Quinoa Black Bean Salad

by sheilamarie

Yummy quinoa and black bean salad for a nutritious and refreshing meal.

This quinoa and black bean dish is truly delicious! Although it sounds simple, guests have often been pleasantly surprised when I've served it and have asked for second helpings.

I think you'll enjoy it, too. It's especially refreshing on a hot summer day when you don't feel like eating a hot meal, but you want something more substantial than simply greens.

This quinoa black bean salad actually goes really well with a green salad on the side.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad Is a Great Source of Protein

And Is Easy on Calories

Because I eat a vegan diet for part of the year (related to to my spiritual discipline), I am often on the lookout for recipes that contain a good source of protein but that are easy to prepare and that taste good, too. This search has led me to several recipes that contain the ingredient quinoa.

Quinoa is often used as a substitute for other grains, such as rice or couscous. Quinoa comes from Peru in South America and, though it has only recently become more well known to North Americans, has been harvested and enjoyed by people in South America for centuries. It has a higher protein content than any other known grain and can be made into some really tasty dishes.

I have used quinoa mostly as a grain myself, but I have been experimenting with some quinoa dessert recipes recently and have friends who eat quinoa in the morning instead of oatmeal or other cereals.

Quinoa is worth discovering if you are looking for some healthy alternatives or just to add some variety to your diet. The more I eat quinoa, the more I appreciate it. I have actually noticed that I feel better after eating this quinoa black bean salad. 

Quinoa Recipes

Superfood Cookbook
Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood
$14.49  $8.99

Here, Then, Is My Recipe for Quinoa Black Bean Salad

High in Protein and Really Tasty!

I make this recipe often when we have visitors and have had many compliments on the meal. It is very refreshing for summer fare, and because you can make it ahead knowing its flavors are improving as it sits in your refrigerator, you can make it the day before and then have more stress-free time for your visitors.

This works really well for us as we enjoy hiking locally with visitors, but returning home and having to cook when I am exhausted is less than fun. If I make this recipe ahead of time, I know supper will be a breeze. I only have to make a green salad, take out a fresh loaf of bread, and serve.


1 1/2 cups quinoa

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, drained

4-6 scallions or green onions, chopped 

1 red bell peppers, chopped 

3 cloves garlic, minced

fresh cilantro (may substitute parsley)

juice of 1 lemon or 1 lime

1/3 cup olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar or 2 T red wine vinegar

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

Rinse the quinoa in a sieve. Cook in 2 1/4 cups water for about 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and then put into a large bowl to let cool.

Meanwhile chop the onions, red peppers, and cilantro. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, garlic, and salt. Whisk in the olive oil.

Add the beans and vegetables to the cooled quinoa. Pour in the oil mixture and gently stir all together. 

Cover and store in refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Fluff again just before setting your quinoa salad on the table.

You can vary this recipe according to the ingredients you have on hand. Results will be slightly different depending on whether you use balsamic or red wine vinegar or whether you use lemon or lime juice, or cilantro or parsley. In other words, although I don't recommend leaving out ingredients, you can vary them and still turn out with a nice salad. 

Quinoa: White or Red

Your Choice
Bob's Red Mill Organic Grain Quinoa, 26-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)

The supergrain ancient food for today. 100% whole grain. Excellent source. Whole Grain Quinoa is the most nutritious of all grain. It's high in fiber, a good source of Iron, ...

$59.98  $55.36
Eden Organic Red Quinoa, Whole Grain, 16-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 4)

A rare Pasankalla red quinoa of small family plots organically grown at over 12,000 feet on the Andean Plateau in Bolivia. Quick cooking, mild and sweet with delightful fluffy ...

Only $29.63

Some Accessories to Make Preparing Quinoa Easy

Always Rinse Quinoa Before Cooking to Get Rid of Bitterness
Oxo Stainless Steel Strainer, Double RodZojirushi NP-HBC10 5-1/2-Cup Rice Coo...
Only $229.99

Organic Black Beans: Get Them by the Case!

Great to Have on Hand
Eden Organic Black Beans, No Salt Add...
$42.98  $30.27

Thanks for Your Visit

I hope you try this quinoa recipe. You can also find lots of excellent recipes using the grain in the book mentioned above.

But don't hesitate to experiment on your own. This grain is so versatile and can be used in so many ways that you'll be glad you've discovered it, especially when you realize how healthy it really is. Unlike other grains, it has a complete protein, so even on its own it's good for you. Cook it up and add a few vegetables from your garden. Some chopped onion and garlic is a good start and then just mix in whatever veggies you have in your refrigerator, add a little cheese if you like and/or some pieces of leftover chicken.

Or instead, open up a can of tuna or salmon and add to the stir fried onions, garlic and quinoa. I like a bit of cheddar melted in, too.

You get the idea -- be creative and adapt to fit your own taste and your own supplies. I love the ease and speed with which I can whip up something really tasty and nutritious with just a few staples. Quinoa has become one of my staple foods that is quick and easy to prepare.

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These Cake Recipes Include a Moist and Delicious Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Best Chocolate Cake I've Ever Tasted!
Love chocolate cake, but on a gluten-free diet? These flourless cake recipes use quinoa and black beans instead of wheat, making them an ideal dessert for celiac families.
Updated: 06/22/2013, sheilamarie
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sheilamarie on 07/08/2013

You're welcome, kimbesa. Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains. Unlike the others, it has a complete protein. It's versatile, too. I have a recipe for using quinoa in chocolate cake: http://wizzley.com/flourless-cake-rec... The cake you can make using quinoa is really moist and delicious. If you ever get a chance you should check out one of the books mentioned on the page. They are filled with delicious recipes.

kimbesa on 07/07/2013

I'm always looking to expand my repertoire, and experiment with unfamiliar ingredients like quinoa. This salad sounds Terrific. Thanks!

sheilamarie on 07/07/2013

It really is tasty, Dustytoes. And of course, it is best when you can add ingredients from your own garden.

dustytoes on 07/06/2013

I just added quinoa to my grocery shopping list! This cold salad sounds delicious and I am definitely going to try it. I grow my own green onions, garlic and parsley so I am half way there.

sheilamarie on 06/07/2012

Quinoa really is good as a salad ingredient and can take that salad from a side dish to a main dish in a hurry. That's because quinoa, unlike other grains, contains all the amino acids for a protein. It really is good for you.
Quinoa makes a mean chocolate cake, too, if you're so inclined. I've got a wizzle on that: www.wizzley.com/flourless-cake-recipes

happynutritionist on 01/19/2012

Thank you so much for your visit to my Quinoa page and comment of a few weeks back, I haven't been here in a while and am sorry to take so long to visit this wonderful page. I am starting to realize that I like Quinoa as a salad much more than as a hot dish. I have been eating it for a few years now.

Marie on 01/10/2012

I love salads but have never tried Quinoa - maybe I really should. I love the fact that this can be made the day before as well, especially if I am cooking for lots of people.

Jimmie on 01/10/2012

This is the kind of food I love but my family detests. Too weird for them. No matter, I make it for ME!

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