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Quinoa Black Bean Salad Recipe (with Lemon Dressing)

Have you ever paid an astronomical price for a salad at the local market only to discover it is amazing and addicting? That’s what happened to me with this salad! This simple, clean-tasting Quinoa Black Bean Salad with lemon dressing is so delicious you will want to make it every single week. The bright citrus flavor from fresh lemon and the hint of spice is exactly what I was looking for.

Close up of quinoa black bean salad in a white bowl on a green tablecloth. Hostess At Heart

Quinoa soaks up flavor, maintains its texture, and provides just the right amount of toothy goodness. It shines in this dish and, combined with the black beans, brings plenty of protein to the table. It’s a light, bright, and crave-worthy salad, and our recipe is so simple you’ll never get yours from the supermarket ever again.

Why You’ll Love Quinoa Black Bean Salad

  • Packed with protein that will keep you full. With eight grams of protein in a cup of quinoa and fifteen grams of protein in a cup of black beans, this recipe packs a protein punch into your day.
  • It’s Vegan. No animal by-products are in this recipe, it cannot get any cleaner.
  • Keeps for a week. No spoiled lettuce. If you are tired of green salads because the greens always spoil, your gonna love meal prep this weekend.
  • Works as a meal or a side dish. If you want a light and easy lunch, this is perfect. If you want something to serve alongside grilled salmon, it’s also perfect.
  • Versatile. So many variations are possible!

What is quinoa?

While not technically a grain, these edible seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains.

What are the benefits of eating quinoa?

In addition to the nutritional information cited above, this seed is a complete protein. The powerful combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fats makes it perfect as the base for any vegan meal.

What is the difference in quinoa colors?

White quinoa is very mild and takes on flavors easily. Red quinoa has a nutty flavor and is little more crunchy. Black quinoa has a little sweetness and a slightly sandy texture. Red, white or a combination of all three will work for this recipe, but I do not recommend using all black quinoa because it is the crunchiest of the three and the texture on its own might be off-putting.

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Ingredients For This Recipe

Inredients include quinoa, carrots, red peppers, parsley, corn, black beans, and cucumbers. Hostess At Heart
  • Cooked Quinoa – We used rainbow quinoa also called tri-color. One part quinoa, two parts water.
  • Cucumbers – English cucumbers are a little more expensive but we find them mild and easy to seed and chop. You can use any cucumber.
  • Red Peppers – Bell peppers. You can use any color but we like the sweetness of the red peppers.
  • Carrots – Fresh diced carrots.
  • Black Beans – We used canned black beans and rinsed them prior to using them.
  • Whole Kernel Corn – Adds a sweetness to our salad. Use either frozen and then thawed or canned.
  • Fresh Parsley – Fresh parsley adds flavor to this simple salad.

Ingredients for the Dressing

Ingredients include lemon juice, olive oil, spices, salt and pepper. Hostess At Heart
  • Lemon Juice. Freshly squeezed works best. Lime juice will also work.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Use what you like. We prefer California olive oil. It’s smooth and mild.
  • Ground CuminWe love the flavor this spice adds to our salad.
  • Dried Oregano – If you have Mexican Oregano, that’s a great substitute.
  • Salt and Pepper.

How To Make Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

The first step is to cook your quinoa.

Our recipe calls for two cups of water and one cup of quinoa. Combine the two in a medium-sized saucepan, bring it to a boil, and simmer. When the water is all absorbed, it is ready to go. Refrigerate the quinoa until you have the other ingredients ready.

All of the chopped veggies and beans in a large mixing bowl. Hostess At Heart

Prepare the ingredients for the salad.

Dice the carrots, red pepper, and cucumber and put them into a large bowl

Mix the Salad Dressing.

Add the dressing ingredients to a jar or salad dressing shaker. Mix until combined.

Mixing the lemon dressing in a jar. Hostess At Heart

Assemble Your Easy Quinoa Salad!

Add the quinoa to the diced vegetables. Pour the dressing over the salad. Stir in chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper if needed. Chill and serve.

Assembling the salad by adding the cooked quinoa and dressing to the veggies and beans. Hostess At Heart

Frequently Asked Questions

What meat goes well with Quinoa Black Bean Salad?

My favorite is grilled salmon. If you aren’t a fan of fish, you could certainly pair it with grilled chicken or beef, or lamb.

How To Store this Easy Quinoa Salad

This salad must be refrigerated. Keep it in an airtight container and enjoy it within a week.

Can I freeze quinoa salad?

No. Several of the ingredients in this dish will not freeze well. However, you can freeze cooked quinoa and then thaw it as you need it. This is great for those who prefer cooking quinoa in bulk once every few months.

Black Bean Quinoa salad in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. Hostess At Heart

Variations and Substitutions

  • In place of quinoa, you can use couscous or brown rice.
  • When making the dressing, you can use lime instead of lemon. You can also use a store-bought citrus vinaigrette.
  • If you want to change up the flavors, use a Mediterranean spice blend and add olives for a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, or add chili powder to the dressing and replace the parsley with cilantro for a Southwest Quinoa Salad.
  • Add a protein such as grilled chicken or salmon.

Hostess Tips

  • The choices we made for this salad are not only delicious but will keep for a week. If you make adjustments to the ingredients, such as adding tomatoes or cooked protein, add it to individual servings and not to the entire bowl. It will keep better and longer.
  • To cool your quinoa quickly, spread it out on a sheet pan and place it in the refrigerator. This works wonders if you want to serve the salad right away and don’t have time to chill it long in the fridge. Quinoa salad should be served and eaten cold.
  • Dice the vegetables the same size. This balances out the flavor and makes it enjoyable to eat.
Quinoa Black Bean Salad in a white bowl with a close up of salad on a fork. Hostess At Heart

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Top down view of three bowls filled with a mixture of tri-color quinoa and chopped fresh veggies including cucumber, carrots, corn, and red peppers, garnished with lemon and parsley.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Author: Julie Menghini
Top down view of three bowls filled with a mixture of tri-color quinoa and chopped fresh veggies including cucumber, carrots, corn, and red peppers, garnished with lemon and parsley.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword: Quinoa, Whole Grain Recipe
Servings: 8 to 10



  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Water


  • ½ cup diced cucumbers
  • ½ cup diced red peppers
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ¾ cup black beans rinsed
  • ¾ cup whole kernal corn canned
  • ½ cup fresh parsley lightly chopped


  • 2 tbsp lime juice or lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper



  • Using a 1.5 qt saucepan, combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.


  • Dice the carrots, red pepper, and cucumber and put it into a large bowl.


  • Using a small bowl or a salad dressing shaker, combine the dressing ingredients and mix until smooth and combined.


  • Add the quinoa to the diced vegetables. Pour the dressing over the salad. Stir in chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Chill and serve.


Serve as a delicious side dish or as a vegan/vegetarian meal.
Salad should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 3 to 4 days.


Calories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 262mgPotassium: 282mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1967IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

If you enjoyed this recipe check these others out!

Light salads are the way of summer, and you can’t go wrong with Chopped Thai Salad with Spicy Thai Dressing or a Creamy Tropical Fruit Cocktail Salad Recipe. Italian Tomato Mozzarella Salad is another great option.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it for later and follow me on Pinterest for more delicious recipes like this one!

Top down view of three bowls filled with a mixture of tri-color quinoa and chopped fresh veggies including cucumber, carrots, corn, and red peppers, garnished with lemon and parsley.
Recipe Rating

Michaela Kenkel

Friday 19th of July 2024

My husband went crazy over this one! He is a black bean lover - and this salad was the perfect new way to enjoy them! Thanks, Julie!

Julie Menghini

Friday 19th of July 2024

I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! Thank you.

Laura Ashley Johnson

Monday 15th of July 2024

Wow!! The flavors of this were incredible! It was easy to make and the perfect pairing with our steaks tonight! Thank you!

Julie Menghini

Monday 15th of July 2024

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Laura!


Sunday 14th of July 2024

You are so right, so addicting! Love that lemon dressing! Thank you for a great recipe!

Julie Menghini

Monday 15th of July 2024

Thank you Kathleen! It's light and delicious.

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