Whether you’re a quinoa enthusiast or simply seeking a vibrant, nourishing dinner, this Quinoa Black Bean Salad checks all the boxes, and then some. It’s loaded with Greek flavors and amazing nutrition!
A Greek-Style Black Bean Quinoa Salad That Will Wow Your Taste Buds!
If you need a healthy salad recipe that’s different from the basic garden variety (see what I did there?), look no further. This black bean quinoa salad is a nutrient-dense favorite that brings together all the flavors of the Mediterranean, and the wholesome goodness of protein-packed ingredients.
Bursting with colors and textures, this salad is more than just a dish – it’s a festival of flavor, seriously. You can’t go wrong with the mouthwatering combination of cucumber, tomato, Kalamata olives, feta… I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Plus, this is super easy to make. Perfection? I think so.
Why You’ll Love This Healthy Black Bean Quinoa Salad
When it comes to a satisfying and nutritious meal, this Greek-style Black Bean Quinoa Salad takes the cake! Loaded with fresh ingredients, vibrant colors, and fresh flavors, here are just a few reasons you’ll love it.
- Protein Powerhouse: With both quinoa and black beans in the mix, this salad delivers a double dose of plant-based protein.
- Mediterranean Magic: Along with the black beans and quinoa, we’re adding simple but bold ingredients that capture the essence of Greek cuisine.
- Vibrant and Fresh: The colorful medley of chopped veggies and beans will appeal to your eyes, as well as your mouth. So yummy!
- Balanced and Filling: Healthy carbs, healthy fats, healthy protein… what’s not to love?
- Easy and Customizable: You can play with all of the ingredients here to make this salad your own – almost anything goes!
Let’s take a closer look at that amazing ingredient list. It will leave you drooling, believe me! Here’s what you’ll need for this wholesome salad:
- Quinoa: This ancient grain forms the base of our salad, providing a satisfying texture and nutty flavor.
- Cucumber: Crisp and refreshing, cucumbers add a cool crunch to the salad. English cucumbers are great because the delicate rind doesn’t really need to be peeled.
- Ripe Tomato: Use any kind of tomato you like, chopped.
- Red Onion: Red onions provide a mild, oniony kick, along with a pop of color. Slice them very thinly.
- Orange or Red Bell Pepper: These bell peppers are slightly sweeter than the green variety, but if all you have is green, that will work too.
- Pitted Kalamata Olives: If you don’t care for Kalamata olives, you can leave them out, or replace them with their milder cousin, black olives.
- Feta Cheese: Creamy and tangy feta cheese adds a luxurious touch. Goat cheese makes a good substitute if you need one.
- Black Beans: You can use canned black beans, rinsed and drained, or leftover cooked black beans.
- Dried Italian Herb Mix: Store-bought, or homemade.
- Olive Oil: I highly recommend a good extra-virgin olive oil, since it’s more flavorful, but light olive oil will also work.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Or white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar.
Are Black Beans and Quinoa Good for You?
Absolutely! Black beans are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, protein, and essential nutrients – including folate, iron, and potassium. Quinoa (AKA one of the most popular superfoods out there) is a complete, yet plant-based source of protein, and brings along some important minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. This is definitely one healthy dish.
How to Make Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Are you ready to whip up the salad of your dreams? It’s so easy, and it only requires a few simple steps. Here’s how:
- Cook the Quinoa. Cook quinoa according to the package directions, and then set it aside to cool.
- Assemble the Salad. Combine the salad ingredients (cooled quinoa, chopped cucumber, ripe tomato, thinly sliced red onion, chopped orange or red bell pepper, pitted Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and black beans) in a large salad bowl.
- Make the Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Dress the Salad and Enjoy! Pour the dressing over the quinoa and vegetables, gently tossing to coat. Serve your gorgeous salad, and bon appetit!
These quick pointers will ensure that your salad is picture-perfect. You’ll want to make this one again and again!
- Fresh Herbs: Enhance the aroma and taste by adding freshly chopped herbs like parsley, dill, or basil to the salad. Fresh herbs pack a special punch.
- Protein Boost: Feel free to add grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu for an extra protein and flavor boost. Sliced, cold steak would also be amazing.
- Make Ahead: If you want to get a jump on prep, you can chop all of your ingredients ahead of time, and then combine them and dress the salad just before serving.
What Pairs with Quinoa Salad?
This dish makes a fantastic plant-based meal, all on its own, but it’s also great as part of a bigger spread. Here are a few more dishes that would go really well with black bean quinoa salad:
- Greek Chicken: I dream about this Greek Chicken Skillet Recipe, you guys. It’s just that good. And it’s incredibly simple to make. If you’ve never combined asparagus and peas before, this dish will blow your mind!
- Crostini: A little bready crunch is always nice with salad, so why not throw together some crostini? These Pepper Onion Mushroom Crostini keep the plant-based party going.
- Tartletes: These cute little Asparagus Lemon Tartletes are an elegant option, and their light, lemony flavor with ricotta cheese and asparagus is perfect with the Greek vibes going on in the salad. A buttery crust puts them over the top!
Storing Leftover Black Bean Quinoa Salad
For those of you who are into food prep, this salad will last for up to three days in the fridge and still be a yummy dish! If you keep the components separate and combine them just before serving, it will last even longer than that. Store in airtight containers for the best results.
Can I Freeze This?
I don’t recommend freezing the salad, since the delicate raw veggies will most likely turn watery and mushy after thawing. However, quinoa and black beans both freeze well on their own, so feel free to freeze those. Just cool them down first, and freeze them in freezer bags or airtight containers for maximum freshness. They will keep for six months, or even more!
More Great Salad Recipes
Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- ½ cup Quinoa dry
- ½ cucumber medium, chopped
- 1 ripe tomato medium, chopped
- 2 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion
- 1 Orange or Red Bell Pepper medium, chopped
- ¼ cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
- ¼ cup Feta Cheese crumbled
- 1 ½ cup black beans
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian Herb Mix
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive OIl
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl combine the quinoa, cucumber, tomato, red onion, bell pepper, olives, and feta cheese.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the Italian dried herbs, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Red wine Vinegar.
- Pour the Dressing over the quinoa vegetable mix, toss to coat. Add black beans, serve and enjoy!