quinoa salad with black beans, avocado and cumin-lime dressing

June 8, 2011

Quinoa Black Bean Avocado Salad

This is my kind of salad. I’ve written before about how awesome grain salads are as a go-to lunch option in the warmer months. I like big batches of things. Soups in the winter, salads in the summer. It’s easy.

Tomatoes and Avocado 650

Usually my grain salads lean towards Mediterranean flavours but this one has a Mexican spin. Black beans, avocado, cilantro, and a cumin-lime dressing all lend it that character. The cherry tomatoes I just couldn’t resist adding for a pop of juice and the red pepper adds sweetness and crunch.

Make this up on a Sunday afternoon and eat it through the week for lunches, you know, when it’s 100F (38C) outside (really, Minneapolis?). Corn tortilla chips on the side are optional but definitely recommended. Same with a Mexican beer. Yum.


Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado and Cumin-Lime Dressing
serves 4-6


  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, chopped into chunks
  • handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
  • small handful cilantro, diced
  • 1 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste


  1. Warm the olive/coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the rinsed quinoa and toast for about 2-3 minutes until it starts smelling nutty and lovely. Add water, stir once, cover, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all other ingredients. Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, oil, cumin, and salt. Whisk it aggressively. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  3. When the quinoa has finished cooking, remove it from heat and fluff with a fork. Add black beans and toss to warm them through.
  4. Let the quinoa cool for about five minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients, including the dressing, and mix. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with tortilla chips and a refreshing, cold beer.


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