A fresh and healthy Mexican-style Quinoa Salad recipe with black beans and cumin lime dressing! So nourishing and great for meal prep, picnics, and take-along lunches. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This Mexican-inspired quinoa salad is so fresh and easy to prepare!
Plus it's a good source of plant-based protein and fiber.
It's light and healthy yet satisfying and nourishing. The cumin-lime dressing adds such tasty flavor.
Plus you can make it ahead of time. So it's a great main dish or side dish for meal prep, potlucks, BBQs, and summer get-togethers.
Ingredients for Mexican Quinoa Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a large bowl:
- White quinoa: You will cook quinoa on the stovetop, but feel free to do this ahead of time for faster prep.
- Black beans: I like black beans best in this salad, but you can substitute pinto beans or red kidney beans if desired.
- Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes: I use these because they are so flavorful and sweet. Feel free to substitute roma tomatoes or other garden tomato however.
- Orange bell pepper: Or you can use red bell pepper or yellow instead.
- Sweet corn: Either cooked fresh corn, canned corn, fire-roasted, or you can thaw frozen corn kernels.
- Green onion: Or substitute finely diced red onion for a stronger flavor.
- Fresh cilantro
- Ground cumin + garlic clove + lime juice: These are for the simple oil-free dressing. (But you can include a teaspoon or tablespoon of good quality extra-virgin olive oil if you wish.)
Personalize this salad based on your own favorite flavors. A few ideas include:
Avocado: Top your bowl with creamy avocado right before serving if desired.
Make it spicy: Add jalapeno, chili powder, or cayenne pepper to taste.
Sweetness: Add a teaspoon of maple syrup, agave nectar, or your own favorite sweetener to the dressing if desired.
Either serve this dish immediately, or let it chill in the refrigerator first to let flavors further combine.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. We find they keep for about 4-5 days.
Make it ahead! This is a great dish to prepare in advance because the flavors intensify and blend together by the next day.
Mexican Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing
- 1 cup white quinoa (uncooked)
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 8 oz. grape/cherry tomatoes
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 1/2 cups cooked sweet corn (canned, cooked fresh, frozen, or fire-roasted)
- 4 green onions
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- Optional: avocado for serving
For the cumin-lime dressing:
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice (about 1 lime, or more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Optional: lime zest
- Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions.*
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a small bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Rinse and drain beans. Dice the tomatoes and bell pepper. Slice the green onions and chop cilantro. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the cooked quinoa. Then pour dressing on top and toss well to combine. Salt to taste if needed.
- Can serve immediately or chill in the fridge first to let flavors blend.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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