This black bean and sweet corn quinoa salad is simple and delicious, not to mention a refreshingly light and healthy side dish.

Have you jumped on the quinoa train yet? This salad just might be your ticket to climb aboard and love the ride.

It is so absolutely simple and delicious, not to mention refreshingly light and healthy. The hearty black beans, sweet corn and fresh cilantro compliment the delicate nature of the quinoa perfectly.

White bowl with black beans, quinoa, and corn.

As I found out after doing a bit of looking online, quinoa is not technically a grain but can be substituted for many grains, like rice and couscous.

It is high in protein, iron, potassium and other vitamins and minerals and is a good source of fiber. There’s a lot to love about quinoa, I’m telling you!

Health benefits aside, these little tender morsels cook up to be fluffy and light but still hold a bite to their texture. This was one of my first forays into quinoa and I know I’ll be using it over and over again based on the success of this salad.

My husband, the ultimate skeptic about any food that starts with the letter “Q”, gave this two thumbs up.

Served with grilled chicken or pork, this would make a tasty and easy summer meal, not to mention a great take-along to your next BBQ.

As a note, quinoa can be found at most grocery stores and health food stores near the other grains, usually (I found it reasonably priced at Trader Joe’s).

Looking down at a white bowl with quinoa, corn, and black beans.

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Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

4.62 stars (78 ratings)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen sweet white corn
  • 2 cans (15-ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped


  • In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).
  • Stir in the frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm or chilled – it is delicious both ways!
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 325kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 414mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 2g

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from The Dish on Delish