Chili Lime Quinoa Black Bean Salad (Vegan and Gluten Free)

chili-lime-quinoa-black-bean-salad-(vegan-and-gluten-free)

A salad that will spruce up your summer menu! This colorful Quinoa Black Bean Salad is tossed in a simple chili-lime vinaigrette and will make the perfect addition to your summer potlucks, picnics, and backyard barbecues. You’ll love the combination of bell peppers, avocado, grape tomatoes, corn, red onion, fresh cilantro plus the quinoa and black beans. This recipe is also great for weekend meal preps and is vegan- and vegetarian-friendly as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free.

Close up view Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad in white bowl with spoon in salad.

Yes, We Have a Cookbook!

The Real Food Table includes more than 100 easy and delicious mostly gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free recipes for every day.

Buy Now

Salad season is here! Make this quinoa Black Bean Salad

This is a salad that everyone will love. It’s hearty, it’s flavorful, it’s nourishing, and can either be served as a side-dish or as the main-entree for a light and tasty plant-based meal. You’ll find this salad to be satisfying thanks to the healthy fats from the avocado, the fiber from the variety of vegetables, quinoa, and black beans, and a good dose of plant-based protein and complex carbohydrates from again, the quinoa and black beans. 

Overhead view Tex-Mex Quinoa salad with black beans and corn in a large white serving bowl with metal serving spoon.

Ingredients for Quinoa Salad Recipe

  • Quinoa – A naturally gluten-free grain that’s a good source of complete protein and complex carbohydrates
  • Sweet bell pepper any color will work
  • Red onion – may substitute yellow onion
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes – may substitute diced tomato of any variety 
  • Black beans
  • Cilantro – In addition to cilantro, we like to add a little fresh basil if we have it on hand
  • Corn – fresh (cooked), canned, or frozen
  • Avocado – diced
  • Feta Cheese or cojita cheese – optional, omit for dairy-free and vegan 

For the Chili-Lime Vinaigrette:

This vinaigrette also makes for a tasty marinade for chicken or fish.

  • Avocado oil or olive oil – we like Primal Kitchen Foods oils
  • Lime juice – you’ll need about two small to medium limes for this recipe
  • Ground cumin
  • Garlic powder – may substitute one clove garlic, minced
  • Chili powder – add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little heat if you please 
  • Fine salt 

Tip!

Save Big On Quality Ingredients

Shop Thrive Market to get the best prices on natural, organic, and specialty foods, including your everyday pantry, spices, and baking ingredients. Our team at The Real Food Dietitians loves to restock our pantries each quarter with baking and cooking essentials from Thrive Market. PLUS, you’ll get 30% off of your first order and free gift up to a $38 value when you create a new membership today

All ingredients for Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad arranged together in small bowls.

How Do You Make Quinoa Black Bean Salad

  1. Make the quinoa: first rinse 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa in fine mesh strainer under cold water. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 cups water and the quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover with a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, let it sit for 5 minutes covered, then fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool. This step can be done a day or two in advance. 
  2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl or mason jar with cover, combine the lime juice, oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt. Whisk or shake to combine well. Set aside. 
  3. Make the salad: Once quinoa is cooled, in a large bowl combine the quinoa, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, corn, and avocado. Add the vinaigrette to the bowl and toss to coat. Add additional salt to taste. 
  4. Garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days
Homemade vinaigrette for Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad in small glass jar with spoon hovering over jar
Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad with black beans and corn in clear glass mixing bowl with vinaigrette being poured over top.

Colorful, nutrient-rich, and full of flavor

With all of the colorful vegetables as well as the quinoa and black beans, Quinoa Black Bean Salad with corn is rich in fiber, vitamins (like vitamin a and c), and antioxidants. A depth of flavor is added with fresh cilantro and a simple chili-lime vinaigrette that’s made with oil, fresh lime juice and a mix of spices (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder).

How to serve Quinoa Black Bean Salad

In addition to bringing this Quinoa Salad with Black Beans to a summer potluck, picnic, or barbecue for everyone to rave about, it’s also great when served alongside of grilled chicken, fish, or steak for an easy weeknight and perfect-for-summer meal. Best of all, leftovers make for a delicious lunch the next day.

Close up side view of Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad with black beans and corn in white serving bowl with metal serving spoon in salad.

How to Meal Prep This Quinoa Salad Recipe

This recipe is great for meal prep because it holds up well even after a few days. In fact, this is one of those salads that tastes even better the next day after all of the flavors have time infuse together. To make Quinoa Black Bean Salad ahead, simply follow the recipe as written and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Make our Instant Pot Shredded Chicken and add that to the salad for a boost of protein.

If you’re making this recipe to bring to a gathering and just want to partially prep the salad you can do any of the following a day or two in advance: cook the quinoa, make the dressing, and chop the vegetables (except for the avocado).

More quinoa recipes to try

9 Quinoa Recipes

Overhead view Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad in white serving bowl with metal spoon

Recipe

Chili-Lime Quinoa Black Bean Salad with Corn

Tossed in a simple chili-lime vinaigrette this quinoa black bean salad is full of flavor and fresh vegetables. It’s the perfect summertime salad whether your serve it up at a backyard barbecue or as a weeknight dinner with your favorite grilled protein.

Prep: 30 minTotal: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups uncooked quinoa 
  • 1 1/2 cup water 
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • ½ medium red or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced or halved
  • 1(15-ounce) canned black beans, drain and rinsed
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed (may substitute canned corn or grilled corn off the cob)
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or Cojita cheese, optional (omit for dairy-free and vegan)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 limes, juiced (about ¼ cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional – add for more heat)

Instructions

  1. Make the quinoa: first rinse 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa in fine mesh strainer under cold water. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 cups water and the quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover with a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, let it sit for 5 minutes covered, then fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool. This step can be done a day or two in advance. 
  2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl or mason jar with cover, combine the lime juice, oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt. Whisk or shake to combine well. Set aside. 
  3. Make the salad: Once quinoa is cooled, in a large bowl combine the quinoa, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, corn, and avocado. Add the vinaigrette to the bowl and toss to coat. Add additional salt to taste. 
  4. Garnish with additional cilantro and with lime wedges if desired.
  5. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days

Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive so we can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup (1/10 of recipe)
  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 11 g
  • (Sat Fat: 1 g)
  • Sodium: 250 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 21 g
  • (Fiber: 6 g
  • Sugar: 2 g)
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians


Pin Now to Make Later!

Chili lime quinoa black bean salad in white serving bowl.

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

Stacie Hassing

Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.

Read more…

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

woman with low back pain

Managing Lower Back Pain at Home: 4 Best Practices

laser tattoo removal

Laser Tattoo Removal: Here’s What You Need to Know