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Mexican Quinoa Black Bean Salad Recipe

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My Mexican quinoa black bean quinoa salad recipe should be on the top of your recipes-to-make list! This quinoa salad with black beans makes a light and healthy meal, and it’s full of plant-based protein and flavor. Be sure to try my black bean, corn, and avocado salad for a similar salad that would also be delicious served over quinoa.

I originally made (and shared) this salad years ago, but it was time to revisit, retest, and take some new photos. I’m not mad about it, because cold quinoa salads like this one are just so perfect this time of year. Not only are they great for summer parties, or dinners out on the patio, but they are also fantastic for meal prep lunches.

Be sure to leave a comment or a rating below, I can’t wait to hear what you think of this quinoa salad with black beans and if you love quinoa salads, be sure to try my quinoa arugula salad next time.

black bean quinoa salad in a bowl

How to Make Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe:

This easy quinoa salad takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish!

First we cook up our quinoa.

Pro Tip: Cook quinoa in broth (vegetable or chicken) for extra-flavor.

Then we’ll mix up our dressing. I like to put all of the ingredients in a jar and shake until it’s emulsified, but you can also whisk them all together in a bowl.

dressing for quinoa salad

When the quinoa is done cooking, we’ll let it cool for 5-10 minutes and toss with the dressing. The dressing soaks into the quinoa, infusing it with tons of flavor.

Next, we mix everything else together! I recommend gently tossing the beans, green onions, and cilantro in with the quinoa and THEN adding the cheese last.

ingredients for mexican quinoa salad in a bowl

Is Quinoa Salad Healthy?

Yes! Quinoa salad is healthy. This cold quinoa black bean salad is loaded with plant-based protein and plenty of fiber, all while being light and full of flavor.

Serve this quinoa and black bean salad over salad greens for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Quinoa Nutrition: Quinoa is a nutritious little seed that boasts 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per cup (cooked).

Mexican Quinoa Salad Calories:

Mexican quinoa salad has 406 calories. The full nutrition panel can be found below, but here are some of the highlights. Per 1 1/4 cup serving:

  • 406 calories
  • 12 grams fiber
  • 17 grams protein

How long can quinoa salad last in the fridge?

Quinoa salad can last about 5-6 days in the fridge. It will, of course, vary depending on what other ingredients you have in your cold quinoa salad but because this one doesn’t contain any soft vegetables, it will last a little bit longer. (If your quinoa salad recipes have vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers, the salad would last 2-3 days.)

black bean quinoa salad on a plate with fork

How to Meal Prep Quinoa Salad Recipes:

To meal prep this mexican quinoa salad, simply divide the quinoa salad into glass or plastic containers and store in the fridge. You could divide the salad into anywhere from 4-6 servings, depending on appetites/nutritional needs.

The day you are going to eat it, top the quinoa with a few handfuls of fresh salad greens and a small drizzle of dressing, olive oil, or lime juice. Toss together and dig in!

Here are my two favorite meal prep containers. One glass option and one plastic. I have and use both, and the lids fit both sets too, which is nice!

What to Serve with Quinoa Salad with Black Beans:

This quinoa salad with feta doesn’t need much. Serve it alongside grilled chicken or shrimp for a light dinner, or over greens for an easy meal prep lunch. Here are some other easy recipes that would pair great with this cold quinoa black bean salad:

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quinoa salad on plate

Mexican Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe

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Learn how to make the BEST mexican black bean quinoa salad recipe. Quinoa salad with black beans is HEALTHY, 17g plant-based protein, great for meal prep. 


Units Scale
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • vegetable broth (optional)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 Tbsp.
  • 1 shallot (about 3 Tbsp. minced)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 15oz. cans black beans
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese


  1. Prepare quinoa: Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer if necessary.
  2. Add quinoa and 2 cups broth or water to small pan. (I’ve started adding broth to the cooking liquid to add more flavor, you’ll need two cups total liquid.)
  3. Stir, season with salt and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
  5. Prepare vinaigrette: while quinoa is cooking, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey, shallot, salt and pepper.
  6. Remove quinoa from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Fluff with a fork and toss with vinaigrette.
  8. Meanwhile, drain and rinse black beans. Chop cilantro and crumble cheese. 
  9. When quinoa is cool, toss with remaining ingredients. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.


  • Serving size: 1 1/4 cup. Makes about 8 cups. 
  • You can easily swap feta for the cotijia cheese if that’s what you have or if it’s easier to find. 
  • SHORTCUT: Use microwavable quinoa (in the freezer section) to cut off 15 minutes of cooking time. 


  • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup

Keywords: black bean quinoa salad, quinoa salad recipes, mexican quinoa salad, quinoa salad with black beans

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  1. Mercedes

    Alright I clearly need to pick up some cojita cheese! This looks like the perfect side dish to any dinner and I love that quinoa feels like eating a carb, but it has all of that protein!

    • Emily

      Can you believe that I’ve never been to True Food?! I think I’ve had take out/catering but I need to get there ASAP.

  2. Maris (In Good Taste)

    I agree with you on behind behind on the quinoa salad trend. I’ve been eating and enjoying them for plenty of time but only recently started making it and thinking: “what can I actually do what this?”

  3. Elizabeth

    Thank you for posting this! I made a huge batch of it for lunches for me and my husband, and also to send along as a meal for a vegetarian coworker who is going through a rough time right now. It has been a hit all around!

    One quick edit, though: It’s cotija cheese, not cojita. That threw me for a loop at the grocery store. 🙂

  4. Evelyn

    I have made this twice now and love it! The first time, I followed the recipe’s ingredients list and the second time, I had to improvise with what I had available. I didn’t have a shallot and cilantro, but I did add well-shredded kale and used 1 can of black beans and 1 can of garbanzo beans along with some diced grape tomatoes. Both versions are great! Thanks so much for this recipe!