Quinoa Black Bean Salad

This vegetarian dish of quinoa, black beans, corn, and zucchini is perfect for a dinner side dish or a nutritious lunch on the go!

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Served warm or chilled, this recipe for Quinoa Black Bean Salad is full of yummy nutrition. It combines the superpower of quinoa, protein from black beans, and vitamin-packed veggies… paired with the delicious tang of a homemade dressing. Top it off with crumbled goat cheese if you’re feeling extra decadent!

A blue bowl of quinoa black bean salad lies on a table. A fork is on the plate, and a cup of water and an orange bowl is in the background.

Come, let’s start eating lunch so we can go to the Apple Store, I urged my son. Is that were you can buy all kinds of apples? Despite his naiveté, I burst out laughing. Seriously, mom, is it? he persisted innocently. As soon as I had a chance to regroup and look at his innocent eyes, I had to give him a hug and explained that no, we needed to go to the Apple computer store, to see if they could fix my laptop.

I just love moments like these.

An orange bowl filled with quinoa salad sits on the edge of a table. Goat cheese is crumbled on top.

Our day was a busy one – we were running a day behind on errands and playing catch up. I have been battling a summer cold and have been wavering between craving wholesome foods and bars of chocolate. For lunch yesterday, I wanted something quick and light but packed with nutrients. This big bowl of Quinoa Black Bean & Corn Salad was just what I was looking for.

A plate of quinoa black bean salad sits on a yellow cloth. A fork lies on the plate, and corn, shallots, and arugala are mixed into the salad.

Quinoa as a superfood is old news by now, but one that bears repeating, at least for myself. I have been trying to incorporate it into my diet more, and can’t get enough of its nutty flavor and light texture. Paired with black beans, corn, as well as summer zucchini, my salad is an awesome side dish, but even better as a quick lunch when I’m on the go.

And with that, my son and I were off to see the Apple Geniuses. If only they did have a store that sold just apples!

More Ways to Use Quinoa

Winter Squash and Quinoa Bake
Quinoa Crusted Eggplant Parmigiana
Chocolate Banana Quinoa Muffins | Simple Sundays
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Red Beets, Oranges and Pomegranate

One Bowl Meals

Thai-style Shrimp Bowls
Egg Roll Bowl (Filipino Lumpia Bowl: Lumpiang Hubad)
Spicy Fish Taco Bowls with Cabbage Slaw
Coconut Curry Cauliflower Rice Bowls
Soba Noodles and Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

One of the best ways to incorporate more nutrition into your meals is to find recipes that make nutritional ingredients taste amazing! Here's to more food filled with fantastic flavor… food that makes you happy – food that makes you feel good!
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 575kcal


For the quinoa:

  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large shallots minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 medium zucchini cut into 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
  • 2 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper ground
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 14 oz can black beans drained
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbled
  • arugula optional


  • In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium low heat. Cook shallots until slightly transparent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add quinoa, zucchini and corn, and stir until coated and glossy.
  • Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to a simmer, and let it cook for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat allow to cool.
  • Make the dressing by combining the tablespoon of shallot with lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, mint, cilantro, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl, whisking well to combine.
  • Toss the dressing into the quinoa, along with the black beans and sunflower seeds.
  • Serve the salad warm, at room temperature, or chilled, with a crumbling of goat cheese and arugula, if desired.


Adapted from Quinoa Corn Salad with Mint Vinaigrette and Toasted Pinenuts, Friends at the Table by Debi Shawcross.


Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 428mg | Potassium: 826mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

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  1. Jean

    So we’re both on a quinoa kick lately. I made a quinoa salad, too, recently (and the quinoa cakes, as you know) and wondered why I don’t use it in the kitchen more often. I really like your version, Liren. I thought about adding corn to my cakes and after seeing your beautiful salad, I think it would work. I love everything you added to this. Will have to borrow your recipe to use up the rest of my quinoa. :)

  2. Mary

    Liren, this salad sounds light, refreshing and satisfying. I have family coming to visit for a week. I’m going to make it while they are here.

  3. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

    Love a great Quinoa salad and yours looks super tasty. Love how your son thought you were buying apples – that is classic! Smile. Just finished reading the Steve Jobs book and it is quite interesting to learn how the Apple Stores came into existence. Hope your Saturday is going well!

  4. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Hope you are feeling better, Liren! Chocolate bars are certainly a good place to start when one needs a pick-me-up :).

    I’ve tried quinoa several times but haven’t fallen in love with it yet. This healthy salad inspires me to try again! I’ll add a handful of sliced tomatoes from the garden too.

Kitchen Confidante®