Quinoa Bean Salad – It’s The Best!

This is the perfect recipe to take to your next pot luck or serve at a backyard BBQ! This salad is filled with so many wonderful flavors like grated carrots, walnuts, tomatoes, currants, red onion, red, green and yellow bell peppers, garlic, chili powder and a little low sodium soy sauce. Crunchy, slightly sweet, packed with protein, fiber and fabulous flavor. It’s the best!

Quinoa Bean Salad My daughter Katy has made this twice and she told me I needed to try it. You were so right Katy – we loved it!  Following Katy’s advice I doubled the seasonings, cut back on the onion and used black beans. Isn’t this a pretty salad?

Quinoa Bean SaladThis recipe makes a huge batch of salad which is perfect for serving a large crowd. I think it’s one of those recipes that can easily be adapted to your liking or what’s in your vegetable drawer. Next time I might add in some diced pineapple or mango. If you don’t like carrots use some celery – can’t find currants sub some raisins or dried cranberries.

Quinoa Bean Salad This can be enjoyed as a side salad or serve it up over a bed of fresh spinach, baby greens or shredded romaine or cabbage for a main dish salad. It’s super filling and satisfying. This is another recipe that you just have to try! If you want to know more about quinoa check out this post where I reviewed it.

Quinoa Bean Salad

  •  2 cups cooked quinoa*
  • 1 1/2 cups  black cooked beans or 1 (15 ounce) can no salt added or low sodium beans, drained – use any kind of bean
  •  1 cup grated carrots
  •  1 cup dried currants, raisins or craisins
  •  1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  •  2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  •  1/2 small red onion, diced
  •  1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  •  1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  •  1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  •  3 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 tablespoons chili powder
  •  4 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar,  Bragg Liquid Aminos or low sodium Tamari sauce or Coconut Aminos.

*Cook quinoa according to package directions. Usually 1 cup uncooked quinoa will result in 2 cups cooked. I used Trader Joe’s Tri Colored Quinoa.

Place all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.

Add cooked quinoa and toss.

This is even better when refrigerated overnight to blend flavors and it will hold for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Great to pack up for lunch for the office, take in your cooler for a road trip or serve it at your next BBQ.

Serve cold or at room temperature. For a main salad serve it over a bed of your favorite greens.

Yield: About 10 1/2 cups – this will depend on how big your onion, tomatoes and peppers are so the yield will vary.

Servings: 6 as a main dish or 12 side dishes

To make this salad compliant to Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss Plan: Use grapes or pomagranite seeds in place of raisins, skip the nuts and use chopped jicama to add crunch, use Balsamic vinegar in place of the other choices.

Serving Size:

Main Dish: 1  3/4 cups

Side Dish: 7/8 of a cup or 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons

Nutritional Information

As a main dish 1/6th of recipe or about 1 3/4 cups

383 Calories, 15g Protein, 67g Carbohydrates, 9g Fat, 0.1mg Cholesterol, 122mg Sodium, 13.6g Fiber

As a side dish 1/12th of recipe or about 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons

191.5 Calories, 7.5g Protein, 33.5g Carbohydrates, 4.5g Fat, 0.05 Cholesterol, 61mg Sodium, 6.8g Fiber

Recipe adapted from Joel Fuhrman’s Eat For Health



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3 pings

  1. Phillys says:

    I love quinoa, and this looks fabulous! At this time of year, I love to have supper waiting in the refrigerator when we come in from outdoor activities. Does the recipe as written reflect the changes you made in the seasonings and onion? I think so, but just thought I would make sure. Thanks for another recipe!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Phillys! Great question – I should have clarified that the recipe as written does reflect my personal changes. Adjust the amount of onion based on how strong your onion is. The one I had was pretty strong for a red onion so I didn’t add as much of it as I might other wise. This is the perfect make ahead recipe. Hope enjoy it as much as we do. Happy Cooking!

  2. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    That looks amazing Tami!!!

    I am like you – I pre-eat OR I bring something especially family events since they are used to me. 🙂

    I don’t do social things like you hardly ever so if I did, I would pre-eat, sneak a little something for me in my purse & push food around – just like you wrote! I also tell a little white fib & say a lot of foods bother my stomach – & many do so… 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      We do think alike Jody! It is true when you say that a lot of food bothers your stomach, when you don’t eat a lot of fat, sugar and other unhealthy foods even a small amount of them can cause lower GI issues. I know that is true for me. I almost always have some kind of snack in my purse and my car. 🙂

  3. Veronica says:

    This salad is not only delicious, but beautiful too, which I’m sure makes it taste even better! love all those colors. You are so smart with how you handle BBQ’s and eating out while sticking to your healthy diet!

  4. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    I rarely ‘pre-eat’, because then I’ve limited my caloric options for the event. The exception I’ll make for this is if I’m truly hungry an hour or so before leaving, and then I’ll have an apple or a few almonds to tide me over. Other than holidays or big-deal celebrations (weddings and such), most meal events I attend are not that far away from how I normally eat, or I’m able to get really close to normal. My bigger issue is not what’s served, but in the portions I serve myself. 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      I love that we all have figured out what works best for us Cammy! Yes, our serving sizes can grow can’t they?

  5. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    The quinoa salad sounds delicious! I’m pinning it and will make it when I’m back from my trip.

    I don’t eat quite a few things anymore, and it can be a bit tricky to attend dinner parties and other events involving food. Like you, I always bring a dish I can eat. I also usually pre eat. I like your idea of drinking something warm at the end of the meal.

    1. Tami says:

      We are like minded where food is concerned Andrea! Have a nice vacation. 🙂

  6. Sharon says:

    For me, that is the million dollar question and one with which I struggle more than anything else. It’s a mental thing that I just can’t seem to get past and most of my downward sprials have begun as a result of a social situation that I a) didn’t want to participate in to start with, but felt forced, b) involved a menu or restaurant over which I had no control and didn’t include options for me, or c) presented temptations during a time I was vulnerable to them anyway. Yes, I understand all the choices I have for working around these situations, but sometimes I just flat don’t want to!! Most things with which I’ve struggled during this journey have worked themselves out in ways I can live with, but this social eating thing seems to be my total nemesis! (Wow, didn’t mean to get on a rant – as you can see, it’s a sensitive subject for me.)

    1. Tami says:

      Sharon I can relate to what you wrote about getting derailed from social situations that revolve around food where you don’t have control over what is being served. It continues to be a challenge for many of us. We just have to keep on trying and doing our best. When it comes down to it, it’s not the food that is the issue it’s how we choose to deal with the food in the situation we find ourselves in. It’s not always easy and sometimes we fall short of how we had hoped to do. Hang in there and know you are not the only one! 🙂

  7. Jeannie says:

    Hi Tammi. I just made this today and have a question. Do I add 4 tsp balsamic vinegar and 4 tsp tamari or is it either/or? I am not trying to make it Chef AJ compliant just as delicious as possible. I have already added the balsamic vinegar and everything else in recipe.

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