Your new favorite quinoa salad recipe

By Sherri Young, RN, Nurse-Educator

Quinoa is an ancient grain with a little-known secret. It’s one of the only plants that contain all nine essential amino acids you need to get as part of your diet to help produce protein. Without these essential amino acids, your body’s protein manufacturing operation grinds to a halt — along with many other processes that depend on new proteins.

Quinoa is a healthy grain that can be part of a gluten free diet

What’s more, this grain has many proven health benefits including helping to lower glycemic index and support for metabolic health. Even better — it’s easy to addto your diet with this quick and tasty quinoa salad.


1 C quinoa
2 C water
1 C halved cherry tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, chopped
¼ C cucumber, chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
¼ C cilantro, chopped
¼ C flat parsley, chopped
¼ C extra-virgin olive oil
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
2 to 4 C of mixed greens


  • Rinse quinoa.
  • Prepare quinoa as directed, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer until all water is absorbed (approx. 12 minutes).
  • Once quinoa has cooled combine with tomatoes, black beans, red pepper, cucumber and scallions.
  • Make a simple vinaigrette mixing olive oil, lime juice, cumin and 1 teaspoon cayenne together in a bowl.
  • Pour over mixture and fold in cilantro and parsley.
  • Combine with mixed greens.

This salad is served best chilled.

Total preparation time: 35 minutes (includes prep, chopping, cookingand mixing)


Add any of the following: chick peas, garlic, red onions, summersquash or diced carrot.

For more healthy meal ideas, try these 5 recipe favorites for your Instant Pot.

Published: January 1, 2020 - Last Updated: March 28, 2021

© 2021 Women’s Health Network