Southwestern black bean quinoa salad is a tasty dish to bring to a summer party. This easy salad is full of flavor from corn, cilantro, onions, and a zesty dressing. Make a big batch and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week!
Quinoa salads are a great option for easy, make-ahead gluten free lunches, which is why we enjoy them fairly often around here. I love to make a big batch of salad and have it ready to go during busy weeks.
This Southwestern quinoa salad is so simple to prepare, but it packs a lot of flavor! The secret is the zesty dressing with fresh citrus and lots of fresh cilantro leaves.
With lots of protein from black beans and quinoa, this is a salad that’s sure to keep you full. This quinoa salad is the perfect addition to your next summer gathering. Serve it as a vegan main dish, or on the side of your favorite grilled chicken or these ground turkey sloppy joes.
- Quinoa – You can use either red or white quinoa! Red quinoa has a little bit of a stronger flavor and a firmer texture than white quinoa. There are other varieties of this ancient grain, like black or even purple, but those aren’t as common or easily found in the store. Read more about the types of quinoa here.
- Cilantro – I know some people do not like cilantro. If that’s you, you can substitute parsley instead, but I love the fresh flavor that cilantro brings to this salad.
- Black Beans – Use canned black beans, and be sure to rinse them off.
- Corn – Either frozen or canned corn kernels will work in this recipe.
You can use:
- chickpeas or pinto beans instead of black beans
- millet, white rice, or brown rice instead of quinoa
- red quinoa instead of white quinoa
- parsley instead of cilantro
- red onion instead of green onions
- vinegar instead of citrus juice
Make Ahead Instructions
You can make this ahead of time if you need to – just make the dressing and keep it separate, then add it to the salad right before serving.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad.
- 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions
- 15 ounces black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn kernels frozen or canned
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ cup green onions chopped, or sweet onion
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice or lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions, then let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and spices.
- Add the cooled quinoa, onions, black beans, corn, and cilantro. Mix together to combine.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate to until ready to serve.
This post was originally published in June 2014. It has been updated.