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Wholesome and Flavorful: Quinoa and Black Bean Side Salad Recipe

by Victoria Scholl on

We know you're hungry, so we'll save you the long "why we made it" story and get straight to the recipe!

(If you're interested in how this recipe came to be, click below to jump to our story behind the Quinoa and Black Bean Side Salad Recipe!)

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  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: diced jalapeño for added spice


  1. Cook Quinoa: Start by cooking the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rinsed quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed. Once cooked, remove from heat and let it cool.

  2. Prepare Dressing: While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, ground cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

  3. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, diced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Gently toss to combine.

  4. Add Avocado: Next, add the diced avocado to the salad mixture. Gently toss again, being careful not to mash the avocado.

  5. Add Dressing: Pour the prepared dressing over the salad and toss until everything is evenly coated.

  6. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the salad and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Feel free to add more salt, pepper, or lime juice according to your preference.

  7. Serve: Transfer the salad to a serving dish or individual plates. If desired, garnish with additional cilantro leaves or sliced avocado. This salad pairs perfectly with an additional source of protein, such as grilled chicken or tofu, for a complete and balanced meal.


To enjoy this salad throughout the week, place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. This makes it the perfect meal prep option or a quick, easy grab-and-go option for busy days.

Our Story

Black beans have always been a staple in my family's pantry. They're versatile, finding their way into everything from tacos to brownies. But as much as I loved experimenting with them, I realized I needed more than just beans in my diet – I needed nutrients.

Thus began my quest to create a dish combining my love for black beans and nourishment. After some trial and error, I found the perfect solution: the Black Bean and Quinoa Side Salad.

With every bite of this salad, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Not only was it delicious, but it also packed a punch of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. No more bean overload for me—I had discovered a recipe that flawlessly balanced flavor and nutrition.

So here's to black beans, my trusted culinary companion, and to the salad that revolutionized my approach to cooking. May it inspire others to seek balance and nourishment in their culinary adventures!

-Victoria Scholl, Loop Nutrition RD Director