Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This healthy vegetarian Black Bean Quinoa Salad is fast, flavorful, and easily made in advance for speedy lunches and sides for work, school, or home!

Black Bean Quinoa Salad Lunch Box

Say hello to the salad that totally reinvented my love for quinoa!

It checks #ALLTHEBOXES and is gloriously gluten-free, vegan (or vegetarian if you sneak in a little cheese), loaded with tasty black beans and veggies, and super customizable based on what you have on hand!

It’s also a rockstar make-ahead dish that you meal-prep gurus are going to LOVE! Whip up a big batch for easy lunch or dinner prep!

I like to use lidded class containers (these divided ones are my JAM!) so I have the option of reheating the salad when I want it hot!

Warm quinoa salad topped with the chilled avocado cilantro sauce below? I’m in love!

Black Bean Quinoa Salad Bowl

You can nosh on this deliciousness both  chilled or warm so it’s a great option for picnics and school lunch or it can be microwaved at work so you can enjoy a nice hot lunch in your chilly office! SCORE!

I’m doing intermittent fasting right now so having something I can warm up at home the second I feel hangry  is a total bonus!


My handy dandy divided glass lunchbox is from IdealPrep and available in single packs and multi-packs on Amazon. I have the large and already use it so much that I want the 3-pack next!

The lid seals great and is really sturdy, much better than other ones I’ve used in the past and it’s held up for several years with no sign of wear.

Vegetarian Black Bean Quinoa Salad Lunch Box

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Not only is this tasty black bean quinoa salad a great lunch, but it’s also a fabulous option for crazy weeknight dinners! Cooking up the sweet potatoes and quinoa at the same time saves time and makes this 30-minute meal!

Take a break from the tortillas next Taco Tuesday and treat this bad boy like an epic burrito bowl with all your favorite taco toppings and burrito mix-ins! Helloooooo delicious!

Vegetarian Black Bean Quinoa Salad Lunch Box
5 from 2 votes

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This healthy vegetarian Black Bean Quinoa Salad is fast, flavorful, and easily made in advance for speedy lunches and sides for work, school, or home!

Recipe yields 2 large portions or 4 smaller side-dish sized servings.

Course Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 423 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn, steamed (fresh or canned work too)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper (diced or sliced)
  • 2-4 TBSP diced red onion
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • fresh cilantro to taste


  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (or your favorite vegan variety!)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup water (adjust as needed)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  1. Peel and dice your sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. 
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add your oil or butter to the pan. Once hot, sauté sweet potato cubes until golden and tender, stirring every few minutes for even browning, approx. 15-20 minutes. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. While the sweet potatoes cook you’ll be able to whip up the rest of the dish!
  4. Rinse and drain your quinoa using a mesh strainer or sieve. Bring a small pot to medium heat and lightly toast the quinoa to remove any excess water. Stir as it toasts for just a few minutes. This step is optional but really adds to the nuttiness and fluff factor of the quinoa! Next add your water, set burner to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for 12-13 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. While the quinoa cooks, chop, slice and prep the remaining ingredients.
  6. Combine beans, corn, tomato, jalapeño, and red onion with juice of 1/2 a lime and fresh chopped cilantro.
  7. Use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to blend dressing ingredients until creamy and smooth.
  8. Once your quinoa is ready, fluff with a fork and allow to cool then combine with your veggies. Top with as much dressing as your heart desires and dig in!
  9. Feel free to add extra of any of the veggies/grains your heart desires – anything goes with this easy peasy recipe! Can be served chilled or warm  – Warm is my favorite but we love it both ways!

Recipe Notes

For a thicker dressing, feel free to add the other half of the avocado.

If you plan on skipping the sweet potatoes, add the spices to the quinoa and your good to go!

Cook time determined by cooking both the sweet potatoes and quinoa at the same time <– total time saver! You can also roast eat potatoes if preferred – SO GOOD!

Dairy-free or vegan? you could easily use the other half of avocado to replace the greek yogurt in the sauce!

Nutrition Facts below are estimated for the salad only using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed based on amount of avocado sauce used (approx. 100 calories per serving) and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 423 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 377mg16%
Potassium 1102mg31%
Carbohydrates 84g28%
Fiber 16g67%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 9623IU192%
Vitamin C 28mg34%
Calcium 105mg11%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Black Bean Quinoa Salad

If you get a chance to try this tasty black bean quinoa salad, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

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Recipe Rating


  • Fazia Fortino

    Hi Jenn, I am definitely saving this recipe. It looks super delicious.??

  • Brandi

    5 stars
    Beautiful presentation and photography! Eating healthy is my priority and i cant wait to try this quinoa salad.

  • Linda

    5 stars
    I love quinoa salads and often make a black bean variety but I’ve never tried adding sweet potatoes, which I love. Next time around they will join the healthy medley of veggies in my bowl. I’m going to try your cilantro avocado dressing too as it sounds like the perfect pairing.

    • The sweet potatoes make it so flavorful and filling! Hope you get a chance to try it soon Linda! xo

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