Southwestern black bean quinoa salad is a tasty salad to bring to a summer party. This easy dish 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. Serve it as a vegan main dish, or on the side of your favorite grilled chicken or these ground turkey sloppy joes.
This quinoa salad is the perfect addition to your next summer gathering. If you’re looking for a selection of summer salads to serve, try any of these vegan salads:
- Garlic dill green bean salad
- Curried broccoli quinoa salad
- Simple zucchini noodle salad
- Apple brussels sprouts slaw
Should I use red or white quinoa in this recipe?
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.
Can I use a different gluten free grain?
Yes, you could use millet, white rice, or brown rice in this recipe.
You can make some substitutions in this black bean quinoa salad if needed:
- chickpeas or pinto beans instead of black beans
- red quinoa instead of white quinoa
- parsley instead of cilantro
- rice instead of quinoa
- vinegar instead of citrus juice
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.
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Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad.
This tasty black bean quinoa salad is a quick and easy summer salad with flavors of the Southwest!
- 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.
You can use red or white quinoa in this recipe.
If you don't have quinoa on hand, you can use rice.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for about 3-4 days.
You can make this salad the night before serving if you wish. Just make the dressing separately and add to the salad right before serving.
This post was originally published in June 2014. It has been updated.