Southwest quinoa salad
This quinoa black bean salad is an easy, healthy side dish. Full of fresh ingredients hearty black beans and bright flavor thanks to the olive oil and lime vinaigrette. Makes a delicious main course for lunch as well and is easy to meal prep and take with you on the go.
This is an easy and healthy quinoa recipe. It only contains healthy ingredients and fresh Mexican flavors:
- Quinoa – both white quinoa, red quinoa and multi colored quinoa work for this recipe.
- Black beans – you can also use pinto beans or white beans. Make sure to drain and rinse the can of beans before adding to the salad.
- Avocado – love adding this for it’s creamy texture and full of healthy fats.
- Red bell pepper
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh cilantro – fresh herbs really bring a lot of flavor to this dish.
- Fresh lime juice – lemon juice would also work.
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- Red onion – green onions also taste great
Tips for cooking quinoa
I love cooking with quinoa because it’s loaded with vitamins, iron, phytonutrients, minerals and it’s and essential amino acids since it’s a complete protein according to the New York Times.
Quinoa (pronounced Kee-Nwah) will help you feel full without weighing you down and it’s extremely versatile.
This recipe is packed with tons of flavor, but also tons of protein from the black beans and quinoa.
- Always rinse the quinoa. Quinoa has a coating that makes it taste bitter if you don’t rinse it. Even if you get pre-rinsed quinoa, rinse it.
- Cook the quinoa with some sort of flavoring, either veggie bouillon cube or paste or vegetable broth
- If you need some help, check out my post on how to cook quinoa in the instant pot, rice cooker or on the stove.
- Make sure to chop up all of your veggies to about the same bite-sized pieces. This ensures that you will get multiple flavors in one bite, instead of one large chunk of something overpowering each bite.
- Mix everything in a large bowl, so you have enough room to stir the ingredients together.
- Let the quinoa cool a bit before adding the fresh veggies and other ingredients.
- I love to use cherry tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, black beans and sweet corn.
- Sometimes I will also add either english cucumbers, bell peppers or cooked beets.
- Lime is what brings this whole dish together, so don’t skip this part. Roll out the lime on the counter to ensure you get the most juice out of it. Then cut it in half and use a citrus squeezer to juice the lime.
- If you want to learn how to cook dried beans in the instant pot, stove top or slow cooker, check out my article on how to cook dried beans from scratch.
How to serve quinoa salad
- I love meal prepping a double batch of this delicious salad at the beginning of the week and having it ready to go for lunch every day.
- This salad tastes great by itself, but you can also eat it with tortilla chips or serve it over some romaine lettuce to add heartiness to a salad.
- This also tastes great served over massaged kale. Cut up some kale and massage in an avocado for about 5 minutes. This helps to break down the cell walls and make it digest easier and taste better because it gets rid of some of the kale’s bitterness. Sprinkle a little salt over the kale.
This quinoa salad will last in the fridge in an airtight container for five to seven days.
I’ve never tried freezing it before but I think this would freeze well. Don’t add the tomatoes if you’re freezing this, since it will make the tomatoes a little mushy. Just completely thaw it in the fridge before eating.
More easy recipes to try
- Quinoa curry burgers
- Grilled vegetable pasta salad
- Vegan taco salad
- Tomato, cucumber avocado salad
- Vegan pasta salad
- Vegan summer rolls
- Vegan Mexican bowl
- Crunchy rainbow salad
- Crispy tofu wrap
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Quinoa black bean salad
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa (rinsed)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 14 ounces black beans (drained and rinsed)
- ½ avocado (diced)
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- ½ red onion
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn (rinse under warm water)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup lime juice
- Salt to taste
- Rinse off the quinoa to help get rid of the bitter coating on the quinoa.
- Put quinoa and vegetable broth in the pressure cooker and cook on high for 4 minutes. Quick release when done (directions for stovetop and rice cooker in notes section below)2 cups uncooked quinoa, 2 cups vegetable broth
- Let quinoa cool for 10-15 minutes. While you wait, move on to the next steps.
- Chop up your tomatoes, onions and avocado into the same bite-sized pieces. Chop up cilantro and rinse frozen corn under warm water to thaw.
- Add the cooled quinoa to a large mixing bowl, then add all of the rest of the ingredients to the quinoa and stir well, adding the avocado last so it doesn't get smushed. Salt to taste.14 ounces black beans, ½ avocado, handful of cherry tomatoes, ½ red onion, ⅓ cup chopped cilantro, 1 cup frozen sweet corn, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ cup lime juice, Salt to taste
- Tastes great by itself, or over chopped romaine lettuce or kale massaged with some avocado and salt.
Bring to a simmer and keep the lid off. Cook until water is absorbed – about 10-15 minutes.
Turn off heat and cover with a lid and let it sit for 5 minutes to fluff up the quinoa To cook quinoa in a rice cooker: 2 cups of quinoa, 4 cups of water and 1.5 tsp of veggie bouillon paste (or ½ tsp of salt)
Close the lid and let the rice cooker do its magic.
Let it sit for 5 minutes in the rice cooker after it’s done to fluff up the quinoa Tastes great by itself, or over chopped romaine lettuce or kale massaged with some avocado and salt. Add in some cooked beats for even more flavor and nutrients I also sometimes love adding english cucumber, bell peppers or olives
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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