Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad

This make-ahead Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad is vegetarian and gloriously gluten-free, making it perfect for meal prep, parties, potlucks, and weekday lunches galore!

Vegetarian Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad

This one’s not going to be a hard sell, eh?

If you’re familiar with any of my other quinoa recipes you know they’re insanely easy to make and downright delicious!

Today’s bowl-o-quinoa goodness is packed with a medley of black beans, edamame, onion, and tomato with a little cilantro, lime, and jalapeño goodness thrown in for good measure.

This vegetarian quinoa salad is fast, flavorful, and gloriously meal prep friendly.

Vegan Quinoa Salad

meal prep tips and tricks for quinoa

There’s so much gloriously meal-preppable about this recipe that it makes my busy schedule (and stomach) happy!

First off, quinoa can be made in advance and stored in the fridge as an easy add-in for salads, grain bowls, chili, and even veggie burgers! Simply cook via instructions below, fluff, cool, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

Need to store your prepped quinoa longer? Once cooked and cooled, store in an airtight container for up to a month.

quinoa salad meal prep

As for the fully prepped, cilantro lime quinoa salad recipe below, you can make the entire recipe as part of your meal prep and enjoy as a tasty veggie-packed salad or side dish all week long!

It’s gloriously portable making it great for on-the-go lunches and bento boxes and because it’s vegan, it’s absolutely ideal for parties, potlucks, and picnics.

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad

This easy peasy recipe yields about 7 servings (or even more if you add extra veggies!) and can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to serve a crowd.

I love that I can whip up a big batch and bring some to a neighborhood get together and then have a big bowl squirreled away for myself in the fridge.

Lately it’s been my go-to post workout faceplant since it’s loaded with protein from the beans and quinoa and since it’s already made, all I have to do is grab a bowl and chow down!

Vegetarian Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad
5 from 6 votes

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad

This make-ahead Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad is vegetarian and gloriously gluten-free, making it perfect for meal prep, parties, potlucks, and weekday lunches galore!

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 7 servings
Calories 235 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1.5 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (steamed from frozen)
  • 1 cup corn (steamed from frozen)
  • 1 cup black beans (canned – drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño , finely chopped (or swap for 1/3 cup bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • chopped fresh cilantro to taste


  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3-4 TBSP avocado oil or light olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic , smashed and minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves plus extra to garnish
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin


  1. First 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, stirring often. 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.

  2. While the quinoa cooks, use this time to prep remaining ingredients and steam your corn and edmame if needed.

  3. Finely chop red onion and rinse with cold water in a sieve/strainer to take away some of the "bite". Finely chop jalapeno (minus seeds – or use bell pepper if preferred) and dice or slice tomatoes.

  4. For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a lidded mason jar and shake well.

  5. Once your quinoa is ready, fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste. For a chilled salad, chill your quinoa in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before tossing with veggies.

  6. Add black beans, edamame, corn, chopped tomato, jalapeno (or bell pepper) and chopped red onion. Whisk/shake dressing once more then pour over salad. Mix well.

  7. Garnish with extra cilantro and any additoinal salt and pepper desired. Dig in right away or chill before serving. I love it both ways! If meal prepping, pop it in the fridge and dive in when your'e ready. The dressing will soak into the salad and amplify the flavor even more.

Recipe Notes

Feel free to add any extra beans or veggies your heart desires! If you add a bunch, simply make a little more dressing and have at it! This salad is crazy flavorful and versatile. Other optional extras include fresh parsley and feta.

Recipe yields approx. 7 cups of quinoa salad. Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed based on extras/swaps and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 235 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 175mg8%
Potassium 442mg13%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 222IU4%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 39mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vegan Quinoa Bowl

If you get a chance to try this vegetarian cilantro lime quinoa salad, let me know!

Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Also, forgive me for taking a million photos of this dish, haha! I couldn’t help myself! The colors were just so pretty.

Quinoa with Black Beans and Edamame

crazy for quinoa recipes?

Us too! I love this healthy whole grain every which way and use it in so many of my recipes.

One must-try is actually one of the oldest recipes on my site: Quinoa Fried Rice. It’s the ultimate take-out fake-out with a healthy twist!

Another crazy popular recipe is my Tomato Quinoa Salad which is tossed in a light homemade dressing and packed with chickpeas and tomatoes. I grow cherry tomatoes in the Spring/Summer and love adding them to this salad!

On my list of new recipes to try is Simply Quinoa’s Cilantro Lime Black Bean Quinoa Tacos – they look delicious!

Quinoa also makes an EPIC based for taco bowls and is the star of my Roasted Chickpea Quinoa Taco Bowls. They’re easily customized so you can mix and match the toppings and have a different grain bowl every time!

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Recipe Rating


  • Arlene

    5 stars
    First time making quinoa. This recipe is very easy to make with ingredients at hand. Very colorful and flavorful! Made it to bring to my book club and my 18 year old had some and asked for seconds 👍

    • Jen Caulfield

      5 stars
      This was delicious. We used our first harvest of our home-grown cilantro. I didn’t think the dressing would be enough to cover all the quinoa, beans, and veggies but it was perfect. The only thing I changed was using diced radish instead of red onion because we’re just not raw onion eaters. My fiance licked the plate clean, literally.

  • Sue

    5 stars
    Really flavorful and really fast.Definitely a summer staple for home or potlucks. (I thawed frozen corn in the microwave; didn’t have edamame so I left that out.)

    • Yay!! So glad you loved it, Sue!

  • Cassie

    5 stars
    Love the liMe flavor in this one. Each of your quinoa bowls have a little something for everyone!

  • Sophie Heath

    5 stars
    Perfect summer salad recipe! Delicious!

  • Ashley

    5 stars
    We made this for lunch this week and it was perfect. I love the cilantro and lime flavors.

    • I’m so glad it was a hit! Thanks Ashley! xo

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