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Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad Recipe

black bean quinoa salad recipe

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 and one of my own personal favorites! This recipe has really stood the test of time. I still often make a double batch on a Sunday afternoon and it barely lasts until Tuesday.

Black Bean & Quinoa Salad is the perfect delicious and nutritious meal or snack

Everything in this black bean & quinoa salad is extremely good for you so fill up on it and your body will thank you. Quinoa has the texture of a grain but is actually a seed and a complete protein at that. It’s filled with fiber, plant nutrients and doubles as a good carb, making this salad highly nutritious and highly delicious.

The veggies add even more flavor, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while the extra virgin olive oil adds the perfect amount of healthy fat to help you absorb all of the nutrients in this dish.

This quinoa salad is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and corn-free.

Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad is the perfect dish to bring to a summer party because:

  1. you can make it the night before (it’s almost better that way),
  2. the recipe is easily doubled or tripled,
  3. it’s great room temperature or cold,
  4. it’s dairy-free so no worries about leaving it out for a few hours, and
  5. it’s also inexpensive to make and keeps well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

I often enjoy black bean & quinoa salad as a lunch or light dinner. It also makes a great side dish with dinner, or, if you’re not vegan, add some grilled or shredded chicken to turn it into a full meal.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

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black bean quinoa salad recipe

Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x



  • 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)


  1. Recipe: Prepare the quinoa (see below).
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, whisk the olive oil, cumin, garlic, lime, salt and cayenne (if using) together in the bottom of a large bowl to let the flavors marry while you chop the veggies.
  3. Rinse and drain the black beans, then chop the veggies; the key is to make the peppers and onions about the same size as the beans.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa, beans and veggies to the bowl and gently fold it all together with the dressing. The quinoa can be warm, room temp, or cold when you make the dish. Regardless, I suggest letting it chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to let the flavors come together. It tastes best served room temperature or chilled.


To cook the quinoa, rinse it well in a fine mesh colander and let all of the water drain. Add the rinsed quinoa to a pot and add double the amount of purified water or veggie stock (e.g. 1 cup dry quinoa needs 2 cups of liquid). Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the little “tail” of the quinoa has sprouted out. Fluff with a fork and reserve for your recipe. I always set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes to simmer because if left too long it can burn. Also, I always make at least double the quinoa I need–it keeps well in the refrigerator up to 5 days for another recipe.

Also, there’s a silly myth out there that only the white part of a green onion is good. Not true! When using green onions, remove the root end and peel off the outermost layer if it looks tough. Use both the white part and most of the greens, the last few inches of the greens might be tough so you can discard them, but most of the greens are tender and taste great.

More Quinoa Salad Recipes You’ll Love:

Curry Quinoa Salad Recipe

Hummus & Veggie Superfood Quinoa Bowl

Healthy Quinoa Tabouli with Parsley & Mint Salad


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  1. jan says:

    Do you have the nutritional info on this?

  2. solaca15 says:

    I had this yesterday, made by a friend who followed the recipe exactly. Yummy, but it made my blood sugars spike very high! I ate & drank nothing else. As with another asked above, I am a (skinny) Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic. What is the carb count on this recipe? Please?

  3. Eva Schuelke says:

    OMG my first bites and I was in love!! The subtle layers of spice and citrus with the texture made my eyes pop. So simple to make too! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Cynthia A Ramirez says:

    can you tell me what the calories are. I’m a type 1 diabetic and need to count my food on carb manager. I love this recipe!
    Thank you

  5. Jessica Montaigne says:

    Love this recipe I do add sautéed kale, with the garlic which softens the sharpness of the garlic add corn and avocado and feel beaming with health, perfect for my vegan friends;-)

  6. Danielle says:

    Hello! I’m going to be making this for dinner and I’m wondering how much is one serving size (in cups) and also could you tell me the macros in it, like protein, carbs and fat?

  7. Christian Weber says:

    What is 115 ounces of black beans? Is this fluid ounces? I am in canada and would appreciate cups or ml?

    • Hi Christian, that is not 115 ounces of black beans, it’s one fifteen-ounce can of black beans (that’s about 1.5 cups of cooked black beans). I edited in the recipe to make it more clear. Thanks! ~E

  8. Heather says:

    This recipe is Delicious!!! This takes quinoa from bland to fantastic! I could eat this every day with any slab of meat on top. I wonder if that dressing could make everything that yummy!

  9. Nicole says:

    This recipe is brilliant! I’ve made it countless times and everyone loves it. I use a little less olive oil but keep everything else the same as the recipe. It’s hearty, but fresh and I cannot speak highly enough of the flavour and texture. Thank you for opening my eyes to black beans 🙂

    • Hi Nicole, so happy to hear it! This recipes encompasses all of my favorites, too. Glad to hear it’s been such a hit. Thanks for being part of our online community and stopping by to comment. ~E

  10. Darren says:

    Delicious. Easy recipe.

  11. Barbara says:

    Looks delicious. Ever tried adding spinach?

  12. […] few of my favourite recipes are taken from Lazy Cat Kitchen, Little Broken, or Elizabeth Rider […]

  13. […] throughout the week to include in my salads or recipes such as  Black Bean Mango Quinoa or this superfood black bean, kale, and quinoa favorite. I will also prepare boiled eggs in advance for recipes, meals, or snacks while we have […]

  14. Chris Johnston says:

    This is good. Made it today.
    Would have like to see the nutritional information about the dish.

  15. O M G – I made this dish this afternoon, and I now feel gluttonous – seriously.so.good! Thanks, Elizabeth, this will be a go-to for me! Love your healthy recipes… am going to be paging through them all as I take my health to the next level and release sugar!

  16. Phuong Bich Nguyen says:

    Thank you

  17. Brian R says:

    Maybe skip the lime juice, cayenne pepper and cilantro and add a can of rotels with lime and cilantro?

  18. Rosemarie B. Luciaja says:

    Thank you so much.everyone’s enjoying for this yummy vegan dish and requesting me to have your recipe👍👏😍

    • Jenni says:

      I made this by watching your YouTube video. There you say to use two cans of black beans. I’m eating while reading your blog recipe. Here is says one can of black beans. So I have extra beans, yay!!! I love it. I only had a yellow pepper. If I was going to take this as a dish to pass I think red would definitely make it look better. It’s delicious!!

  19. peaches pie says:

    hello i live in england and i was wonderibg can u put recipe in grams or oz. the cknversion charts keep givkng different figures

  20. Nancy says:

    This looks delicious. I am going to make it today for a lunch tomorrow. I have a question though – I have been cooking quinoa in a rice cooker for ages, never doing the straining over the sieve part at all. I have some vegetarian stew recipes that call for tossing a handful of uncooked quinoa directly into the vegetables – nothing about washing and draining. What is the purpose of this step?

  21. Ericka Turner says:

    I came across this recipe today – made it for dinner- delicious!! Seriously, this will be in heavy rotation. Thanks so much!

  22. Shasha Serene says:

    Very delicious! definitely turned out exactly like I expected. Thanks.

  23. Kendra Porter says:

    This is amazing! I was looking for a very simple black bean quinoa salad recipe that didn’t require much fuss to assemble & this recipe fit the bill right down to the delicious smell once everything was put together! A fabulous side dish!

  24. Amy Rutter says:

    I’m so pleased I’ve found your blog! I have PCOS so try to eat low GI, but I’m also vegetarian and recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant. I’ve been finding it so hard to figure out what to eat but your recipes have given me loads of ideas already! Thank you!

  25. Lea says:

    Love this! I just made it and finished a bowl. I added a large tomato to it and only used a quarter of the cilantro suggested (I find it to be a show-stealing herb- too overwhelming in a dish with so many flavours).

    The full half cup of oil made it taste really smooth and creamy, but it was definitely a bit much. For anyone wondering, I think it is going to be just as good with half the amount or less. Just use enough to carry the marinade around- I’m doing that next time 🙂

  26. Mailmam says:

    Thanks sounds great I will be making this on Friday. BTW although not low in calories olive oil has so many tremendous benefits. But I may try using a bit less Thanks for the tip

  27. John Warren says:

    This is good, but really oily. And, with 1/2 cup of olive oil for only 2 cups of quinoa, I count 112 grams of fat. That’s a lot of fat… a lot of calories. “Eat all you want guilt-free”? Am I missing something.

  28. CathyK says:

    I did a rough calorie count, and with the oil, this recipe is like 600 calories a 1/2 cup serving!

    • Hi Cathy, I did a calorie count on the recipe in MyFitnessPal and it’s about 225 as a side (when split into 8 servings) and 450 as a meal (when split into 4 servings.)

  29. Joy says:

    Delicious and very easy!

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