Southwest Quinoa Black Bean Salad - Chef Abbie Gellman MS, RD, CDN

Southwest Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Chef Abbie Gellman RD

When it comes to meals, we often only think about the main component, but let’s not forget about the side dishes! My quinoa bean salad is a hearty side dish that is sure to please everyone. Its southwest flare adds a nice smoky kick to any meal. This salad pairs well with sandwiches, my instant pot shredded chicken, or inside a breakfast burrito (you can sub the black beans for this quinoa bean salad in my egg bean burrito). The best part about this salad is that it’s packed with nutrition.

How to Prepare the Quinoa Bean Salad

To prepare this delicious salad, first cook the quinoa according to the box instructions (or purchase frozen, prepared quinoa – no shame in the frozen game!). While the quinoa is cooking, prepare your mise en place – drain and rinse the beans, chop the tomato, peppers and cilantro, and slice the scallions.

In a large bowl, add the quinoa, beans, tomato and pepper. In a small bowl, make the dressing by combining the vinegar, oil and spices. Allow the dressing to sit for 15 minutes so the flavors meld (you can also do this while the quinoa is cooking if there’s time). 

Once flavors in the dressing have sat for a bit, pour half of the dressing over the salad in the large bowl. Feel free to use the other half for other salads or dishes! Garnish the quinoa bean salad with the scallions and cilantro. Enjoy!

Pro tip: This salad is even better on day two! However, it’s best when consumed within 5 days of preparation.

Health Benefits of the Quinoa Bean Salad

This quinoa bean salad is loaded with nutrients. The two main ingredients, quinoa and black beans, being the most nutrient dense. 

Quinoa is a delicious grain with an earthy flavor. For one cup, it has 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and as well as vitamins like folate, manganese, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc and potassium (just to name a few). Quinoa is one grain that is actually a complete protein. The protein content, along with the other nutrients, have health benefits such as keeping our cells, muscles, bones, and blood healthy, aiding in heart health via regulating blood pressure and cholesterol, and aiding in metabolic processes.

Black beans, like quinoa, are also high in protein and fiber, and contain many vitamins. Vitamins found in black beans include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, folate, vitamin B6 and selenium. Together, these nutrients work to aid in digestion and heart health, regulate blood pressure, as well as function in various metabolic processes.

Knowing you’re nourishing your body is even more of a reason to have this quinoa bean salad.

Similar Pages

If you enjoyed this quinoa bean salad, check out my Superfood Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate Citrus Dressing, my Vegetarian Pasta Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette, and my Easy Baked Beans!


Gunnars, K. (2018, June 28). Everything you need to know about black beans. Retrieved February 29, 2020, from

Ware, M. (2018, January 10). Black beans: Health benefits, facts, and research. Retrieved February 29, 2020, from


southwest black bean quinoa salad

Southwest Black Bean Quinoa Salad

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword: grain bowl, grain salad, quinoa
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Abbie Gellman RD


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 can 15 ounces black beans, low or no sodium, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • ¼ cup scallions sliced

Smoky Cumin Lime Vinaigrette

  • Makes ~1 1/4 cups
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • In a large bowl, combine the rice, beans, tomatoes, and pepper.
  • In a small bowl or jam jar, mix together the vinegar, oil, lime juice, cumin, maple sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Allow to sit for 15 minutes so flavors can meld.
  • Pour half the vinaigrette (~8-9 tablespoons) over the beans. Toss well. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.



To roast cumin seeds: Add cumin seeds to a small skillet over medium heat. Cumin seeds should start to smoke and become fragrant after 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat as soon as this happens.

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