Mango black bean quinoa salad with lime is one of my summertime recipes. It is light and refreshing on a hot day and lasts for days in the refrigerator so I can eat it all week long for lunch. Quinoa and black beans are tossed with vegetables and herbs for a light and delicious summer salad.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Why you should make this recipe
- Quick & Easy – This mango black bean quinoa salad takes 20 minutes, start to finish.
- Versatile – Easily swap out ingredients you like or items you have and need to use up.
- Make ahead – You can prep all of the ingredients for this salad a day or two ahead of time.
Mango black bean quinoa salad
This delicious side is not only gluten-free, it is also vegan. It is dressed with a light vinaigrette, which makes it perfect for taking to the park or the beach for picnics or bringing to backyard cookouts.
I’ve been on a quinoa kick for about 10 years and we’re still going strong. I guess we’re in full-on relationship status now.
I love this versatile seed for its many uses. Whether it is being used in a salad like this one, or packed in superfood veggie cakes, it’s always perfectly at home. I’ve used it for stuffing acorn squash in the fall, and I make simple salads like this one all year.
During the spring and summer months when I tend to make grain and vegetable salads more often, I keep a container of diced veggies in the fridge to make it quicker and easier to put salads like this together.
- Quinoa – This gluten-free grain (though it’s technically a seed) is packed with nutrients.
- Bell pepper – Bell pepper adds crunch and freshness to this salad.
- Corn – You can use fresh, frozen or canned. It adds sweetness to the quinoa salad.
- Avocado – Choose and avocado that is ripe, but not overly ripe, so it will hold it’s shape when mixing.
- Mango – Look for the juiciest, ripest mango you can find.
- Scallions – Also called green onions, they keep for days in the fridge, so those are perfect for chopping up ahead of time.
- Black beans – Use cooked dry beans or canned.
- Olive oil – Choose your favorite, because you will taste it.
- Limes – We’ll use the zest & juice of 2 limes.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Spending a few minutes the day before chopping up ingredients makes it easy to switch up your salads more frequently. You can swap out whatever you have chopped up to make a new creation almost every day.
How to cook quinoa
If you’ve never worked with quinoa before, here are a few tips:
- Give a good rinse it first before you use it.
- Stir occasionally while cooking, it can clump a little if left unattended.
- Lay it out on a sheet pan to cool after cooking to let the steam evaporate, this helps to keep the grains separate.
- Once it is cooked, it will have little rings around the individual seed – when you see those, that’s your sign for doneness.
- My preferred pan for cooking quinoa is a wide, shallow pan instead of a pot. This is personal preference. I find it cooks more evenly.
How to make the salad
Making this mango black bean quinoa salad is quick and easy. I used frozen corn and canned black beans.
While the quinoa was cooking, I chopped up the bell pepper, scallions, mango and avocado.
First, get the quinoa cooking. Once that is simmering, you can start chopping up vegetables and adding them to a large mixing bowl.
To dice the mango, cut the sides off (there is a large, flat seed in the middle), and use a sharp paring knife to score the flesh. Then, carefully slide the knife along the skin to release the cut pieces of mango.
When the quinoa is cooked, spread it out on a baking sheet so it will cool quickly and the steam can evaporate. This keeps it from clumping. Once it is cool, add everything to the mix and mix to combine.
Mango black bean quinoa FAQ’s
Yes. To make this ahead of time, I would suggest chopping vegetables and cooking quinoa ahead, then combining everything shortly before serving.
If properly stored in an airtight container, it will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Yes it is! Quinoa is naturally gluten-free.
- Roasted chicken and vegetables sheet pan dinner is a quick and easy meal and this mango lime quinoa would go great with it.
- Lamb loin chops on the grill are a quick and easy protein to make with this delicious salad.
- Baked chicken meatballs are also a great meal prepping option and would be a tasty lunch.
Helpful tools and equipment
- Fine mesh strainer – essential for rinsing quinoa. If your strainer has holes that are too big, the quinoa will fall right through it.
- Quinoa – most stores stock quinoa; but if you aren’t sure what you are looking for, or can’t find it, here it is!
- Glass serving bowl – this salad is so colorful, I put it in a glass bowl to show it off.
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- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 ripe mango, diced
- 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
- 1 cup black beans, cooked or canned (rinsed)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- zest & juice of 2 limes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. *see notes
- Spread cooked quinoa out in a thin layer on a baking sheet to let the steam evaporate.
- Let quinoa cool to room temperature, or slide the baking sheet into the fridge to cool more quickly.
- Combine the remaining ingredients, plus cooled quinoa, in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Serve and enjoy!
- My usual ratio for cooking quinoa is 1 cup of dry quinoa to 2 1/2 cups of water. This ratio gives the quinoa enough water to absorb without becoming mushy and waterlogged.
- If making ahead: Cook and cool quinoa, then store in an airtight container. Chop bell pepper and scallions, store in the fridge. Cook and cool beans and corn (or rinse canned beans), and store in fridge. Zest and juice limes and store in a container in the refrigerator. Shortly before you are ready to serve, toss everything together in a mixing bowl.
- I don't recommend tossing everything with the dressing ahead of time, the vegetables will eventually get a little soggy if they are sitting in the dressing for too long. You can dress the quinoa, if you'd like, that will hold up a day ahead of time.
- To add extra protein to this salad, you could add grilled shrimp or chicken. To keep it vegan, add in extra firm tofu to bump up the protein.
- The variations on this salad are nearly endless - you can swap out ingredients you don't have, or don't like for things you do. It's a great way to reduce food waste, as well.
Serving Size:1/6 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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