This Quinoa Black Bean Salad is loaded with ingredients that will leave you feeling great. Roasting tomatoes brings out their subtle sweetness, and walnuts add a refreshing crunch. Finish it with a touch of acid from lemon juice and a sprinkle of salty feta for a vegetarian salad that is hearty, satisfying, and full of flavor.
If you want a delicious meal that is gluten-free and sure to fuel your day, this Black Bean Quinoa Salad is perfect!
It is a cinch to throw together and makes the perfect nutritions weekday lunch or dinner. It can also double as a hearty side.
Ingredients for Making Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
- Tomatoes: Either cherry or grape tomatoes work.
- Olive Oil: Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Maple Syrup: You could use honey if you like, but I prefer the flavor of maple syrup.
- Seasonings: Salt and crushed red pepper flakes add just the right amount of flavor. For even more flavor, you could add ground cumin and cayenne pepper.
- Black Beans: Use canned, or you can make your own. Give this Slow Cooker Black Beans recipe a try.
- Quinoa: You can use red or white quinoa here.
- Walnuts: Feel free to substitute another nut if you prefer. Pecans, cashews, and chopped macadamia nuts are all excellent options.
- Lemon Juice: If you would like to mix it up, fresh lime juice is also an excellent option.
- Feta: Feta in brine has the fullest flavor.
Quinoa's nutritional significance is more about the quality of the protein than the quantity.
Quinoa is considered a perfect protein – often called "complete." This means that it contains all of the amino acids that we need for health.
The health benefits of quinoa go way beyond just the exceptional protein content.
It is rich in enzymes, phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. When you compare quinoa to corn, wheat, or barley, it is higher in calcium, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron.
Here are a few other things to know about quinoa nutrition.
- Phytonutrients and antioxidants are believed to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Quinoa is especially rich in manganese, which is known to activate enzymes for the metabolism of cholesterol and carbohydrates. It is also a great antioxidant that can help your body eliminate toxins.
- It is a good source of magnesium, which helps to relax blood vessels and muscles, which may be helpful for those with both migraines and high blood pressure.
- The fiber content of quinoa can help to tone your colon and is believed to work as a pre-biotic, feeding microflora to your intestines.
- Most grain foods are very acidic, which may cause health issues. Quinoa is considered neutral and is a good alternative for those who are concerned about candida yeast overgrowth. Grains feed yeast and, in some individuals, can cause systemic fungal infection with numerous health implications. This isn't an issue with quinoa
Tips & Tricks
- I recommend making a double batch of the roasted tomatoes. They are great on sandwiches and burgers, in casseroles, and on salads.
- Don't forget to rinse and drain the quinoa before cooking it.
- If you are cooking quinoa for this quinoa salad recipe just before making the salad, I recommend letting the quinoa cool slightly before making the salad. The best way I have found to do this is by spreading it out on a baking sheet.
Additions and Variations
- Want more veggies? Try adding finely chopped red onion, diced bell peppers, or chopped green onions.
- If you would like to go for more of a Southwestern flair, substitute lime juice for the lemon, add in fresh cilantro, and top with avocado.
This salad makes a great vegetarian main course and is perfect served along with a green salad. If you would like to serve this as a side dish, some great meaty mains include:
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast
- Ninja Foodi Grill Chicken Thighs
- Mediterranean Chicken Breasts
- Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, quinoa salad is an excellent healthy lunch. This quinoa black bean salad with roasted tomatoes has just 302 calories a serving, a whopping 10 grams of vegetarian protein and 7 grams of fiber.
How Long Does Quinoa Salad Last?
Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Tools Needed to Make Black Bean Quinoa Salad
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- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Mixing Bowls
How to Make Quinoa Black Bean Salad
Preheat your oven and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
If your cherry tomatoes are large you can quarter them. Otherwise, cut them in half. If you are using grape tomatoes, cut them in half lengthwise.
Combine them with the oil, maple syrup, crushed red pepper, and sea salt in a medium bowl.
Transfer to the prepared baking sheet with the cut side up. Bake for about an hour.
Transfer the mixture with the oil and juices to a bowl.
Add the black beans, quinoa, walnuts, salt, and lemon juice.
Toss and top with feta.
Make Vegan Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes
This recipe is easily made vegan by swapping out the feta for vegan feta, or just leaving the cheese out altogether.
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- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Quinoa Black Bean Salad
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
- Combine tomatoes, olive oil, maple syrup, crushed red pepper, and sea salt in a medium bowl.
- Toss gently and then arrange on prepared baking sheet cut side up. Roast for 55 to 60 minutes.
- Add the mixture to a large bowl and toss with the black beans, quinoa, walnuts, salt, and lemon juice.
- Top with feta. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.