Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Thanks to lots of vegetables and quinoa, this easy black bean salad is ultra satisfying, hearty, and absolutely delicious. This black bean salad recipe is vegan, easy to make, and lasts for days in the fridge.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

How to Make the Tastiest Black Bean Salad

Black beans are a staple in our pantry. We buy them canned and dried and love knowing that if the fridge is empty, there will always be some black beans standing by for us to use. We add them to veggie burgers, breakfast wraps, soups, and love to use them in our vegetarian tacos.

We also love adding them to salads. We’ve already shared this simple black bean and corn salad, which has a smoky lime dressing. It’s perfect served as a fresh salad or even as a salsa. We love it so much that it inspired us to make an even heartier black bean salad. We took everything we loved about that salad and added even more vegetables and quinoa. This black bean and quinoa salad is hearty, healthy, and delicious.

The salad is very simple to make and is pretty adaptable to whatever you have in the fridge. You can use canned or home-cooked black beans. When using canned, I prefer to drain and rinse the beans before adding to the salad.

Here’s another recipe featuring black beans and quinoa: Delightful Vegetarian Chili

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with black beans, quinoa, vegetables, and a zesty dressing

As for the quinoa, you can use precooked or cook it yourself. Quinoa takes about 20 minutes to make. Here’s our tutorial for making fluffy quinoa at home and if you’re looking for more quinoa salads, I love this quinoa salad packed with superfoods like chickpeas, bell peppers, baby bok choy, herbs, and cucumber.

The dressing we add to this black bean salad is one of my go-to dressings, especially when making bean or grain salads. I start with a combination of apple cider vinegar and fresh lime juice. You can use one or the other, but I love the flavor when the two are mixed together. Then we add a little spice with chili powder (use our homemade blend, if you can) and cumin. Finally we finish the dressing with a good amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. It tastes pretty bright by itself, but when you toss it with all the beans, quinoa, and vegetables, it works perfectly.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad Ingredients

Once you have the black beans, cooked quinoa, and dressing, all you need to do is decide on what vegetables you want to add. We add the following, but you can always substitute and add based on what you love:

  • Red onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Canned Hatch chili peppers (these are optional, but add a lovely Southwestern flavor — I love using the Hatch brand.)

How to Serve the Black Bean Salad

This simple salad is perfect for making in advance and keeps in the fridge for a few days. It’s such a great make-ahead salad that I actually prefer it on day two! There are so many ways to serve this salad.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

More Easy Bean Salads

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

  • PREP
  • COOK

Thanks to a variety of colorful vegetables and a bright and zesty dressing, this black bean salad with quinoa is hearty and delicious. Enjoy this salad as a side or as a main dish. The salad will keep for a few days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Over time, you may find that the color from the red cabbage seeps out into the salad (it actually looks quite pretty).

Makes about 8 cups

You Will Need

1 cup (190 grams) uncooked quinoa, rinsed (about 3 cups cooked)

2 cups water or stock (see our chicken stock or veggie broth)

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder, or more to taste, see our homemade blend

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (half small onion)

1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

1 cup finely chopped red cabbage

2 ears of corn, shucked, or 1 cup of defrosted frozen corn

1 (4-ounce) can Hatch green chili peppers, chopped, see notes

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Optional add-ins: chopped avocado, crumbled feta or queso fresco


  • Cook Quinoa
  • 1Combine the rinsed quinoa, water, and 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa, 10 to 15 minutes.

    2Move the saucepan off of the heat and cover for five minutes. This extra time allows the quinoa to steam and “fluff up.” Uncover, and then fluff the quinoa with a fork.

  • Make The Salad
  • 1In a large bowl, whisk the apple cider vinegar, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt, chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of black pepper together. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until blended.

    2Add the quinoa, black beans, red onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, corn, and chili peppers. Toss to combine, and then season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed.

    3Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. If after a day or two the salad seems a little dry, add an extra squeeze of lime juice and a small drizzle of olive oil.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Canned green chili peppers are often sold next to salsas in most grocery stores. There are a variety of brands including Ortega, Old El Paso, and Hatch. When we can find it, we love the Hatch brand.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1 cup / Calories 235 / Total Fat 11.5g / Saturated Fat 1.7g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 234.3mg / Carbohydrate 28.3g / Dietary Fiber 5.6g / Total Sugars 3g / Protein 7.1g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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9 comments… Leave a Review
  • Lisa Morgan September 13, 2022, 11:20 am

    Can I use Farro instead of quinoa?

    • Joanne December 14, 2022, 6:15 pm


  • Kelsey August 21, 2020, 3:22 am

    I just love the black bean and quinoa salad. it is definitely a favourite in our house!

  • Rosa Caldarelli March 8, 2020, 3:45 pm

    Can’t wait to try this!

  • Maria Aguilar February 23, 2020, 2:00 pm

    I love your Recipes, so easy to understand. Thank you for sharing them!

  • D February 19, 2020, 7:37 pm

    This is so yum and very easy to make!

  • Monica Bernard February 14, 2020, 3:00 pm

    I just stumbled upon your website while looking for a chicken noodle soup recipe. It looks great and I will be making your chicken noodle soup today. One of my guests is not supposed to eat pasta. Have you ever tried spaghetti squash instead in your soup? If so, how did it work out? I would add it shorty before serving the soup. Thank you! Monica

  • Veronica A Lea February 9, 2020, 6:22 pm

    Delicious! Added sliced feta and a bit of red pepper flakes. It was a big hit!

  • bernadine December 28, 2019, 6:19 pm

    am in love with your food and recipes your black beans soups and burrito wraps omg am in love with them the black bean salad is a wow thanks for sharing would love to have more of tour recipes to boost up my work thank again for sharing


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