This spicy and flavorful quinoa salad is loaded with plant-based protein from the quinoa and black beans.  It can be served as an entree or side dish.  I like it best at room temperature but it can be served chilled or slightly warmed.  It is oil-free and flavored from the red onions, jalapeno, fresh lime juice, garlic and cilantro.  It is so easy to throw together and always a crowd-pleaser.

I love this quinoa dish since it is studded with black beans which are considered a legume and part of both the protein and vegetable group.  They also provide dietary fiber and important nutrients such as iron and zinc.  This recipe is nutritious, colorful and easy to make.  It always gets raves reviews by both quinoa and non-quinoa obsessors.

I hope this recipe inspires you to try something new with quinoa.  If you give this recipe a try, please let me know by leaving a comment and rating it! And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine so I can see!


Mexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Avocado

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


This easy and flavorful dish is great for pot-lucks. It is oil-free but full of robust and zesty flavor. Black beans and quinoa provide loads of plant-based protein, making this dish satisfying and healthy.



  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature (see my post on How to Make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa)
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 12 tablespoons jalapeno, diced*
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large mixing bowl stir to combine quinoa, black beans, avocado, red onions, cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro and jalapeno. Add lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper and stir well to combine.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. If you do not plan to serve right away I recommend waiting to put the avocado in so it doesn’t brown. You can add the avocado just before serving.


* The amount of jalapeno you use is very personal depending on how spicy you like your food. If you are making this for kids leave the jalapeno out as it makes the dip quite spicy. Removing the seeds helps to reduce the amount of heat but even without the seeds 1/4 of a jalapeno pepper is still quite spicy. If you are a fan of spicy foods feel free to use as much as you want. I recommend starting with a small amount, tasting and adding more as needed.

  • Category: Entree or Side
  • Cuisine: Mexican