Quinoa and Black Bean Salad With Corn and Cilantro

Vegetarian quinoa salad with black beans and corn

Bill Boch / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
703 Calories
11g Fat
127g Carbs
32g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 703
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 36mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 127g 46%
Dietary Fiber 26g 93%
Protein 32g
Calcium 255mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A simple, quick and easy vegetarian and vegan quinoa salad or quinoa pilaf recipe with black beans, corn, and fresh cilantro, and seasoned with fresh lime juice and cayenne pepper or chili powder—inspired by the flavors of Mexico. There's truly no wrong way to make a quinoa salad, and this recipe mixes it up a bit from the usual quinoa and veggies. 

This vegetarian and vegan dish can be served fresh and warm, or chill it in the refrigerator before serving to allow the flavors to develop. Toss it gently before serving and give it another squeeze of fresh lime and dusting of sea salt to perk up the flavors. This recipe is healthy, high-fiber, high-protein vegetarian and vegan recipe as well as completely gluten-free (see recipe tips below). 

Want to change things up a bit? Try this black bean salad with kaniwa instead of quinoa! And, if you find that you like this homemade vegetarian quinoa and black bean pilaf recipe, you'll want to try some of these creative vegetarian quinoa salad ideas.

Got leftovers? Use your quinoa salad to create a vegetarian sandwich wrap, add in some salsa and make yourself some vegetarian burritos, or, check out these ideas for how to use up leftover quinoa. 


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil + 2 tbsp.
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 12-oz. can vegetarian black beans, drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or chili powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large skillet, saute the garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the chopped green onions and heat for just another minute or two.

  3. Add in the quinoa and the vegetable broth or water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer.

  4. Allow the quinoa to cook, covered, for 20-25 minutes, until it is fully cooked and can be fluffed with a fork; most of the liquid should be absorbed.

  5. Keep an eye on the quinoa as it cooks, and add in the corn kernels, black beans, and the chili powder or cayenne pepper (to taste) just a minute or two before the quinoa is done cooking in order to heat through. Stir well to distribute the spices evenly. 

  6. Remove the quinoa from heat and stir in the lime juice and remaining two tablespoons of olive oil then season with sea salt or kosher salt and a bit of black pepper, combining well. Taste, and adjust the seasonings to taste.

  7. Add in fresh chopped cilantro just before serving.

  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

This is also a high-protein and gluten-free vegetarian recipe if your spices and vegetable broth are gluten-free (or, use water to cook the quinoa instead of vegetable broth). Read the labels, or, be sure to use your own homemade vegetable broth if you want to be sure it's gluten-free.