This bright and colorful salad is bursting with flavor in every bite! Made with only 5 main ingredients plus a Cilantro Lime Dressing, it's super easy to make and so versatile, working equally well serving a crowd or as meal prep.
Update Spring 2021: We aren’t going away this year for Spring Break, so channeling the tropics with our food this week!
And when I saw a ripe mango in the grocery store, I knew I had to make this Mango Black Bean Quinoa Salad! I make it all summer long because it’s light & refreshing but it’s a perfect way to kick off Spring Break staycation!
It’s so simple and perfect for a side dish at dinner or meal prep and served at lunch with creamy avocado… and the juicy mango paired with the Cilantro-Lime Dressing is so fresh tasting!
Hope you love it too!
Update April 2020: This colorful salad is perfect right now!
Just 5 main ingredients + a simple dressing, it’s fresh, flavorful, satisfying and EASY to make using mostly pantry or frozen items.
Here’s all you need and some easy substitutions if you don’t have everything on hand:
canned black beans, red pepper (don’t have it? Try jarred pepper)
mango (don’t have fresh? Try frozen)
and scallions (Don’t have? Try shallots or onions)
Don’t have cilantro for the dressing? I didn’t either tonight so I added 1/4 teaspoon dried coriander and it tasted great!
Don’t have avocado to top it? Skip and it will still be great.
Hope you love it!
This bright and colorful quinoa salad is crazy easy to make and bursting with flavor in every bite!
I first made it last Spring and it was on repeat all Summer long. Earlier this Spring I made it for a friend and was reminded just how easy and delicious it is! And now I’m whipping it up for Cinco de Mayo!
It is so simple yet the best mix of flavor and textures.
Recipe adapted from Test Kitchen, it’s juicy mango, hearty beans, nutty quinoa, crunchy pepper and scallions, all mixed in a simple Lime Dressing and topped with creamy avocado.
You could skip the avocado but depending on what your eating this with, the avocado makes it heartier and is really yummy.
And you literally only need 5 main ingredients:
plus the simple Cilantro Lime Dressing.
There’s very little cooking involved for this salad, just a little chopping, and cooking the quinoa, so it’s quite quick to assemble!
Lets start with the quinoa. I get lots of messages about how to cook quinoa.
I follow the directions on the package and make the quinoa by combining 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water and bringing to a boil.
Then reduce to simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
Works every time!
Pro-Tip: The quinoa can be made up to several days ahead.
Next lets make the Cilantro Lime Dressing.
It is made with just 6 ingredients:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
fresh lime juice
Blend them together until well combined… that’s it!
Note:I have a range of salt on the dressing. If you use the full amount the dressing may taste salty now but it works when mixed together with the salad. Recently however, I have preferred using less salt in the dressing and adding more to the salad as desired. It’s really about personal tastes.
Pro tip: this can be made ahead too!
Now all you do it toss together all the salad ingredients and mix with the dressing
It all comes together quickly and this easy to prep salad has an amazing mix of flavors and textures.
Pro Tip: This salad stays fresh for several days. However if serving a crowd and you want super fresh, you could prep all the parts ahead of time and assemble last minute.
And if adding avocado, definitely add the avocado last minute to stay extra fresh!
It’s fresh-tasting yet hearty, and perfect as is or alongside any protein of choice.
Best part, it makes a large quantity and stays well for a few days (add avocado only when eating) so it’s great for meal prep or feeding a crowd –brunch, bbq, picnic, a pot luck… or in Spring 2020, it’s great for having in the fridge for lunch or dinner.
A bright, fresh-tasting and hearty salad with a great mix of flavors and textures. Easy to prep, it's perfect on it's own or alongside any protein. Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen. Note: this is a cold salad -- Cook time is for quinoa if you don't already have some cooked.
Course: Salad, Sides, Dinner
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Servings: 6-8 servings
Author: Healthy Gluten-free Family
NOTE April 2020: for substitutions if you don't have ingredients on hand, see top of post.
5tablespoonsfresh Lime Juiceapproximately 3 limes
1/2jalapenostemmed, seeded and chopped (use more for spicier dressing)
1/2 - 1teaspoonsaltUPDATE: I recently made this and decided 1/2 teaspoon salt was enough for me. Start with 1/2 and add more to taste
1/3cupfresh cilantro leavespacked
1cupred bell peppedseeded, stemmed and diced (approximately 1 medium pepper)
1 1/2cupfresh mangodiced (approximately 1 mango, peeled and pitted)
1 - 1/2cupscanned black beansdrained and rinsed (you can use up to 1 full 15oz can of black beans, depending on taste)
3scallionssliced thin, white and green parts or more to taste
1avocadocut into 1 inch pieces, for serving
Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover and cook until water is absorbed and quinoa tender, approximately 15 minutes.
Let cool, the fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. If making salad immediately, spread quinoa onto a rimmed baking sheet and let cool for 20 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl.
Cilantro Lime Dressing
In a small blender or food processor, pulse all the ingredients except olive oil, until broken down and well combined. Add oil and process until well combined.
Add pepper, mango, beans and scallions to bowl with cooled quinoa. Add 1/2 the dressing and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing as desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Hi! My name is Karen, and I’m the mom in our Healthy Gluten-Free Family. My posts and pictures here and on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are labors of love that allow me to share a very personal journey with you, one our family has taken together — learning, experimenting and sharing how to raise a healthy happy gluten-free family. Read more ...