Gluten Free | Salad | Vegetarian and Vegan

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

A super-tasty and nutrition-packed quinoa salad with black beans, sweet potato and a smoky lime and chipotle chili dressing. This is a perfect recipe for healthy meal planning.

Say hello to one of our favorite healthy recipes – a quinoa salad with black beans that’s perfect to make ahead for a busy week.

The tender grains are tossed with black beans, cooked sweet potato chunks and a tangy-smoky dressing blended with spicy chipotle, lime juice and garlic.

This is a vegan quinoa salad that holds up well in the refrigerator, which is always a plus when jam-packed schedules are on your plate.

In my book, black beans and sweet potatoes go together beautifully.

I often pair them up in salads and side dishes like my Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with a creamy avocado dressing.

Quinoa Salad Recipe with Black Beans

What does quinoa taste like?

Quinoa has a neutral taste, which is why it makes a great base for so many different global flavors in recipes.

For that reason, I really love spicing up my black bean quinoa bowl with earthy, smoky spices and bold seasoning.

Cooked tender quinoa has an appealing texture that I find pleasantly crunchy with a mild, nutty flavor.

Healthy Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Sweet Potato

Is quinoa healthy

You might already know that quinoa is a superfood, known as The Mother Grain, basically regarded as a miracle among grains.

Quinoa is actually a “pseudo-cereal” grain, harvested from a grassy plant that is not classified as a grain.

The little seeds are a complete protein, loaded with calcium, vitamins and minerals as well as all nine essential amino acids.

So yes, by all accounts quinoa is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat!

In fact, some have gone so far as to say that quinoa can supply “all the life-sustaining nutrients” compared to all other foods in the plant and animal kingdom.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Sweet Potato (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

How to cook quinoa

Quinoa cooks up quickly, in less than 20 minutes.

Basic recipes for cooking quinoa often call for rinsing the grains in a mesh strainer, because the grains are coated with saponin, a naturally occurring chemical that can have a bitter taste.

Since I’ve learned that most of the quinoa we buy is pre-rinsed to remove the saponins, I skip the rinsing step most of the time.

I’ve never noticed any off flavor or weird texture, but if you prefer to give your quinoa a quick rinse please do!

To cook quinoa, just combine 1 cup in a saucepan with 2 cups water.

Simmer until the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. When it’s ready, the grains will have a small translucent ring, showing that the seed has “popped” open.

Healthy Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Sweet Potato

How long does quinoa salad last in the fridge?

I’ve snacked on this salad for days after making it.

Quinoa salad holds up well in the fridge up to 5 days without getting soggy or losing it’s tastiness.

I recommend eating it at room temperature or slightly warmed for the best flavor – cold salads can taste kind of dull.

More fresh and healthy make-ahead salads:

[mv_create key=”281″ type=”recipe” title=”Quinoa Salad with Black Beans (Vegan + Gluten-Free)” thumbnail=””]
Healthy Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, a super-tasty vegan salad with cilantro, lime and chipotle.

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food!


  1. Made this with tempeh instead of beans. Came out great. I marinated it for an hour or so in the dressing. Also, added another chipotle for a bit more kick.

  2. Our coworker brought this to a potluck, and it was amazing! Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe… can’t wait to make it myself. Yum

  3. This is a new favorite in our house. I added orange bell pepper and avocado for some more color. It is great with or without the additions.

  4. Perfect timing. This dish looks simple and delicious AND I just happen to have the red quinoa from Local Harvest waiting in my pantry for a recipe. I made quinoa and veggie soup last night. Seems like I’m starting to see quinoa everywhere!

  5. I’ve been reticent to jump on the quinoa bandwagon. I’ve seen so many good recipes but… this is the first with black beans. You may have tipped the scales for me. 😉

  6. Hi Karen,
    My first visit to your blog today and I made & ate my version of this fab recipe within 2 hours of finding you -is that a record?! I used some chopped red onion, as I had no green, butter beans and parsley(all I had) and reduced the sugar by half. It was delicious!

  7. I am a recent convert to quinoa, and we are using it at our house instead of rice since it has a stabilizing influence on my husband’s blood sugar (he is pre-diabetic). Your salad sounds like a delicious use of quinoa that would be great with grilled food. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find red quinoa anywhere near me!

  8. Well, I have never thought of making smokey quinoa. That sounds great and interesting. And I never knew there was a magazine called SAUCE. I need that!

  9. Ohh, how I wish I could have tasted this! And I’ve never tried quinoa… It sure looks fabulous!

  10. Karen, I have never tried quinoa (don’t ask my why, because frankly I don’t know!), but you had at lime dressing. 🙂

  11. i’ll come organize your spice cabinet! i love crap like that. i’m am the spice cabinet master!

    and that quinoa looks really good, too.

  12. Karen,
    Nice! I’m thinking that Smoky Lime Dressing will be lovely on some leftover chicken in the fridge that I’ve been pondering for a day or so now. Don’t have any quinoa in the house right now, but I do love to cook with it.
    Ok, shredded chicken tacos…cilantro, cabbage, Karen’s Smoky Lime Dressing. Yes, that will do nicely.

  13. I think S will really like this, especially with the beans.

    Hi Lori – quinoa, squash, tomatoes and black beans sounds like a perfect combo of New World ingredients.

    Emiline – seriously? I’m popping a box in the mail to you ASAP!

  14. I love quinoa. I have it a lot with black beans and squash and tomatoes. Yummy.

    You recipe here sounds delicious and I think I will try it before the week is up. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.