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Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

This recipe has lime, cilantro, quinoa, black beans, and just a little chili sea salt. Yep, that’s it! It really doesn't need anymore. It's got lots of fresh, bright flavor and it’s filled with plant-based proteins. It’s light, refreshing and fun.

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad - only 5 ingredients, gluten-free + vegan too!

So I totally got sick on Sunday and have been on the mend ever since. Ugh. Major, major ugh.

And it really ticks me off because I work so hard to keep my immune system in tip-top shape – loading my body with healing foods, taking daily supplements (including echinacea when I feel even the slightest tickle in my throat) and drinking my green juice and smoothies. Guess it was my body’s way of saying, “take a chill pill, Alyssa”.

Which is precisely what I did. I did some work from the couch, wore my PJs all day, watched food documentaries (<– nerd), made fresh juices and smoothies, diffused essential oils, snuggled with my pup and drank like a hundred gallons of tea. 5 days later, I’m feeling like myself again and ready to get back to blogging.

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad - only 5 ingredients, gluten-free + vegan too!

Today’s recipe (which I had planned to share on Tuesday…oops!) pretty much sums up everything I’ve been craving lately. It’s got lime, cilantro, quinoa, black beans, and just a little chili sea salt. Yep, that’s it! It really doesn't need anymore. It's got lots of fresh, bright flavor and it’s filled with plant-based proteins. It’s light, refreshing and fun – just as a spring quinoa salad should be. 

AND this salad is also….

  • Quick and easy, meaning less time spent in the kitchen and more time spent outside, soaking up the sunshine.
  • Only 5 ingredients, most of which I bet you already have on hand. Don’t you just love meals like that?
  • Simple to dress up or down and can be served as a side or a main. Pretty much it’s the most versatile salad ever. Like…plop a fried egg on top and call it breakfast. Or toss in some grilled chicken and salad and have yourself a burrito bowl. OR just serve it as is next to your fave veggie burger.

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad - only 5 ingredients, gluten-free + vegan too!

How many days until summer again? Don’t worry, we’ll be there before we know and in the meantime, we’ll keep enjoying summery quinoa salads!

More Healthy & Delicious Quinoa Salad Recipes to try:

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad - only 5 ingredients, gluten-free + vegan too!
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4.05 from 22 votes

Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This recipe has lime, cilantro, quinoa, black beans and just a little chili sea salt. Yep, that’s it! It really doesn't need any more. It's got lots of fresh, bright flavor and it’s filled with plant-based proteins. It’s light, refreshing and fun
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword black bean, cilantro, lime
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 179kcal
Author Alyssa



  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Enjoy!



Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 5.5mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2.8mg

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  1. This was such a great base recipe! I added roasted sweet potatoes, green onions, hemp seeds, and avocados. It was so delicious and the cilantro was the perfect touch!

  2. I love this simple quinoa recipe. I did add scallions and used 1 1/2 limes juiced. I was hungry and didn’t have a lot of time so this was perfect.

  3. Hi Alyssa, There is another addition to your formidable arsenal, something I’ve worked out with Hubs over the years. We both worked in health care & he still does. We call it down time, some would call it
    Vac time. Every year, in January he takes a week to 10 Days off. We don’t go anywhere or do anything.It’s specifically abreak. Away from from the stress, germs, catching up on sleep, eat a week of
    healthy meals, relax & unwind. His vacation is generally in September-October. So a long week with a couple extra days in June, gets him through the summer. Vacation in the Fall for 2weeks carries him through the holidays. The human body is a bio machine. You are treating yours well. But, try implementing break times, your body tells you when you need them. A complete break no work from home or when you are sick,rest your body, make an extra effort to eat well & heathy, do some yoga, meditation, walks in fresh air, & sleep. Another thing Echanacea works best full time. I use it September
    to May. Then cycle off for Summer. Try the warm lemon water + cinnamon 2x daily. If you are achy use warm turmeric milk at night. The lemon mostly stimulates your body to peak efficiency, Removing junk & built up toxins turmeric is anti inflammatory add some chamomile to help relax into sleep. Hope this helps. The Quinoa salad looks great. Hubs works second shift so I’m looking for healthy meals for me.
    Be well. Regards MAfrom Boston,MA ❤️????❤️

  4. […] salads: 4. Roasted brussels sprouts + cous cous salad 5. Cilantro-lime black bean quinoa salad 6. Tomato, mozzarella & basil quinoa […]

  5. I measured 1.5 cups of quinoa thinking it would make 3 cooked cups but it looked more like 6! I mixed in my beans and then split it in half since I was afraid my 1 lime wouldn’t be enough for the batch. I used Celtic salt, added the cilantro and voila! It paired wonderfully with salmon patties. Will be picking up another lime so I can mix up the other half for lunch thus week. Yum!!

    • Yes! 1 cup of quinoa = 3 cups cooked 🙂 But you can always freeze leftover cooked quinoa for later! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  6. Unfortunately I screwed up the recipe when I made it. I did not have chili salt on hand so I substituted regular salt and it was wayyy too salty. I tried adding a little extra cilantro and some black pepper to take away from the saltiness and it only helped slightly. I’m so bummed because otherwise it would have turned out good. Next time I would do the chili salt or if I use regular salt add a little bit at once and then taste it each time to make sure it’s not too much. This was so easy and simple to make, definitely want to give it another shot!

    • I definitely recommend tasting as you go 🙂 I’ve done this SO many times and always feel so defeated when the recipe doesn’t turn out. Sorry this happened and hopefully you give it another try! xo

  7. […] Cilantro-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad I love how this salad brings out the latin flavors I enjoy so much in foods. The cilantro is my favorite herb to cook with, so fragrant and tasty and the beans help add another layer of protein.  […]

  8. This was so yummy and very simple to make. I think it had a little too much salt, but I still ate ALL of it. Thank you for sharing.

    • I am an amateur but I used 1/2 tsp of salt and 1.5 tsp of Penzey’a Fajita Seasoning (which has salt in it). Not sure if it captured the intended effect but it was tasty.

  9. Dumb question here. Does the 3 cups of cooked quinoa mean 3 cups after it’s been cooked, or 3 cups of dry quinoa and then cook them?

  10. I hate Cilantro. Is there anything I can replace it with? Other than parsley which is also on my hate list lol

  11. Love this simple salad! And yes, it is the best when you have all the ingredients on hand. So glad that you’re feeling better!

  12. What a fabulous dish!! I am all about quinoa lately, hence me following your blog, and am always on the lookout for ways to use it that the other half might go for. This one sounds, and looks, so good I really don’t care if he likes it or not hehe!!

  13. I have all the ingredients, I love the combo, and its easy, what is there not to love about this post…..other than you being sick. Hope you feel better 🙂

  14. Thanks, Alyssa! I’m going to whip up a batch! I’m always looking for something “simple” yet filling to munch on! Love the idea of the egg on top!

  15. this salad sounds just perfect! and I love that it only has 5 ingredients that I almost always have at home

  16. I love quinoa and other grains because you can put just about any other ingredients with them and have a delicious meal ready in minutes. I love the black beans in here–the meatiness offsets the light texture of the quinoa so well. Yum!

    • I love quinoa. I am on a diet because of surgery on my mouth. There are so many different ways you can serve it and it taste so yummy. And so healthy. Need to try it with black beans. I have never had it with eggs. Must try it. Love getting your recipes.
      Thanks, Em

  17. Glad to hear you’re feeling better and I’m sure this nourishing salad helped do the trick. I just bought some cilantro and limes for a dressing I had in mind but I hadn’t considered adding it to quinoa which is a staple in my home. Love this!

  18. Yum. Cilantro-lime rice with black beans is my favorite on the rare occasions I eat at On the Boarder or Chipotle, but I have a feeling this quinoa recipe is just a tiny bit healthier. And I bet it would taste every bit as good in a burrito 🙂

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