This Quinoa Black Bean Salad works an easy side dish or light main course. Super easy to make and delicious! Make it ahead for a healthy work lunch.
You see that salad in the picture above? Not going to lie, my husband and I ate the whole bowl in one sitting. The whole bowl. We both had seconds, then we (by we, I mean me) were like, well there’s only a drop left, so we may as well finish it. No point putting a drop back in the fridge, am I right? 🙂
This Quinoa and Black Bean Salad makes a great side dish for four to five people or could be a light main course for about three.
There is minimal cooking time, so you aren’t heating up the whole house to make it. It transports well and can be eaten cold, so it really would make a great lunch for those of you that are looking for some portable lunch ideas. It’s also vegetarian, so it’s an option for you plant-based eaters.
I included the seeds and ribs of the jalapeño because I like the bit of heat that it adds to the salad, but you can leave those out if you prefer. I’ve talked about how much I like white balsamic vinegar before, and it really is a great addition to this quinoa salad. It’s just so crisp and light with a hint of sweetness.
If you want a little bit more vinegar flavor than the recipe calls for, you can add a splash more at the end. I was kind of torn on whether it actually needed more myself.
Quinoa Black Bean Salad
- 1/2 cup quinoa , rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small red bell pepper , diced
- 1 large jalapeno (2 if small), with ribs and seeds removed, if desired, minced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- Cook quinoa according to package directions, then remove from heat and let sit, with the lid on, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then spread out onto baking sheet (or large plate) to let cool.
- Place the beans, onion, bell pepper, and jalapenos into a large bowl. When the quinoa has cooled, add it to the bowl.
- In a small bowl or jar, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and cumin. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Place into the fridge and let chill for one hour, then serve.
*Top picture updated on 5-19-2017
Could I sub regular balsamic for white?
Regular balsamic has a much stronger flavor than white, so I wouldn’t use it as a substitute. If you want, you could try some fresh lime juice instead. The amount of lime juice used may be different than vinegar, however. It would be different in flavor, but tastier than the regular balsamic. Hope that helps!