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Healthy Quinoa Salad with black beans, jalapenos, bell peppers with a touch of spice, and a ton of flavor. Make ahead for a great lunch or dinner!
This is a great make-ahead lunch or dinner and is perfect for right now. I love this salad, it is an excellent recipe to to keep in the fridge for dinner when you get home after work!
This is a recipe to make your own. You can use this as a side dish, or make it a main. We add chicken to ours but you totally don’t have to.
It has a bit of a kick to it, thanks to the fresh jalapenos. If you can’t handle that, just leave it out, or reduce the amount. I personally like a little heat, but like to still have feeling in my taste buds. I do go easy on the jalapeno. If you can handle it, add more!
This quinoa salad is SUPER filling. I make a batch of this on the weekend, and eat it over the next few days. The flavors improve in the days after it was made, making this a winner for me!
I add a container of this to my bag for when I’m out of the house. It means I’ve got a healthy and yummy lunch that keeps me full and satisfied much longer than a burger and fries!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Healthy. Quinoa is a super food, and add black beans and veggies? It’s a total winner!
- Make Ahead. Make this on the weekend and eat it all week long!
- Easy. You really do not need a culinary degree to make this recipe (or any recipe on this site).
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Quinoa and black beans are AWESOME super foods. We then add bell peppers, arugula, onion etc. Add some cherry tomatoes and green onions if you really want to round it out!
I keep this quinoa salad recipe in the refrigerator, in a well covered dish for up to 5 days.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Quinoa. I use a rainbow quinoa in this recipe, but plain will do just fine. Check out more info on how to cook quinoa. It will take about 15 minutes to cook.
- Black Beans. I use canned beans. Drain them and rinse well before using.
- Vegetable Stock. You can use chicken stock or vegetable stock, depending on your dietary needs!
- Bell Peppers. we use both yellow and red peppers. because they’re so pretty! Red peppers are sweeter and balance the flavor of the spicy jalapeno.
- Arugula, Cilantro, Red Onion, Jalapeno, Garlic
- Olive Oil. I use extra virgin olive oil. You can use a light olive oil if you prefer the flavor.
- Lime Juice. I use lime juice as the acid in the dressing, but lemon juice, red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar are great substitutes.
- Salt And Pepper, Cumin, Ground Coriander
How to make this recipe
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Make the dressing
Whisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.
Cook the quinoa
Heat the broth into a small saucepan until boiling, add rinsed quinoa and simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the salad
In a large bowl, add the cooled quinoa, beans, arugula, bell peppers, cilantro, onion and jalapeno (if using).
Pour the dressing over the top of the salad ingredients, and mix well until fully combined.
Set aside in the refrigerator until serving time.
Mince the garlic and the jalapeno very small. Dice the onion, and bell peppers in similar sizes, about the size of a pea.
Any color quinoa can be used. I think the rainbow one is pretty, but the plain white quinoa is fine too.
Black beans are great in this, but white beans will do just as well if that is what you have.
Check out more info on how to cook quinoa.
What to do with leftovers
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Don’t use the dressing until ready to eat.
Some of our favorite salad recipes:
- Summery White Bean Salad. Served chilled or at room temperature, this Summery White Bean Salad is great to make ahead, or to grab and go! A short prep time means you can have it on the table fast!
- Easy Southwest Pasta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette Dressing. Black beans, corn, red peppers, jalapenos, cilantro and red onions feature in this easy to make pasta salad. With the addition of the lime vinaigrette… oh, myyyyyyy.
- Grilled Vegetable Salad with Tarragon Dressing. A spectacular, smoky charcoal-grilled vegetable salad, bursting with flavor, this is an easy side that you can make ahead or make with the family!
- Southwest Chicken Salad (with Chipotle Ranch Dressing). Classic flavors made fabulous in this hearty Southwest Chicken Salad. With enough protein to make this a wonderful main dish vs a side, this is a salad you’ll make over and over!
- Arugula Salad (with Lemon Vinaigrette). This is the one you’ve been looking for! Peppery arugula mixed with bright tomatoes, parmesan, and dressed with fresh lemon vinaigrette. Perfection!
- Kale Salad (with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette). Simple ingredients and simple instructions (including how to massage kale) make this Kale Salad Recipe an absolute keeper!
- Easy Italian Salad (from Spend with Pennies)
- Chopped Asparagus Salad (from View from the Great Island)
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Update: This recipe was originally published in June of 2017. It was republished with updated photos in January of 2022.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
- 1/2 cup rainbow quinoa (rinsed)
- 1 cup vegetable stock (can sub chicken stock )
- 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1/2 red bell peppers (diced)
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper (diced)
- 1 cup cilantro (washed and roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup red onion (diced )
- 2 tsp jalapeno (diced )
- 1 avocado (diced or sliced)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoons lime zest
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons cracked pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoons ground coriander
Cook the quinoa
- Heat the broth into a small saucepan until boiling, add quinoa and simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
Make the dressing
- Whisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.
Assemble the salad
- Add cooled quinoa, beans, arugula, bell peppers, cilantro, onion and jalapeno.
- Pour the dressing over the top, and mix well until fully combined.
- Set aside in the refrigerator until serving time.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
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