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Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro

Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro

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  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped white onions
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa,* rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • Crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (optional)

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 14 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and cheese, if desired.

  • *A grain with a delicate flavor and a texture similar to that of couscous; available at natural foods stores.

Nutritional Content

One serving contains the following: Analysis is based on using 1 ounce crumbled Cotija cheese per serving. Calories (kcal) 391.35t % Calories from Fat 30.3 Fat (g) 13.16t Saturated Fat (g) 5.07t Cholesterol (mg) 25.23t Carbohydrates (g) 53.04t Dietary Fiber (g) 10.24t Total Sugars (g) 5.56t Net Carbs (g) 42.79t Protein (g) 16.20tReviews Section

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 anymore. It's got lots of fresh, bright flavor and it’s filled with plant-based proteins. It’s light, refreshing and fun.

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.

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.

  • 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.

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!

Quinoa Is a Versatile Superfood

Quinoa’s fluffy texture and versatility easily add protein, antioxidants, and B vitamins to vegetarian or vegan dishes, and it’s yummy at any temperature.

Is quinoa gluten-free? Yes, quinoa is entirely gluten-free while still providing complex carbs.

This superfood is easy to substitute into almost any recipe. Its subtle, nutty taste makes it an excellent fit for beefing up soups, salads, side dishes, or even breakfast bowls with a little extra nutrition.

How to make quinoa with black beans

  1. First, SAUTÈ onions and peppers in olive oil. Use a large deep skillet with a lid or a pot for this.
  2. Then, ADD THE GARLIC and sauté for just about 30 seconds, until it&rsquos fragrant (garlic burns easily so you don&rsquot want to cook for too long at a high heat).
  3. ADD THE QUINOA AND SPICES and stir to coat everything. Make sure you rinse the quinoa first in a mesh sieve, as it will improve the flavor and remove some bitterness.
  4. POUR IN THE VEGETABLE BROTH and stir, then bring to a boil.
  5. COVER AND SIMMER ON LOW until quinoa is cooked (about 20 minutes).
  6. STIR IN THE FROZEN CORN, BLACK BEANS, AND CILANTRO and keep cooking on low until everything is heated through.
  7. Serve!

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (dry)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander (ground, dried cilantro seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 scallions (medium, minced)
  • 1 can black beans (15.5 ounce can, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 cups tomato (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (medium, chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (medium, chopped)
  • 2 green chiles (minced, to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)

1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water. Boil water in a saucepan, and then add the quinoa.

2. Return to boil, and then simmer until the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Cool for 15 minutes. While quinoa is cooking, mix olive oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, chopped cilantro, and scallions in a small bowl, and set aside.

4. Combine chopped vegetables with the black beans in a large bowl, and set aside.

5. Once quinoa has cooled, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tacos, Fajitas, Enchiladas & More

Weight Watchers Spicy Quinoa Salad

A quick and easy lunch or dinner that’s ready in 30 minutes.

You can serve it hot or cold.

Made with lime, red pepper flakes, cumin, black beans, cherry tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro.

This healthy salad is vegan, vegetarian, and low fat.

MyWW Points: 8 Green Plan,
8 Smart Points.

We add new recipes almost every day, so check back often!

We are not affiliated with Weight Watchers/WW in any way. We just like creating healthier recipe options. We do not give any advice on diet or eating habits. Please consult a doctor before changing your diet.
Double check points on the official calculator.

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links where I make a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking a link. There is no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 limes juiced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 can (15oz) black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 5 green onions finely chopped to taste to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped

Equipment you will need:

How to make:

  1. In a saucepan over medium/high heat, add water and quinoa.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer approx 10 – 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat to cool.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together, lime juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, cumin, and 1 tsp salt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, and onions. Stir to mix.
  5. Pour the lime juice mix over the quinoa. Toss to coat.
  6. Add salt, pepper, and cilantro. Stir to mix.
  7. Can be served immediately, or refrigerated for a chilled salad.

If you’re interested in seeing the tools and equipment we use in our kitchen, we have them posted here.

Need to make more or fewer servings?
On Desktop, hover over “Servings” # and move the slider to desired number of servings.

Related Video

Very tasty and easy to throw together. Would up the dressing by half next time

This is one of the best recipes I've ever made, which surprises me, because I expected it to be good, but not *that* good. The lime dressing is everything. I will make the dressing by itself for tossed salads, it's so good. I did a couple of tweaks due to the ingredients on hand: I roasted some grape tomatoes instead of using chopped tomato. I used all olive oil in the dressing. And I didn't have cilantro, so I used a small bit of fresh parsley + a sprinkle of dried coriander powder. I think I also sprinkled a little garlic powder. Anyway, it was amazing from the first taste. I will make it again this very week. I think I might try using half the amount of black beans and adding some fresh steamed shrimp. This would also be good with basil leaves and some baby mozzarella balls in a takeoff of salad caprese. As long as you keep to the base, it's the kind of recipe you can play with.

Delicious and easy. We used dried beans and cooked them up, which added a little flavor. Would be great with some garlic in there too!

Delicious and so easy! Don't omit or substitute for the lime and lime zest -- that's what really makes this dish.

Great simple recipe that highlights the natural flavors of each ingredient. I substituted olive oil for the butter but I also like the coconut oil idea. I also added corn and avocado. Great fresh taste!

I'm not a huge quinoa fan but this recipe was really good. I'll definitely make it again. The cooking process looked a little laborious so instead I just brought the 2 cups of water and the cup of quinoa to a boil, covered, turned to low and cooked for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat and leave covered for 5 more minutes (without peaking). It was perfectly cooked.

I've made this many times, and now, as suggested by others, I melt the coconut oil with a little butter or EVOO and the lime juice and toss that into the salad. Yum.

Very quick and easy to make. I got lazy and didn't do that steaming suggested at the end but it was good anyway.

I make this frequently and my family loves it and asks for it. Last time I made it I substituted melted coconut oil for the butter and it was great. Definitely a different flavor profile but equally as good as the original and it makes the dish vegan and dairy free.

A weekly staple in our home, this recipe is fantastic and super easy to make your own. Add whatever veggies you like and mix up the dressing, and you have a new salad every week. Love it.

This was delicious and ready to eat in 20 minutes! I also followed the directions on the quinoa box ( no rinsing, draining or steaming). Skipped the butter, too much work when you can add extra olive oil. Also added avocado. Yum!

Absolutely delicious. Kids loved it too. I went with the recommendation below and used rice wine vinegar instead of butter. Turned out fantastic.

This is a phenomenal recipe. My friend made it for me but substituted the butter with rice wine vinegar. I can't eat it any other way.

Added extra lime juice, can of niblets corn, purple onion, garlic, oregano, and a little bit of Cholula (Mexican hot sauce) - very yummy!

So delicious - I couldn't stop eating the quinoa with just the dressing, before adding all the other good stuff!! Definitely a keeper! I also just followed standard cooking directions on the quinoa.

I made this: earlier in the week and was disappointed. But this recipe, on the other hand, is perfectly balanced and flavourful. I substituted mint (which grows abundantly in my garden) for the cilantro in this case since I had run out of the latter, and I also used black-bean cooking water (about half of my water) in the water for this (this is something I do when I have leftover cooking water, to impart more flavour as well as hopefully absorb any vitamins/minerals that are left in the cooking water).

So yummy! Very filling, will make again!

This is our family's go-to camping salad. Love it.

This is a great vegetarian recipe. I prepared it with a citrus marinated grilled chicken for the meat eaters. No need to wash the quinoa. I used red quinoa, added avocado, grilled corn kernels, and sauteed the scallions. The entire family loved it!

STOP the quinoa-washing madness! I almost never wash my quinoa and it's fine. It has become my go-to carb - whole grain, fast, tasty and healthy. I only use 1 1/2 c water to 1 c quinoa, otherwise it takes too long to cook. This is a super easy and tasty recipe. A winner.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe. We make it all the time, sometimes making a double batch so we can eat off it all week long. I use 1/4 of a red onion, diced, instead of the scallions. I also skip the complicated quinoa directions and follow package instructions (1 cup quinoa boiled with 2 cups water, simmered for 15 minutes covered, taken from heat and left covered for another 5 minutes). YUM!!

This is a keeper! Based on my daughter's recommendation, I used mangoes instead of tomatoes. Next time, I would add a little more lime juice. Perfect recipe for a BBQ side dish.

Excellent recipe. Made it for Cinco de Mayo with Carnitas (from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking) and corn on the cob with cilantro/lime/chile butter and margaritas. This provided a healthier option to beans and rice and the flavors were perfect.

totally excellent as written. after making it a couple times I have changed it some and would like to share that version. the quinoa suits us just fine with being rinsed well and cooked 1cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid for 15 min. Perfectly fine. I know when I have fresh lime on hand it is the way to go but we tried using some key lime juice in the bottle out of the fridge ..3Tbsp and it stood in just fine! Another substitution I made that was good was a can of organic tomatos with green chiles instead of fresh. Surprisingly good. We also like to kind of coarsely mash about half the beans too. Oh, and running short on green onions I threw in some finely chopped red onion and it was perfect! So many things you could do with this basic recipe to make it your own. I love it!

How to charr corn on the bbq?

This salad tastes best if using charred corn on the cob. Take 2 ears of corn, peel back the husk and rub with 1 tsp butter per ear. Sprinkle with salt and pepper mixture. Fold the husk back up over the ear to cover the kernels.

Grill the corn over the hot side of the grill, turning frequently, for about 25 minutes or until done. The exact cooking time will vary depending on how hot your fire is. Be sure to turn the corn frequently to keep it from burning. If you like more char, grill the corn over high heat. For less charr, grill over low heat for a little longer.

Talking Meals

Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos are a scrumptious eat-with-your-hands family dinner! They are packed with protein and fiber, but also ooey-gooey cheese, tomato, cilantro, and sour cream! The ‘meat’ in this recipe is a flavorful taco-seasoned quinoa, black bean, and cauliflower filling. I mean, could it get any healthier!? But yet, it tastes like a burrito, it looks like a burrito, and it oozes like a burrito!

These Quinoa Black Bean Burritos are also such an easy Meal Prep idea because you can prep them entirely ahead and wrap them individually in foil. Then toss them into the oven to warm through and enjoy!

And….they are a great way to use ingredients from your pantry!

Click here to get more pantry dinner ideas and Pantry Must-Haves for Quick & Easy Dinners!

Protein and Fiber!

We all know that protein and fiber are important, but do you know if you’re getting enough each day? It’s recommended that Women get at least 25g of Fiber and 46 grams of Protein per day (for the average sedentary woman).

I try to keep my carb intake down, so I generally eat a high protein diet. However, when I checked my daily fiber intake, I was only at about 15g and was really surprised!! Track your Fiber for a day or two and see how you stack up.

1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8g of protein and 5g of fiber. Black Beans have a whopping 15g of protein and 15g of Fiber in 1 cup! Both are a great source of healthy protein and fiber!

Other Black Bean and Quinoa Recipes I love:

Quick note! This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them. This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :). But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used.


Nothing special for this one! Just a small-medium pot with lid for the quinoa. You also need a large skillet/frying pan for making the filling. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning. It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!


We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)


I love quinoa in this recipe because it just perfectly melds with the other ingredients and absorbs the taco seasoning. It’s also a superfood that’s much healthier than using rice. That said, you could certainly swap the quinoa for rice if you prefer.

Start by rinsing the quinoa thoroughly in a strainer, then adding it to the water with the salt. Bring the water to a simmer, then turn it down to the lowest setting and cover. Cook covered for 20 minutes. Then turn off the heat, but leave the cover on for another 5 minutes.

Prep the rest of the ingredients

I love adding cauliflower to this recipe because the flavor completely transforms and for these 3 reasons:

  1. It is your main vegetable and makes this a balanced meal. That means it brings the vitamins and nutrients that you would not be getting from the other ingredients.
  2. It balances out the calories and carbs from the quinoa and black beans. Without the cauliflower, you would need to add more quinoa and beans.
  3. It provides the ‘meaty’ texture that we usually have in a burrito from the beef.

You can leave the cauliflower out if you want, but you will have less filling and therefore, less burritos. You will want to add another 1/2 can of beans and another 2 cups of quinoa for 10 burritos.

Cut the cauliflower florets into small pieces. You want these to blend into the filling not be too big in the burrito.

Shred the cheese. Dice the tomato.


To a preheated large pan/skillet, add the oil and then the cauliflower florets. Cook for 5 minutes until they are browned.

Drain the black beans of any excess liquid and add them to the cauliflower in the pan. Then add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer.

Add the quinoa and stir to combine. Add the taco seasoning and chili powder. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed (depends on how salty your taco seasoning is).


When you are ready to assemble, warm your tortillas. I like to give them a light grill in a pan, but you can also warm them in the microwave.

Lay the tortilla on a flat surface and add 1/2 cup of the Quinoa Black Bean filling towards the bottom. Add the other toppings…Cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream.

Then roll the burrito by first folding over the bottom of the tortilla over filling. Then fold in the sides and roll it up. You can serve it now or if you want to store and reheat later, place on a square piece of aluminum foil on a diagonal, towards the bottom point. Roll it up and then fold the sides under.

Watch the video: Σαλάτα με Κινόα. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (May 2022).