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

Quinoa Salad from

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


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  1. 1

    Aggie — July 18, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    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 :)

  2. 2

    Winnie — July 20, 2013 @ 7:38 am

    Thanks Aggie! I did eat it almost every day for lunch this week!

  3. 3

    Anna — July 18, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    I’ve never soaked quinoa before but I will definitely try it the next time I cook some. Thanks for the tip!

  4. 4

    Winnie — July 20, 2013 @ 7:38 am

    Definitely not a necessity, but I do it whenever I remember.

  5. 5

    France @ Beyond The Peel — July 18, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

    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. 6

    Winnie — July 20, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    Thanks France!

  7. 7

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — July 19, 2013 @ 2:02 am

    Perfect summer salad recipe!

  8. 8

    Winnie — July 20, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    Thank you Laura!

  9. 9

    Art & Lemons — July 19, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    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.

  10. 10

    Winnie — July 20, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    Your version sounds incredible, Nikki!

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    Nutmeg Nanny — July 19, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    Such a simple and delicious looking salad. Quinoa is the perfect summertime salad ingredient.

  12. 12

    Winnie — July 20, 2013 @ 7:40 am

    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?)

  13. 13

    Ruthie — July 21, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    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!

  14. 14

    Week in Review 7-21-13 — July 22, 2013 @ 7:02 am

    […] Healthy Green Kitchen – Quinoa salad with black beans and corn […]

  15. 15

    Becca — October 3, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    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!