are the nutrition facts about some of these superstars:
- Quinoa. This is a complete protein filled with fiber and all 9 essential amino acids, not to mention a great source of complex carbohydrates and antioxidants. Quinoa is also full of essential minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and folate, just to name a few.
- Black beans. Like quinoa, these are packed with fiber, protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, and folate. They’re also low on the glycemic index and may moderate blood sugar spikes after meals.
- Bell pepper. Bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C to boost the immune system and other antioxidants that help reduce harmful free radicals in your body. They also provide vitamins A, E, and K.
Why I Love This Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Everything in this black bean & quinoa salad is brimming with both flavor and nutrition. The veggies are full of important nutrients, while the extra virgin olive oil adds the perfect amount of healthy fat to help you absorb all of the healthy foods in this dish.
This quinoa salad is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and corn-free.
Reasons To Make This A Weeknight Staple
- This salad is a fantastic make-ahead for meal prep and almost tastes better the next day.
- The recipe is easily doubled or tripled.
- It is delicious whether hot, room temperature, or even cold.
- Since it’s dairy-free, it’s OK to leave out for a few hours– or even bring to a potluck.
- It’s really cost-effective while still packing a flavorful punch
I often eat this salad as a main dish for lunch or light dinner. It also makes a great side dish or pumped up with some grilled or shredded chicken breast for non-vegans.
I hope you love it as much as I do!
This Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad Recipe is one of my absolute favorite quick meals to make because it is packed with vital nutrients and so easy to make.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry quinoa yields about 2 cups cooked)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, pressed, grated or finely chopped
- Juice of one lime (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat)
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 1 red bell pepper, quarter inch chopped (about 1 cup)
- 6 green onions, root removed, white and part of the greens chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 handful of cilantro, rough chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- Prepare the quinoa:
- Rinse it well in a fine mesh colander and drain all the water.
- Add the rinsed quinoa to a pot and add double the amount of purified water or veggie stock.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff with a fork, and you’re done.
- While the quinoa is cooking, whisk the olive oil, cumin, garlic, lime, salt, and cayenne together in the bottom of a large bowl to let the flavors marry.
- Rinse and drain the black beans.
- Chop the veggies until roughly the same size as the black beans.
- Add in the cooked quinoa, beans, and diced veggies to the bowl and gently fold it together with the dressing and cilantro.
- Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors come together. It tastes best served at a chilled or room temperature.
What is the best way to store quinoa salad? The best way to store quinoa salad is in an airtight glass container inside of the refrigerator.
This quinoa salad keeps well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
I always make at least double the quinoa I need—it keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days for another recipe.
When using green onions, remove the root end and peel off the outermost layer if it looks tough. Use everything else; both white and green parts are delicious.
To add extra spice, you could throw in some jalapeño, chipotle, or extra chili powder.
- Calories: 321 per serving