Southwest Quinoa Black Bean Salad

I have talked about this salad MANY times on this blog and am approached about the recipe a lot.  My family loves it because it is a tasty, economical, meatless full meal.  The grain + legume combo make a complete protein with the necessary 14 amino acids present.  There is fiber.  There are veggies.  You need to know something about me though, I cook a lot from scratch and I rarely use or stick to recipes.  As my husband puts it… I cook like jazz (freeform).  However in making our Southwest Quinoa and Black Bean Salad this week I took note of quantities and order.  The pictures are from my husband making a batch in August 2009.


4 finely chopped cloves garlic

2 limes, juiced

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 seeded and finely chopped jalapeno pepper

1 seeded and chopped red bell pepper

1 whole ear of corn, cut kernels away from (or 1/2 cup frozen)

2 cups black beans rinsed and drained (or a 15 oz. can)

2-3 cups cooked quinoa

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

salt and pepper

**note: if using canned black beans use Eden Foods Organic since their cans are not lined with BPA

Combine garlic, lime juice, olive oil, and jalapeno.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Add red bell pepper, corn and black beans.  Mix and let sit another few minutes.  Add mixture to  2-3 cups of quinoa depending on your ratio preference.  Fold in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

See it is an EASY recipe that in my opinion taste better after you cover and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.  My husband learned to master this go-to dish during my pregnancy.  It can be as pretty as you want with red quinoa or regular quinoa and the color intensity of veggies.

**As a note grain and legume combo dishes are pretty easy to play with.   Play with ratios.  Basically add 2-3 cups of cooked grain to 1 cup of a legume.  Capture flavors in 1/2 cup of olive oil with a tablespoon or two of an acid (I use limes here but white balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar work too) with spices.  Add in a cup of veggies or more.  Let them all hang out together to maximize flavor and enjoy.

8 Comment

  1. This sounds delicious. Especially since the last time I tried quinoa I wasn’t completely thrilled with it.

  2. Thanks — trying to eat more meals without meat and include whole grains that I have not been accustomed to making. Quinoa is packed with so many plusses that it’s one of the first on my list to add. I cook like “jazz” too. 😀

  3. this looks great! i have been loving quinoa pasta lately. i will be trying this recipe for sure. thanks for sharing it!

  4. Ohhh, quinoa! Why can I never-not cook you properly? guh

  5. Thank you so much for pointing me to this recipe!

    It’s perfect!

  6. I make a black bean quinoa salad VERY similar to this and it’s very yummy! I love your idea of adding red & green peppers to it. Nom nom! I can’t wait to get home and make up a batch your way – thanks for sharing Kia!

  7. I’ve been eating quinoa salad like crazy lately. I make a lime cumin vinaigrette though: 1 T balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup oil, l lime, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, and 1 T sugar. Then I pour it over the quinoa with similar toppings as you. Delicious! Really, I can’t get enough of it. 😉

    Your blog is looking great these days! Keep up the awesome work!

  8. […] Sunday: Southwest Quinoa Black Bean Salad […]

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