Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This flavor-packed vegetarian Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Hatch green chile combines gluten free quinoa and hearty black beans with sweet corn, red bell pepper, queso fresco, and Hatch green chile. This hearty salad gets tossed with a zesty chipotle and citrus vinaigrette that you’re sure to love! Serve as a vegetarian main dish, or as a side dish… It comes together in about half an hour! Delicioso!

2 black stoneware plates with Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad with black flatware and grey napkin.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Recipe Inspiration

It’s summer in the south Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, and salads are so appealing! Every year I try to come up with a few new ideas like quinoa a la Mexicana, grilled panzanella salad, and Peruvian lima bean salad.

This year, Hatch green chiles were “calling my name.” I’m returning to my beloved New Mexico in a few days, and hope to return with as many of the flavorful green pods as Southwest Airlines will allow! While Hatch green chiles are not easy to find in south Texas, I can find them. With that in mind, I started working on this Mexican black bean and quinoa salad. I hope you like it as much as we do!

Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad

  • black beans – You can use either rinsed and drained canned black beans, or cooked dried beans, but you must start with fully cooked beans.
  • quinoa – Most quinoa (that I’m familiar with) requires about 10 minutes cooking time. Follow the instructions on your specific quinoa package for liquid amounts and cooking time. I highly recommend thoroughly rinsing, and toasting the quinoa in a dry pan prior to cooking.
  • green chile – If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you may be aware of my love affair with Hatch green chile. I can’t always get it. I have used roasted, peeled, and seeded poblano chile, and they’re great.
  • bell pepper – Do you eat with your eyes like I do? I use red or orange bell pepper to maximize the colors in the quinoa salad!
  • cheese – I specify queso fresco, but feta and cotija are good too.
  • corn – On photo day, I grilled my corn, and when I have time, this is my preference. However, frozen and thawed corn is fine.
The southwestern black bean quinoa salad ingredients - bell pepper, black beans, queso fresco, corn, quinoa, and green chile.

Chipotle Citrus Vinaigrette

  • fresh orange juice – The freshest ingredients yield the best results! Squeeze an orange (any variety)!
  • olive oil
  • vinegar – My “go to” choice is sherry vinegar. White or red wine vinegar, and champagne vinegar are great too.
  • smoked paprika
  • ground chipotle powder
  • dijon mustard
  • shallot or red onion
  • honey
A wood cutting board with halved blood orange, olive oil, vinegar, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, dijon mustard, shallot, and honey.

🔪 Instructions

Quinoa is rinsed and draining in a mesh strainer on a red cutting board.
  • Thoroughly rinse the quinoa to remove the saponin. Quinoa has a coating called saponin that can make the cooked quinoa taste bitter or soapy.
Toasting the quinoa in a dry saucepan.
  • Add the rinsed quinoa to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Toast the quinoa in a dry pan for about 2 minutes. This step enhances the nutty flavor of quinoa.
The quinoa in a saucepan with broth, and salt prior to cooking.
  • Add liquid, salt, and quinoa to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook quinoa until liquid is absorbed – about 10-20 minutes. NOTE: Liquid can be water or broth/stock. Check package directions for more accurate cooking time.
Fully cooked quinoa in a saucepan ready to be added to the salad.
  • When liquid is absorbed, remove from heat. Keep it covered, and allow the quinoa to steam for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and allow to cool.
  • While the quinoa cooks and then cools, prepare the dressing and the other salad ingredients.
  • Grilling your corn? You may want to start the grill, and grill the corn before making the quinoa. It’s a toss up timewise.
  • Make the dressing – Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  • Prepare the remaining ingredients – Rinse and drain the black beans, chop the green chile and bell pepper, cube the queso fresco, prepare the corn.
Black beans, quinoa, red pepper, grilled corn, queso fresco, and Hatch green chile in a wood salad bowl.
  • Assemble the salad – Add the prepared quinoa, veggies, and cheese to a salad bowl.
  • Dress the salad – Pour the dressing over top, then toss thoroughly to combine. Garnish with fresh lime and cilantro as desired. Enjoy!
A white wood salad bowl with gluten free southwestern black bean and quinoa salad, a grey napkin, and a pewter spoon.

💭 Tips

To make the best quinoa, thoroughly rinse the quinoa, AND, toast it in a dry saucepan before adding the liquid.

If you can’t find Hatch green chile, substitute roasted, peeled, and seeded poblano chiles.

❓FAQ

Is this black bean and quinoa salad good leftover?

Yes! You can store it in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days, and it tastes great. I love it for lunch the next day!

What can I serve with my salad?

This black bean and quinoa salad stands on its own as a light and nutritious vegetarian meal. However, it also makes a great side dish. If you’re not following plant-based diet, try it with grilled tajín chicken breasts or Mexican grilled shrimp.

How much liquid should I use to cook the quinoa?

After years of cooking quinoa, and having a less than “fluffy” result, I started using 1 3/4 cup liquid to 1 cup quinoa. Most quinoa packages specify a 1:2 ratio.

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

BetterBody Organic Quinoa
Monumental Spices Smoked Paprika
Frontier Ground Chipotle

I’m cooking for two, so we enjoy this salad twice. It retains its flavor and texture for a couple of days, so I’m thinking it might be “meal prep” worthy. I’m going to give it a try, and will update when I do!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

A white wood salad bowl with black bean and quinoa salad, lime, and cilantro.

Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad

A simple, hearty vegetarian main dish or side with vibrant Mexican flavors perfect for the dog days of summer!
4.50 from 2 votes

Click to rate!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salads
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 519 kcal

Ingredients
  

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa - rinsed thoroughly (see post for more)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ¾ cup water or broth - see post for more
  • 1 can black beans - rinsed and drained (see post for more)
  • ½ cup Hatch green chile - chopped (see post for more)
  • 1 bell pepper - chopped
  • 2 ounces queso fresco - diced (see post for more)
  • 1 cup corn kernels - see post for more

Dressing

  • cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 medium orange - 2-3 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar - red or white wine, champagne
  • 1 shallot
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho or chipotle chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • several grinds pepper

Instructions

  • Thoroughly rinse the quinoa. Add the rinsed quinoa to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Toast the quinoa over medium high heat  in a dry pan for about 2 minutes.
  • Add liquid (water, broth, or stock), salt, and quinoa to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook quinoa until liquid is absorbed – about 10-20 minutes. When liquid is absorbed, remove from heat. Keep it covered, and allow the quinoa to steam for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and allow to cool.
  • Add all dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth.
  • Rinse and drain the black beans, chop the green chile and bell pepper, cube the queso fresco, prepare the corn.
  • Add the prepared quinoa, veggies, and cheese to a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over top, then toss thoroughly to combine. Garnish with fresh lime and cilantro as desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 24g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

🍷 Pairing Suggestions

Share this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.