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 must admit, I can never follow a recipe exactly. Most of the time it turns out great when I add my own twist. This recipe was so good that I had to share! It was my first time using black quinoa, and I loved it! The only veggie that I had in the house was kale from my garden and a butternut squash. For the dressing, I added the butternut squash and white beans to the above ingreadients and purreed in a food processor. I added that to the quinoa and sauted kale and wa-la sweet kale black quinoa surprise!
Yum! Is 1.5 cups of cilantro, finely chopped the right measurement for the salad? That seems like so much!
yes it is :)
Made this recipe and absolutely love it! I just had a quick question, do you ever use dried black beans and if so how do you prepare them? Thanks for all the delicious recipes!
i’ve been reading your blog for years and have bookmarked so many recipes to try and this was one of them. Then a friend sent me this recipe the other day (and highly recommended your site) and since I had all the ingredients I decided to try it out for a potluck (with omnivores, who kindly prepared mostly vegan foods) and everyone liked it! the flavours were perfect and I bet it would be good in a tortilla with salsa.
p.s. Since some people don’t like cilantro (apparently it’s genetic), I made a bit with parsley instead and added a bit of lemon juice – it was pretty good.
This recipe is absolutely delicious! It’s so fresh and flavorful and was simple to make after a very manic Monday at work! I followed the recipe exactly except that I used a little less oil in the dressing then added a few quartered cherry tomatoes, put it on a bed of fresh baby spinach and ate it warm. Thank you so much for this recipe!
I just love this recipe! I’ve probably made it six or seven times in the last few months! I mostly follow it exactly but have added a pinch of cayenne a couple of times. Your edamamme hummus is another favorite. Can’t wait for your cookbook!
This is an awesome salad!! I took it to a party and it was a hit, everyone loved it. Thanks!!!
I made this salad on the weekend but made quite a few substitutions – instead of black beans, I used chickpeas and lentils (as black beans are quite hard to come by in Australia), and I forgot to buy cilantro so I used dried parsley instead. It was so easy to make and is a great work lunch! The dressing isn’t as evident to taste as I’d maybe like it to be, but I’ll definitely try this again and see how it goes. Thanks for the recipe – I went vegan last week and am so relieved that your website is around to guide me! x
I made something very similar to this and called it the “Six Week Salad” … I would make a half-gallon of it on Monday and take it to my clinical rotations Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday. Each day I would add a whole chopped mango and large handful of grape tomatoes … I seriously had this every clinical day for the last six weeks of my RAD program! When something works you go with it :)
Your website is amazing! I am newly vegan and a bit of a lazy cook, so your quick and easy recipes are perfect for me. Thank you for making my meals more flavorsome.
This salad is FANTASTIC!!! I loosely adapted it to suit the tastes of the customer base that I have in my cafe’ located inside a bike shop. I’ve even got die hard meat and potato bike mechanics eating this salad! Way to go Oh’-She-Glows!
Yum, I just made this with a few substitutions based on what I had on hand (honey instead of maple syrup, basil instead of cilantro, some grape tomatoes added in because I only had a few small carrots, and I threw in a few pinto beans along with the black beans because I had some that I needed to use up, and no onions but I would love to make it with the onions next time!). Very tasty and a great, healthy lunch! I couldn’t wait and had to eat it right away, so I’m excited to try it again after it’s been in the fridge for a bit. Thanks Angela! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. (Planning to make your peanut better balls next – SO excited for that recipe.)
Is there a general substitute for cumin? Everything about this sounds delicious except that I detest cumin. Could I just leave it out?
Yes you can probably leave it out! A pinch of two of chili powder might be nice!
I have a similar salad I make with brown rice, basically the same, and same dressing flavors, except it has diced red bell pepper and sometimes corn (in the summer), with lots of cilantro. Yes, these salads keep well, travel well, and are the first to go at potlucks and gatherings. I also add diced avocado, and a crumble of a good feta at serving time. Yum! Thanks for posting, and giving me a chance to add the roasted veggies for some variety, especially in the Winter time!
I brought this salad to work today and it was absolutely perfect. I’m so happy I have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch as well. I’ll have to try it with sweet potatoes too. :)
Angela, great recipe however, I’m wondering if you could provide nutritional breakdown for your recipes? I’m wondering if you’re cookbook which I have pre-ordered will
Have nutritional information included? Thanks…
You have been a Godsend to me! One of my four daughters has been a vegetarian since kindergarten. Your site has provided me with the yummiest stuff! Not only does she eat it, but very often the rest of my family will have a “murder-less” meal along with us if it is one of your recipes. (The quote is from my daughter, not me) Thank you for all your energy and time you put into these recipes and sharing!
Absolutely delicious! I ran out of cilantro so subbed in some fresh parsley and it was awesome. Thanks! :)
One of the best vegan recipes I have EVER had. Second time making it and I decided to triple the batch, it is THAT good. I do cut the oil and syrup in 1/3 and add extra carrots/ cilantro, but wouldn’t change anything else. AMAZING, just bought the cook book cannot wait to try more!
I tried out this recipe today, with the addition of a jar of roasted, diced Anaheim chiles. It works well with the cumin, lime, cilantro, green onion, and garlic. Tasty flavors and healthy recipes…I am glad I found your site.
Hands down one of the best salads I’ve ever had! I added kale for some extra green goodness.
Wonderful website and this recipe looks great. I’m not much of a cook (yet) so I’m unsure of a couple things. First, did you really mean to say, “Add 1 cup quinoa into pot along with 1.5 cups water or veggie broth?” Wouldn’t that much quinoa require more water or should it be intentionally ‘crunchie?’ And secondly, when you say “1.5 cups of cilantro, finely chopped,” would that be 1.5 cups before chopping (which actually yeilds approx. 3/4 cups once it’s chopped), or should you end up with 1.5 cups chopped (which seems like a lot)? Sorry, I’m so slow!!! Some of these foods are fairly new to me (somethiing I’m about to change). Thanks!
Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/07/19/cumin-lime-black-bean-quinoa-salad-quick-easy/#ixzz2xZbwKVtT
Aaaaack!! Please ignore my first question. I followed your instruction (1 C. quinoa to 1.5 C. water) and of course it was fine. I guess the grain holds some water from the rinsing so that the amount of water is correct. Sometimes I just beak off before thinking! Sorry!
No need to post this if you’d rather not as it’s my third comment within the space of 1-1/2 hours(!!!) but I made this recipe and OMG!!! It was even tastier than the photos lead me to believe. The combination was virtuosic ~ exactly what my nutrient-starved body is craving. It’s my third recipe from your blog (Homemade Almond Milk & Cheesy Kale Chips, both of them also phenomenal). You are brilliant. That is all.
Hi Angela – I came across your website a while ago but have only just started trying out the recipes and I know I’ve made a great decision :) This recipe is absolutely delicious but I wanted to let you know of an addition I made that was fantastic – I wanted to make it more ‘green’ so I shredded some kale in a food processor (first time I’ve ever shredded kale and I’ll certainly be doing it again), so it was almost like parsley and added it with some additional dressing (double the amount) to help soften the kale and it was divine! Definitely a good recipe that you can dress and leave in the fridge and the flavour really grabs to the ingredients with a bit of time. Thank you for the great recipes!
I am eating this salad as I type…Yum! I added avocado and tomatoes as suggested. Would probably make a bit more dressing for more flavor next time but it is certainly good as is.
Sensational, did a mixture of both julienned carrots and roast sweet potatoes. Thanks Angela!
Oh so good!!! Made this yesterday and had a big bowl for dinner. I just had it in tacos with chicken and lettuce for lunch today. I doubled the sauce because last time I made it, it was a little on the dry side. This time it’s PERFECT! Also added extra cumin and maple syrup and agave nectar for a lil more sweetness. When I cook things this good I wonder to myself if I should open a restaurant! lol thank you for the awesome recipe! I also used red onion and added a small bunch of fresh parsley. My tastebuds just went nuts! (I also marinated my chicken overnight in the fridge in a splash of oil & vinegar and kicken chicken seasoning.)
This is my go to summer salad, I made it dozens of times last summer and I am so happy to be coming back to it now for the holiday weekend! Thank you!
Hello Angela, Thank you for this wonderful blog! Thanks to you and my love for cooking I am a very satisfied Vegan, again. The first go around was not as much fun. Thanks to you I have found the most delicious and nutritious recipes. I have tried both the weekend glow kale and back on track salads, salad bows, and the strawberry lime crisp, almond butter balls, carrot baked oatmeal and the overnight oatmeal. All were really delicious! I was skeptical while reading your description and praise of each recipe, but it is totally TRUE!!! Every recipe has been a wonderful adventure in my kitchen with the best outcome imaginable. So tasty and satisfying just bursting with flavor and wonderful textures!. Light and satisfying. Okay, that will be all the praise, for now! I just want to thank you again for sharing your passion for nutritious home cooked food and delicious recipes! I really have enjoyed sampling recipes and plan to peruse through some more tomorrow. So, today I made Cumin Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad and as expected, I love it!! I used red quinoa and sweet potatoes. So good! Thank you!
Thank you Kelli! I’m so happy you are having success with the recipes. :) And thanks for your congrats! xo
I’ve made this salad twice. I prefer the sweet potatoes because I like their added sweetness! The first time I made it, I used half parsley half cilantro, which was also delicious. The salad kept for a whole week in my fridge!
This recipe is sooo delicious. I never thought I wouldn’t be able to stop eating a salad. I made it with sweet potatoes instead of the carrots (I love the black bean/sweet potato combo) and followed the recipe exactly. I definitely recommend this recipe- one of the few quinoa salad recipes I’ve really enjoyed!
Delicious salad! I used roasted sweet potato as an alternative to carrot.
Absolutely delicious. I would have used 2 limes instead of just one, but other than that, perfect! I added spinach, lettuce (had some leftovers I had to pass lol) and a diced avocado!
I just made this recipe with extra roasted sweet potatoes…..oh, you have to try this. It is amazing.
I love this salad! It’s always my go to for potlucks. I like to add edamame, avocado, sliced almonds and queso fresco, which is crumbly like feta but tastes more like mozzarella. Really you could add anything to this salad. The dressing is soooo yummy!!
Just made this for lunch and oooooh my goodness, so good!! I agree with all the previous posters that say this will probably taste even better after soaking up all the flavors overnight in the fridge!
Thank you so much for such a simple, easy, and healthy recipe!! :)
what is the name of your font used in the Header of this site? pretty please?
Just made this, absolutely delicious!!! 5 stars!
I just made this with lentils because I didn’t have enough quinoa. It is awesome!
I just made this for the first time tonight and it is delish! My fiancé is notoriously picky, and he actually tried it (win!), and even said he liked it (double win!). I will definitely be making this in the future. Thanks!
Wow – this was really good, I swapped out veggies to what I had on hand, and it was still awesome. Thanks for the recipes as we work to transition to healthier eating!
Made this tonight as a side for some vege fajitas. Delicious! So fresh, fast and easy. Look forward to finishing the rest for lunch tomorrow!
hiya, i am probably one of the only people that doesnt care for quinoa. what would you substitute for it?? thanks
I’ve been reading your blog for years but I never commented. But I have to say, I absolutely love this recipe! I’ve made it so often and everybody loves it. Every time we’re invited to a BBQ or a party, people ask me to bring this dish. And they’re all meat eaters!
I am a personal trainer in the eat clean discipline looking for quick, but health recipes and THIS ONE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES!!! The combo of nutritious, quick, and easy cannot be beat!!
Trainee’s come into the training office and everyone is always curious about this dish. I always offer a bite, and everyone is surprised how good it is! Now I have to try another recipe on this site as I have made this particular one about 15 times in the last two months (twice a week.) Although I will continue to make this because it’s not getting old, I’m just curious how delicious some of the other recipes are : )
Made this for lunch yesterday. Made it the day before and found the dressing had been soaked up and gone away, so added another half quantity of dressing just before service. It was delicious. Most of the people at lunch had either never even heard of quinoa and those that had, couldn’t pronounce it properly – they were all intrigued! I’d made this salad as I’m vegetarian, but don’t particularly like potatoes, but had made up a load of Jersey Royal New Potatoes for the meat and veg brigade, but everyone LOVED this salad and at the end of the day, the quinoa had gone and we had a few potatoes left over, which was really unexpected. Thank you for this recipe – it’s a keeper, and a great one to add/subtract whatever you have/haven’t got in your fridge, atlhough I think the cilantro is a must.
Yum! I printed this recipe out ages ago and I have never made it. Well I made it last night to take for work lunches…it is delicious. I don’t know why I waited so long to make it. I added some fresh snap peas instead of green onions (since I detest onions), and used red quinoa instead of regular since that is what I had on hand. Yum, Yum!
LOVED this salad! The dressing was a perfect combination of sweet and savoury.
I am new to the vegan world and am loving what you offer Angela!
Okay, here’s what this recipe inspired… Brown rice (cooked with a little coconut oil), black beans, scallion, mango, cucumber, jalapeno, cumin, lemon juice–and sprinkled with a bit of shredded coconut! Fantastic. (I’m on Day 48 of being a vegan :-)