Black Bean Quinoa Salad

A light and healthy quinoa salad tossed in a refreshing orange vinaigrette, chockfull of protein and fiber!

Black Bean Quinoa Salad - A light and healthy quinoa salad tossed in a refreshing orange vinaigrette, chockfull of protein and fiber!

Greetings from Cabo! After a very emotional departure with Butters, a 4AM wake up call, and spending 10 hours at the airport, we finally made it! So please forgive me if this post is a bit erratic and short. The gorgeous beach view and the last 3 glasses of margaritas are a bit distracting.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad - A light and healthy quinoa salad tossed in a refreshing orange vinaigrette, chockfull of protein and fiber!

Now I should tell you that I clearly did not plan for this trip at all. I tried to – I really did. I even planned a strict “diet” for months prior to the trip, but that didn’t pan out as I hoped as Jason and I gorged on chicken and waffles, Korean BBQ crinkle fries, and tater tot breakfast skillets.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad - A light and healthy quinoa salad tossed in a refreshing orange vinaigrette, chockfull of protein and fiber!

So like the caprese avocado salad I posted the other day, this was one of the last and final attempts for clean eating before our trip. And I must say, it was the most glorious protein-rich salad I could ask for. Loaded with tons of fresh veggies and a refreshing orange vinaigrette, I gorged on this for 3 days straight!

Black Bean Quinoa Salad - A light and healthy quinoa salad tossed in a refreshing orange vinaigrette, chockfull of protein and fiber!

And honestly, if all quinoa salads were like this, dieting would never be an issue.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Yield 4 servings

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

A light and healthy quinoa salad tossed in a refreshing orange vinaigrette, chockfull of protein and fiber!


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 large navel oranges, cut into segments
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup canned corn kernels, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • For the orange vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  • In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
  • To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, orange juice, orange zest and sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, oranges, bell pepper, jalapeno, black beans, corn, onion and cilantro. Pour the vinaigrette on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately.

Why It’s A Smart Choice

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 438.8 Calories from Fat 151.2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16.8g 26%
Saturated Fat 2.3g 12%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 249.7mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 62.6g 21%
Dietary Fiber 10.1g 40%
Sugars 16.5g
Protein 11.7g 23%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Quinoa and black beans are a great source of iron for vegetarian meals. But it’s really important to consume a source of Vitamin C at the same time to help your body absorb the iron. Due to the oranges and orange juice, this salad is a superstar for Vitamin C!

Nutritional information provided by Jessica Penner, RD at Smart Nutrition.


  1. says

    What a great pre-vaca get lean and mean and clean out your fridge all in one kind of salad :) And the orange vinaigrette is my kinda thing! And love the new font/graphic/text on the last couple posts!

  2. says

    Mmm, I never get fed up with quinoa, and this looks delightful! I hope you have an amazing time away :) Maybe you’ll even share som of the trip here? I bet the food is amazing 😀 Happy Thursday! x

  3. Marie says

    Question? Why do you say serve immediately after every recipe, I have tried most of your recipes and love them all, when I see that “serve immediately ” I am intimidated as I do not always serve immediately . Marie

    • Chung-Ah says

      Marie, I tend to end my recipes with “serve immediately” because it is best served immediately when it is fresh and/or hot. That never means that it is not good reheated or served cold in some instances. Please use your best judgement on reheating or re-serving leftovers.

  4. Jean says

    I made this today and it was delicious! I added some Lawry’s garlic salt, black pepper, and feta…sooo good!!! Flavor combo is great but will reduce the amount of dressing next time…I don’t think it needed as much. Tasty dressing for sure!

  5. Marybeth says

    Just made it and it’s amazing! I made 2 cups cooked quinoa because it sort of disappeared with all the rest of the ingredients. The extra cop of quinoa made it look just like the picture! Great combo of flavors – loved it!

  6. says

    This salad looks delicious, not sure what cilantro is or if I can get it here in the UK but will have a look for it as I’d love to make this! If I can’t find it would it spoil the salad if I left it out? Or is there something else I could use instead?

    • Chungah says

      Unfortunately, I cannot answer this with certainty as I have never tried freezing this myself – there were no leftovers left to freeze! I recommend using your best judgment for freezing and reheating.

  7. Rachel says

    Would this be fine in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving? I have a huge group coming this weekend and need to make a lot of recipes.

  8. Louise R says

    What a GREAT salad! I made it for company last night and I have to tell you … it’s tops!!! The only alteration I made was I used the whole can of black beans instead of just one cup. Loved the dressing. Loved the orange segments. Loved the whole recipe. Thanks so much for posting it.

    I’ve heard people say they don’t always have good luck with their Quinoa prep. I have good luck always so if I share what I do .. maybe it will help. I buy a 4 lb (1815 gram) bag of “truRoots” Quinoa from Costco. I use 1 2/3 Cup of water, 1 Cup of Quinoa, 1/2 tsp salt. I bring it to a boil, give it a bit of a stir, cover the pot, turn the heat down to simmer and and cook for 15 minutes. Take it off the heat. Take off the lid (the water will be gone) and give it a bit of a fluff up and leave it to cool. It should be perfect! Hope this helps.

  9. M. says

    Made this today and it is amazing! Love it! My only question is if you should refrigerate the dressing separately instead of tossing it together beforehand? Are the leftovers still as good if already tossed together?

    • Chungah says

      You can keep them separate or leave them as is. I actually prefer the latter because the flavors really meld as they sit in the fridge overnight.

  10. Rona Alba says

    My first time to cook/make quinoa salad, it was a huge success!!! With some modifications since I don’t have two of the ingredients in my pantry. Anyway, after rinsing the quinoa I cooked it with a can of low sodium chicken stock. Here’s my substitutions:
    black beans – used garbanzo beans.
    Orange – clementines
    fresh cilantro -flat leaf parsley

    I omitted the jalapeño pepper for the kiddos. But I added a pinch of freshly chopped mint leaves to boost the flavor a notch. Lastly, I also added 3/4 tsp of fine sea salt and freshly grounded black pepper to the vinaigrette.

    Even with all my changes, I really love the recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it.

  11. nicole says

    this is so good!!! and it’s such a pretty salad…all the colors really make it appealing to the eye. I added lime to mine and didn’t really need all of the dressing. I follow your blog and have made several recipes! thanks so much!!!

  12. Carmen says

    Your recipes all look and sound delicious and I hope to be making a lot of them, even though I HATE to cook.

    I know this is late, but, what happened to Butters?

    • Chungah says

      Butters had a blast with his caretaker and his Australian Shepherd friend – thank you for asking! :)

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