Recipe creation is a funny thing. There are those moments when no amount of testing produces the result I’m looking for. I’ll put so much work into a recipe, only to have it fall short after hours (or days) of work. Vegan baked goods are notorious for being fussy at times, especially when trying to make something wholesome without sacrificing flavour. I usually toss the recipe into my reject pile, in case I’m ever crazy enough to dig it out. Sometimes I am. Other times, I don’t want anything to do with it. ever. again.
Then there are moments, like this salad recipe, that come together effortlessly. With no real plan or guide, I just follow my instincts and taste buds. That’s the best kind of recipe! Summer dishes shine like this which is why I love creating new dishes this time of the year. Things are more simple and the fresh ingredients speak for themselves.
On Friday, we were rushing to get out the door for a weekend at the in-laws and I had a small window of opportunity to throw some food together. I usually try to bring a big batch of Vegan overnight oats, some snacks like hummus and crackers and fruit, and a hearty grain and bean salad. Booze, to balance it all out. Thankfully, I had some cooked quinoa in the fridge and then from there I pulled out a few ingredients from the crisper, decided on an overall flavour, and then whisked together a simple dressing to pour on top.
Black beans. Quinoa. Green onions. Carrots. Cilantro. Cumin. Lime. Love.
Oh, and don’t forget to shoot some quick photos before throwing it into a container and flying out the door!!
Fresh. Delicious. Ready in the amount of time it takes to cook a batch of quinoa. I’ll take it!
If you’re looking for a simple salad to prepare for a road trip, picnic, or just a light lunch, I hope you’ll give this a try! I like to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I have a few more family gatherings this week due to some very special visitors and I already plan on making it at least two more times this week. What can I say, when I like something I want to make it all the time.
Tangy Cilantro-Lime Quinoa Salad
This black bean quinoa salad is so fresh and tangy! It's delicious paired with creamy avocado and fresh pita bread or crackers. If you're not as big of a fan as I am of tangy/acidic dressings, feel free to reduce the amount of lime juice called for.
For the salad:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 3 cups cooked)
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can black beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, julienned (about 1 1/2 cups) or 1 large chopped and roasted sweet potato
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Fine grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Lemon-Tahini Dressing (optional)
- Sliced avocado (optional)
- Endurance Crackers, pita bread, or crackers of choice (optional)
For the dressing:
- 5 to 5 1/2 tablespoons (75 to 82.5 mL) fresh lime juice, to taste
- 4 tablespoons (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- To prepare the quinoa: Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Add into pot along with 1.5 cups (375 mL) water or veggie broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium, and then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 14 to 17 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat and steam with the lid on for 5 additional minutes. Fluff with fork and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, cilantro, carrots (or roasted sweet potato), and green onions.
- Whisk together the dressing in a small bowl or jar. Adjust to taste if desired. Pour onto salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste until everything pops.
- Spoon into bowl and drizzle on some Lemon-Tahini Dressing. Top with sliced avocado and serve with Endurance Crackers, if desired.
- The flavours tend to mellow when this salad sits in the fridge, as the quinoa absorbs the dressing a lot. I recommend giving it a "refresh" by adding a squeeze of lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and more seasonings to taste. Stir it all together, and taste.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Another thought – this would also be fantastic with diced avocado and/or mango! Summer tomatoes too. Have fun playing around with the recipe…it’s a good one to adapt.
I make almost the identical quinoa bowl but use the red grain variety and and add hemp seeds and avocado (using less evoo.) This combo of lime and cilantro is tasting so fresh this time of year – can’t get enough! So glad to see you posting a savory dish, Ange – it’s been a while :)
Looks like something even I could make! ;)
I just found your blog and I am in love. I made this recipe as soon as I read it and it is perfect and delicious and surprising and hearty; I can’t say enough good things.
You are officially bookmarked. Thanks for the great recipe!
Mmmm cumin and lime are two of my favourite flavours. I also love new ways to use quinoa, so this will quickly be brought into my summer meal rotation!
Soo delicious!! The dressing is so simple yet so divine. I even accidentally made millet instead of quinoa cause I was rushing through my pantry. I think with quinoa it would be better and a little lighter than the millet but ehh, for a mistake it turned out pretty good I think! Thanks for the awesome summer recipe, probably going to eat this everyday for lunch ;)
I made this salad last night for dinner and all I have to say is YUMMY. It was so good. I loved the lime flavor. I ate it for lunch today and it was even better. One of my favorite salads. I will be making this again. Thanks, Angela!
I made this tonight and it’s delicious! I didn’t change a thing except the kind of onion (Walla Walla Sweets are what I had). I cooked the quinoa in my rice cooker (1c quinoa, 2c water) and it came out perfect! Thank you Angela!
Angela, is there anything I can sub for the cilantro? My husband and I just can’t seem to get out tastebuds around this ingredient. I’m finding it almost overpowering.
I made this last night in my rush to get something on the table. Fast, delicious and really filling. I added some lime zest as well. Thanks for all your inspiration!
Wow, that looks delicious, looking forward to trying this recipes. I have been looking to incorporate quinoa into my diet from some time, and i already have a short list of special dishes that i rely on – mostly quinoa pasta, but this looks like an excellent addition to my arsenal.
I made this tonight and it was so tasty. I swapped out the cumin for smoked paprika though, and added avocado, baby spinach and cherry tomatoes. Super delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!
This dish is SO YUMMY!!! I love all of your recipes. Quick, easy, and healthy! Thank you so much. Between this dish and the rainbow raw pad thai–I’m addicted :)
Thank you Jeannie! So happy to hear that you are enjoying everything so much.
Just made this salad and it is absolutely delicious! Added some avocado for fun :)
Oh yum!!! I have some leftover quinoa was last night’s dinner so this will work out perfectly. Crossing my fingers that my veggie pick-up tomorrow at the farmers’ market has cilantro in it!!
Love the dressing! I had it on salad(quiona, lettuce and veggies) two nights in a row.
This was awesome! I used bulgur wheat instead of quinoa and omitted the cilantro (hate the stuff) and it was still so good.
I made this last night (with the avocado) to take to a summer potluck…it was a HUGE hit and many were grateful for a grain free dish! :) I Thanks Angela!!
This looks so good! I would definitely add avocado :)
I’m making this for dinner as I type this comment. I can’t wait to sit down and eat! I just tasted the dressing and it is SO good!
:) hope you enjoyed it Stephanie!
It was delicious, Angela! And I want to use the dressing for everything! :-)
I have been a reader/ taste tester of your site for many moons now. This recipe looks absolutely INCREDIBLE and I cannot wait to make it. Thank you for all the veggie love. You kinda rock
Shannon, you are so sweet! Thank you – I hope you enjoy it!
I just made this recipe and am currently enjoying it for lunch (with some organic corn tortilla chips, which I’m dipping in it, lol!)! I changed it up a bit, and used veggies I had on hand–1 red pepper, half a cucumber, and 1 cup of corn. So good! Thank you, Angela! I will definitely be making this again.
I just made this salad!! Delicious!!!
I made this a few days ago and it was a big hit. I added a bit more maple syrup as it seemed a bit heavy on the lime (sour!). This is my favourite recipe website now. Love it! Thanks so much.
Looks delicious! I’m looking forward to trying it out :)
My roommate and I are making this right now! Just had the first bite and it was delicious! I love the cumin/maple pairing. Thank you for the recipe!
Anything with cumin and cilantro sounds good to me! I will definitely be making this for an upcoming picnic potluck!
This salad looks delicious!
I couldn’t agree more about summertime cooking! It’s such an easy season to throw a bunch of fresh veggies in a bowl and have a delicious meal! No fuss, no muss! :)
This was super for dinner tonight. My four-year-old swore he didn’t like it but then came back for seconds.
My husband and I have been reading The China Study and have decided to start converting to veganism. I’m so glad I have your blog to turn to! I’ve been making your recipes for more than a year. I’m really looking forward to your cookbook.
Absolutely delicious, and so satisfying! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipes.
Just made this tonight, found your site last night and have been addicted to reading the recipes since! They all seem simple, with good ingredients and I love that they are geared more towards pleasing more than one person (my husband is not vegan or even vegetarian, and is highly skeptical of anything I cook). So…verdict is this was a hit with both myself and my own ‘fast food and pop addicted husband’!! It was delicious- smokey and tart with a hearty bean taste, we will be making this again!! Thanks for the recipe!
This is so good! Light, fresh, and the lime + green onions make it.
I made this for a potluck I was hosting this weekend and tripled the recipe since I am driven by my Dutch-Irish roots and always convinced that SOMEONE WILL BE HUNGRY if I don’t cook for a crowd at least three times the size of my actual guest list. That may have been a wee bit too much, but the guests loved it and darn if the leftovers aren’t great (and feeding me this week!). :) Thank you!
Awesome! Leftovers are the best :)
I am new to your website and love the variety of healthy recipes I see posted.i really like this cumin lime black bean quinoa salad. I can’t find the nutritional information on recipes tho.. Such as calories, protein, etc. am I missing where this is located??? Thanks!!!
Hey Sue, I try to post it at the bottom of the directions, but I didn’t have time when I was posting this particular recipe. When I do post it, I use Calorie Count – it’s free and easy to use, so check it out if you’d like.
Made it for dinner tonight–it was super easy and delicious!
This is so yummy and easy! Will definitely be on the regular meal rotation.
I just made this & love it! Learning to love vegan recipes, one by one. I am not vegan, and therefore I grated up a little asiago cheese & threw it in.. It’s delicious!
This recipe is so good! I am seriously making it right now for the fourth time since you posted the recipe. Thank you so much!
We had this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! The two year old kept moaning, “This is soooo yummy mommy!” The five year old at first said he wasn’t going to eat it because he “doesn’t like quinoa”, and by the end had asked me if we could “have this everyday?!”
Hubby and I enjoyed it too! Thanks1!
Yum yum yum this is soooooo good! I didn’t have black beans or green onions but it turned out delicious with regular onions and pigeon peas. You’re right abort waiting to eat it until it has sat overnight in the fridge. I didn’t wait, and I liked it for dinner the day I made it. Absolutely loved it chilled at lunch the next day. Made me feel so clean and healthy. I have a few friends at church who all follow your blog, and we had ourselves a nice Facebook discussion about how yummy this is and how we all ate it right after making it. Next time I have to bring a side dish anywhere I’m bringing this.
I just made this salad. It was DEEEElicious! I’m going to try your kale salad tomorrow. :)
Thanks again for the awesome recipes!
Yum! I knew as soon as I saw this I’d have to make it tonight–it combines so many of my favorite things! I added some avocado, per your suggestion, and also some spicy pumpkin seeds I’d roasted for an earlier recipe, both very tasty additions.
I’ve just recently discovered your site and have been enjoying clicking around so much. It re-energized me after I’d been in a bit of a cooking slump. I’ve been trying to eat a more plant-based diet for the past 6 months or so, and I’ve been happily overwhelmed at the ideas I’ve found here. For the recipes, beautiful photos, and the generosity with which you’ve shared your own story: thank you, Angela!
I am going to make this for work lunches this week. Do you think I could throw a serving size in a mason jar and have it keep for a couple extra days? I did mason jar salads last week for lunch and loved how easy it was to grab and go.
This looks great, but I’m not a fan of cilantro (for some reason it always taste like soap to me:/). Any suggestions for a replacement?
What about parsley? Generally it’s a good sub in cilantro recipes (obviously not the exact same flavour profile, but I find it is quite versatile)
Quinoa diesn’t agree with me so I whipped this up with rice instead…delicious! A great quick summer meal. Thanks :)
Oh…and parsley subbed for cilantro as per your suggestion (I am one of those wierd cilantro=soap people!)
I just made this – to die for! – and added 4 cups of finely chopped kale to the dressing and “massaged” it. I also swapped in a orange pepper for the carrot and a shallot for the green onions! The nutrition is awesome: 381 cal; 62 g carbs; 10 g fat; 15.5 g protein and a whopping 11 g of fiber! Thanks Angela!
Oh my god I just made this. Oh my god oh my god oh my god. I cannot wait to horse this down for tomorrows lunch! THANK YOU!!
My husband I just made this recipe and it was amazing! Love the vintage bowls you served in as well. I actually sell vintage dinnerware and have a line similar, if not the same! Would you mind if I share your photo and tag your blog with my fans?
Hi Michelle, Sure that’s not a problem to use a photo. All I ask is that you provide photo credit (photo credit: Angela Liddon/Ohsheglows.com) below the photo with a link to the recipe. So glad you both enjoyed the recipe by the way!
I just tried this dressing with the chick pea salad and it is SO SO good. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe as well, as soon as I find some Quinoa around here! (We just moved). Anyway, I just wanted to say that you are a big inspiration to me and I’ve loved every recipe that I’ve tried so far. I hope your cookbook is coming along – you can count on me to buy one!
All the best.
I love this recipe! Tonight I subbed mixed greens for quinoa and added avocado. So yummy!
Made this today with half quinoa / pearl barley and black eyed beans instead of black beans, it was so delicious! How good is lime and cilantro. thank you from Perth,
Australia :) xxx
This is delicious. I lightly toasted the quinoa prior to adding the water. My 16 year old and I both loved it.