Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad Recipe

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I'm a Certified Health Coach, longtime blogger, and host of Elizabeth Eats on YouTube. In addition to writing recipes (I love to eat!), I'm a strong believer that life is too short to settle for anything less than living your best life.


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black bean quinoa salad

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 to last me a few days.

black bean quinoa salad ingredients

Black Bean Quinoa Salad Ingredients

This black bean quinoa salad is packed with good-for-you ingredients. 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. Learn how to cook quinoa here.
  • 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.
  • Grape tomatoes: Tomatoes are loaded with fiber and lycopene in addition to tons of other vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro is a powerful chelator, which is something that helps pull heavy metals from your system. If you don’t like the flavor, sub with parsley or leave it out.
  • Fresh garlic: Fresh garlic is one of the most potent superfoods on the planet.
  • Fresh lime: Lime juice is full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and flavor. Go for the fresh juice out of a lime and avoid bottled citrus juice as they’re mostly citric acid and artificial flavorings.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: EVOO is full of healthy fats that will help you absorb the vitamins from all of the other ingredients.
  • Cumin: Ground cumin is a spice that’s full of antioxidants and flavor.

black bean quinoa salad recipe in bowl

The video to make this quinoa salad recipe has over 775,000 views on YouTube, and one reader recently commented, 

“I never review recipes but I have to leave a 5 star for this one because I make this salad so frequently. I eat this with a sliced avocado on top, and add cucumber and baby tomato. Thank you so much for the recipe! ★★★★★”

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. Whether you’re serving it cold in a salad or hot in soup, it’s bound to make a tasty addition.

Is quinoa gluten-free? Yes, quinoa is entirely gluten-free while still providing complex carbs.

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.

Why You’ll Love Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Everything in this black bean & quinoa salad is brimming with both flavor and nutrition.

The veggies are full of essential nutrients, while the extra virgin olive oil adds the perfect amount of healthy fats to help you absorb all of the healthy foods in this flavorful dish.

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

quinoa salad in bowl with lime

Reasons To Make Quinoa Salad A Weeknight Staple

  1. This salad is a fantastic make-ahead for meal prep and almost tastes better the next day.
  2. The recipe is easily doubled or tripled.
  3. It is delicious whether hot, room temperature, or even cold.
  4. Since it’s dairy-free, it’s OK to leave out for a few hours– so it’s great for bringing to a potluck.
  5. It’s really cost-effective while still packing a flavorful punch.

I love eating this salad as a main dish for lunch or light dinner. It also makes a great side dish or main course when pumped up with some grilled or shredded chicken breast for non-vegans.

I hope you love this delicious superfood salad as much as I do!

black bean quinoa salad

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summer salad recipes Elizabeth Rider

Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boil, Chop
  • Cuisine: America


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.


Units Scale
  • 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 1 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. Prepare the quinoa:
  2. Rinse it well in a fine mesh colander and drain all the water. 
  3. Add the rinsed quinoa to a pot and add double the amount of purified water or veggie stock. 
  4. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. 
  5. Fluff with a fork, and you’re done.
  6. 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.
  7. Rinse and drain the black beans.
  8. Chop the veggies until roughly the same size as the black beans.
  9. Add in the cooked quinoa, beans, and diced veggies to the bowl and gently fold it together with the dressing and cilantro.
  10. 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

Other Recipes You’ll Love

The Best Refried Beans Recipe (Instant Pot, No Soaking)

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Black Bean Brownies Recipe ER-Health-Coach-Superfood-Quinoa-Salad-01

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  1. Lark says:

    I’m struggling from the loss of my dog and have no motivation to prepare food, or eat, or do much of anything really. I forced myself to make this dish after seeing it on Pinterest. It makes a bunch for no-think meals. I didn’t add the oil but dressed the individual serving with a drizzle of olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar, with sliced avocado on top. An unexpected pleasure, thank you for sharing this simple, nourishing recipe. You helped me very much today.

  2. Phil says:

    Use a poblano instead of a bell to add a little zing.

  3. Maria says:

    I just finished making this recipe for the first time. It’s good, and I’m hoping others in the family will agree. I’ll be adding some corn, bc my mood is telling me to. I can’t wait to have this black bean quinoa salad! Love that it’s a nutritional powerhouse.

  4. KandieSandie says:

    I have been making this recipe for a few years now. I fell in love with it when Lucky’s Market was still open in Montana. I had to have the recipe before they closed their doors here.
    Now I can make it with my eyes closed! Sometimes I try a few veggie twists: Celery, fresh corn, sm pieces of cauliflower, broccoli, avocado, ect. That dressing pretty much works with everything under the sun!!! Bravo!

  5. jan says:

    Do you have the nutritional info on this?

  6. 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?

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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;-)

  10. 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?

    • Hi Danielle, one serving of a quinoa salad is about 1/2 cup. I don’t count calories or macros as I don’t feel it’s healthy for me in the long run. ~E

      • Nicole says:

        Love this recipe, but some people DO need to count calories for a variety of reasons therefore it would be helpful…

  11. 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

    • Glenda says:

      I am from Canada as well. A glass measuring cup will have the oz on one side and cup measurements on the other if you have one. Also, there are measurement converters online for free that are also a tremendous help in converting imperial measurement to metric. Finally I think sometime ago a friend of mine showed me a recipe conversion App that she had downloaded on her phone for just such purposes of monitoring nutritional info and caloric load from a recipe. These tools are considerably helpful for all of us. Thank goodness for this side of technology. Have a very lovely afternoon and thank you for allowing me to give you some help today.

  12. 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!

  13. 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

  14. Darren says:

    Delicious. Easy recipe.

  15. Barbara says:

    Looks delicious. Ever tried adding spinach?

    • Brooke says:

      I never review recipes but I have to leave a 5 star for this one because I make this salad so frequently. I eat this with a sliced avocado on top, and add cucumber and baby tomato.
      Thank you so much for the recipe!

  16. Chris Johnston says:

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

  17. O M G – I made this dish this afternoon, and I now feel gluttonous –! 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!

  18. Phuong Bich Nguyen says:

    Thank you

  19. Brian R says:

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

  20. 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!!

  21. 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

  22. 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?

  23. Ericka Turner says:

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

  24. Shasha Serene says:

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

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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 🙂

  28. 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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.)

  31. Joy says:

    Delicious and very easy!

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

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