quinoa black bean salad on white plate next to a lime
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Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

This easy quinoa black bean salad is a hearty and refreshing salad that comes together in just 30 minutes! Quinoa and black beans are tossed with fresh vegetables like cucumber, bell pepper and carrot and topped with a zesty chili lime dressing. Perfect for meal prep, potlucks and as a side at your next BBQ!
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili lime dressing, quinoa black bean salad
Servings: 6
Calories: 262kcal
Author: Laura Lawless


For the salad

  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cucumber, small dice
  • 1 bell pepper, small dice red, yellow or orange
  • 1 cup carrot, small dice about 2 medium
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped white and light green part only
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley optional

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice about 2 lime
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper or to taste
  • black pepper to taste


  • In a medium sauce pan, cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, drain and rinse the black beans, then prepare the cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, green onion, and parsley (if using). Place in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or mason jar.
  • Add the cooked quinoa to the vegetables and black beans in the large bowl, pour the dressing on top and stir until well combined. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


  1. Be sure to rinse the quinoa if it doesn’t come pre-washed to avoid undesirable flavour and texture. I like to buy a pre-washed variety to save time.
  2. I love black beans in this salad, but navy beans and pinto beans are also great options. If you don't have any beans on hand you can leave them out altogether, but I prefer to include them for the extra protein and fibre. 
  3. I always buy an extra lime in case two limes are not enough to yield a quarter cup. It's so disappointing when limes aren't as juicy as expected, and you don't want to skimp on the lime flavour in this recipe! If you want a stronger lime flavour, increase the amount of freshly squeezed lime juice to 1/3 cup.
  4. You can use more cayenne pepper in the dressing, depending on how spicy you like it. I find 1/8 teaspoon gives a hint of spice and tends to be a more kid-friendly flavour profile. 
  5. I find this salad tastes even better when made ahead of time, so it’s perfect for meal prep. I like to make this salad a few hours before serving, to allow the flavours to blend together. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to eat.


Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 475mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4475IU | Vitamin C: 34.8mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 3mg