Quinoa Salad with Black Beans + Corn

Do you have a favorite summertime potluck dish? I do and you are looking at it!

Quinoa Salad from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I’ve been making quinoa salad in one form or another for years. I like to play with the beans, veggies, and herbs I add based on what I have in the house/what’s in season. Black beans are definitely my preferred bean, and as soon as fresh local corn starts to make an appearance in markets around here, corn is pretty much a must. I’ve added basil on occasion but cilantro is definitely a better fit with the other elements in this particular salad.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn

If you are as yet unfamiliar with quinoa, it’s a seed that’s native to the Andes region of South America. I ate it several times when I was recently in Peru, cooked in a stew. While it behaves like a grain, quinoa is actually more nutritious than most grains because it is high in protein, iron, and calcium. Quinoa is also gluten-free.

Quinoa seeds are coated with a bitter substance so you need to rinse quinoa very thorough before cooking. Moreover, quinoa benefits from a several hours-long soak in water in order to deactivate the naturally-present enzymes that bind up the nutrients within. For this reason, on days when I am planning to cook quinoa, I like to place it in a large bowl and cover it with water for 2-3 hours. Then I pour off the water, and rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before proceeding to cook it.

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Quinoa Black Bean Salad from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Quinoa Salad from Healthy Green Kitchen
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Recipe for Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn

As I mentioned above, I love bringing this salad to potlucks because it's easy to throw together and it feeds a crowd. I also like to make it just for my family, though, ensuring leftovers I can snack on all week long.
Servings: 8 -10 servings


  • *2 cups uncooked quinoa soaked for 2-3 hours (optional) and then rinsed thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer
  • *4 cups water
  • *2 cups fresh corn cut from from approximately 2 ears or organic frozen corn
  • *1 very small red onion diced
  • *juice of 2 plump limes
  • *two 15-ounce cans or one 28-ounce can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed (or soak and then cook an equivalent amount of dried beans)
  • *2 tablespoons minced jalapeño chile or to taste
  • *1 ripe avocado diced
  • *1 large bell pepper I used a red one, diced
  • *1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
  • *6 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • *Coarse sea salt and finely ground black pepper


  • 1. Combine rinsed quinoa and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat, add the corn, and keep covered for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa/corn mixture with a fork and allow to cool slightly.
  • 2. While the quinoa is cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a very large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa/corn when it has cooled and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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15 thoughts on “Quinoa Salad with Black Beans + Corn”

  1. This salad was delicious! Thank you for sharing. I made it for a party and it received much love and praise. I made a few alterations to the recipe when I served it – used 4 cups of low sodium organic vegetable broth instead of water, and used most of a seedless cucumber in place of the avocado. I will be making this again!

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  3. Absolutely delicious! Perfect for summer! Thanks for the inspiration! I was in a rut of same-old. I soaked the quinoa as well–great tip!

    • Well maybe we can get together here before the summer is over, and I will make this salad. (ps you bring the oreo cheesecakes, k?)

  4. I agree, quinoa salad is perfect potluck fare. I tend to make mine with cherry tomatoes, basil, roasted red peppers, walnuts, a bit of lemon juice and zest, olive oil. Sometimes olives or artichokes make it in too. Next time, I’m making yours.

  5. I completely agree, black beans, corn and cilantro. Though I have had those three together often. What a quintessential pairing. For some strange reason I have never tried it with quinoa, but now that you’ve mentioned it it sounds like perfection.

  6. Quinoa salads are so versatile, I love playing with ingredients and flavors too. This one looks amazing and I really wish it was in my fridge waiting for me at lunch :)