Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing

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Big dinner bowl filled with our Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad recipe

Anytime we return home from traveling, I crave big leafy salads and all of the green smoothies.

My body misses the 24-hour veggie stream it usually receives when I’m home and in control of my diet. So when we got back from our respective trips last week, the first thing I added to our meal plan was a big Mexican-inspired salad.

So healthy, filling, and fresh – just what we both needed.

Bowl of Creamy Orange Chili Cilantro Dressing for drizzling on a delicious vegan dinner salad

We have a pretty standard taco salad we like to eat that includes black beans, guacamole, greens, tomato, onion, lime juice and salsa. But sometimes it’s good to switch things up.

This 30-minute salad starts with a bed of leafy greens and is topped with super foods like quinoa, black beans, and avocado. Orange segments and corn add brightness and a subtle sweetness, and a creamy orange-lime avocado dressing ties it all together.

Bowl of our fresh and simple vegan Quinoa Mexican Salad for dinner

This dressing was originally going to be a vinaigrette, but I couldn’t resist throwing the other half of my avocado in the mix for super creamy texture.

Orange juice adds a citrusy sweetness, lime juice adds a tart bite, and chili and cumin add a smoky heat that balances everything out. In other words, it’s borderline dressing perfection.

Drizzling Creamy Orange Chili Dressing onto Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad

I’m seriously smitten with this salad. It’s:

Fresh
Filling
Super Healthy
Loaded with super foods, protein, + fiber
Flavorful
Simple
& Fast

This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you’re craving something quick and healthy. Bonus? I think this would please vegans and non-vegans alike, and leftovers make a great lunch for the next day.

Although it’s delicious as is, I would highly recommend crushing up some tortilla chips and putting them on top for extra crunch. I mean, come on – live a little.

We hope you love this salad! If you give it a try, take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram or Twitter! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers!

Big serving of our Mexican Vegan Salad recipe with Cilantro Orange Chili Dressing

Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing

An easy, 30-minute Mexican-inspired salad with quinoa, corn, black beans, avocado, and a creamy orange, lime, and chili dressing! Healthy, delicious, and so satisfying.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Pouring Creamy Orange Chili Dressing onto a bowl of Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad
4.92 from 83 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3
Course Entree, Salad
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

SALAD

  • 5-6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (red or white)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or canned corn
  • 1 cup cooked black beans (seasoned with equal pinches sea salt, cumin, chili, + garlic powder)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1 medium orange (segmented)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped or torn)

DRESSING

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 large lime (juiced // 1 large lime yields ~4 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, cane sugar, etc.)
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder (or sub extra hot sauce or chipotle powder)
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced cilantro (optional)
  • 3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

Instructions

  • Begin preparing quinoa first by thoroughly rinsing 1/2 cup quinoa  in a fine mesh strainer then bringing to a boil with 1 cup water in a small saucepan (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size // use a 1:2 ratio dry quinoa to water). Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare salad ingredients by chopping vegetables, segmenting orange, and warming black beans and seasoning with salt, cumin, chili and garlic powder.
  • Prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blending until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added more hot sauce, orange juice and salt. TIP: if you prefer a vinaigrette, leave out the avocado and simply whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Either plate salad and serve with dressing on the side, or toss with dressing before serving. Pairs well with salsa, fresh lime juice and tortilla chips.
  • Leftovers keep for up to a few days, though best when fresh.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with dressing.

Nutrition (1 of 3 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 449 Carbohydrates: 51 g Protein: 11 g Fat: 25 g Saturated Fat: 3.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 375 mg Fiber: 12 g Sugar: 11.6 g

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My Rating:




  1. Meredith says

    This was delicious. I highly recommend adding crumbled tortilla chips as suggested. I had leftover white quinoa so I’d do 1/4 cup dry + 1/2 cup water instead.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! You can sub water as needed to thin. Let us know how you like it!

  2. Julie Stauffer says

    This is one of my favorite recipes from your website, I brought it to a graduation party and it was a big hit! I usually double the corn amount, and use a tablespoon of Tapatio hot sauce in the dressing. It is so colorful and delicious!

  3. Kira says

    The dressing for this salad is the bomb!

    I used spinach for greens which I regret. The salad would definitely be better with the crunch of lettuce.

  4. Amber says

    Great dressing! I used smoked paprika, no hot sauce or avacado and it made a nice mild but flavorful tangy dressing! One of my new faves! Thank you minimalist baker:)

  5. Charmaine says

    Delish. Took a few minutes only. I stored all the main add-ons in a bowl so I can add the lettuce mix and dressing tomorrow for a fresh repeat.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! So glad you found it delicious and easy, Charmaine. Thank you for sharing! xo

      • Lauren says

        This was delicious! I made a couple of small tweaks (the dressing was a bit sweet for me so had to savoury it up). I also made some blackened Cajun shrimp and served together and it was a beautiful winning combo!

  6. Sharon says

    Served this alongside your Go-To Guacamole and migas (waiting for you to post a recipe; for now, I make migas “by ear”) for our first hosted meal (Sunday brunch!) since the beginning of this pandemic. Used your Quinoa Taco Meat for the quinoa called for but made no other changes. Delicioso! Served Celestial Seasonings Sangria Zinger as an iced spritzer with lime to toast togetherness.

    We enjoyed every bite. I’m so thankful to my hip daughter-in-law for getting me in your loop.Thanks for your commitment and passion!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing – what a meal! And we’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Sharon. Thank you for your kind words and lovely review! We’ll add migas to our ideas list. xo

  7. Lin says

    Was a bit skeptical that this salad would be as good as I hoped and it was! It’s HOT here in Texas and i wanted to make a refreshing yet filling/satisfying quick salad. This was fantastic! Made the dressing without the avocado but put the entire chopped avocado in the salad. This is another keeper recipe. Thanks!

  8. Stacey Therrien says

    DELICIOUS! Wow. I added more quinoa than called for and opted for the larger quantity of hot sauce and WOW. This is tangy, delicious, sweet yet a hint of spicy. Perfectly balanced. Will be making lots!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Stacey! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  9. Stephanie A Weis says

    This is a go-to salad when I am making lunch for friends or to take to share at our pot luck lunches at work. Everybody loves it and it is by far my favorite salad ever! A coworker is allergic to quinoa, so I made cous cous for her and I think it was pretty great with that, too.

  10. Jess says

    Comment on dressing only… this dressing was a miss for me. I followed it to a T and it just tasted like oil. I couldn’t discern any of the other flavors even after adding more citrus. Any thoughts?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Jess. This is an older recipe, but we remember it being quite flavorful and balanced. We’re thinking maybe it needed more lime? Or were you using a really flavorful olive oil?

  11. Vanessa says

    This was freakin fantastic. Made with your roasted beet relish and no avo. Can’t believe something healthy could taste this bomb!!

  12. Emily says

    This recipe was really really good and came together so fast! My omnivorous boyfriend had chicken and rice and enjoyed the dressing on top. You could really taste every individual flavor in the dressing. I added some crushed up tortilla chips on top :)

  13. Louise says

    I love this salad so much. There are very few recipes online I come back to and this one I have come back to many, many times! The dressing in particular, I usually don’t even add the oil or only a tiny bit to make it healthier

  14. Alexandria Morales-Garcia says

    I really loved your salad but think southwestern would better name for this salad. When you use the label Mexican it’s more of a spin on traditional dishes (Pozole, tamales, mole, ext) , while southwestern/ Tex-Mex is a better label for more Americanized food (things that are labeled just because they have corn, bean, avocados, peppers, ext is more this category).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for your feedback! We actually have this recipe on our list of recipes to review for matters such as this. Your feedback is helpful and we’ll be making the changes asap!

  15. Sharlen Smith says

    So good! We had it with Arugula salad, and the bitter leaf with the dressing and sweetness of corn / avocado was excellent! Will definitely save this recipe for future events.

  16. Josie says

    This salad is absolutely amazing, I would eat it everyday. The elements combine flawlessly and the dressing is unique and flavorful. Oranges are also a genius addition. Overall, it is refreshing yet filling; I can not recommend the recipe enough.

  17. Kelly Snyder says

    This was amazingly good! And I didn’t have to buy anything extra, this is all things I have on hand regularly!

  18. Casey says

    We made this salad tonight and lived it! I was too lazy to put the dressing in the blender, so I just whisked it for a while with a fork. It was delicious, filling, and made me feel more confident in cooking meals to help me lose weight. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I forwarded it to my family so they can have a new meal in their rotation.

  19. Ellen says

    Mexican salads are among my favorite. loved the addition of orange and I added roasted pepitas. First time at your site

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Welcome, Ellen! We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for the lovely review!

    • Deborah D says

      Hello, this may be a silly question but I’m not understanding the measurements. For example, when I change the quantity to 2X (for 2 servings) the measurement for black beans changes to 0.67…what is 0.67 equivalent too? Is this US measurements? Thank you in advance for your help here!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Deborah, .67 refers to 2/3 cup. If you’d prefer the metric measurements, click “metric” beneath the ingredient header. Hope that helps! Let us know if you’d like any further clarification!

  20. Amy says

    This is delicious and healthy. I would not change a thing! The dressing is citrusy, hot and sweet. I did use cilantro and added honey as my sweetener.

  21. Rizqi Romadhona says

    I’ve made this salad for my partner and he love it, keep asking me to make some more for his lunch box too! :)
    I add chick pea in it, yummy salad. Thank you ??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Rizqi. We are so glad you both enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  22. Lori says

    This was absolutely delicious. Made it exactly as written, other than the cilantro. Left that out because I just cannot eat it. Oh well. We have tons of oranges from our trees this year and I was looking for something to do with them other than squeeze them for juice!!

    Thank you!!

  23. Patricia Hingston says

    I’ve been making this salad for my work lunches for the past 3 weeks. I love it so much! Its filled with so much goodness and is very filling. It also doesn’t take too long to whip up! Highly recommend!

  24. Bri says

    So, so.. Refreshing and absolutely delicious!!
    I replace the black beans with edamames sometimes. Extremely Delicious too !
    I double the dressing portion and use it throughout the week.
    This is now, since last summer, my favorite recipe when i have guests for dinner.

    A big thanxxx ! :-)

  25. Aaesha says

    Refreshing and absolutely delicious. I double the dressing portion and use it throughout the week. No cheese-lover-gone-vegan will notice anything missing when you have this creamy dressing. Thank you for this!

  26. Alex says

    I made this salad and did not change anything. I was searching for a quinoa and orange salad recipe and this Mexican salad came up. The pictures hooked me. As it turns out, the salad tastes even better than it looks!

  27. Smita Deshmukh says

    I made this! My husband and 6 yr old loved it … posted it on my yoga page as well :)

    Thank u so much for the yummy recipe

  28. Michelle says

    This was one of the most delicious salads I think I’ve ever had! I modified it slightly as I was on a roll doing housework. Hunger crept up on me and I didn’t have the patience to wait. I omitted quinoa as I didn’t have any made, and I left out the 1/2 avocado from the salad but I did put 1/2 in the dressing. I’m trying to cut oils out of my diet so I put water in the dressing instead. I didn’t have black beans cooked so I used a can of drained dark red kidney beans and a can of corn seasoned with 1/2 tsp of each spice mentioned (I loved the heat!) I sprinkled some on top and saved the rest for later. I used a whole mandarin orange on my salad, cutting each slice in half. It was so good I had seconds. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I’m a vegan but shooting more for Whole Foods plant based, but it’s easy sometimes to get bored. My husband is far from vegan so I look for easy recipes for myself because I hate cooking twice. I’m excited to try more!

  29. Ramona says

    I want to make this for a large party (50 people) What can be done ahead of time to make this easier?

    Thank you and by the way I LOVE YOUR RECIPES!

    Ramona

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ramona, thanks so much! The quinoa can be made a day ahead as well as chopping the red onion and orange. For ultimate freshness on the dressing, combine all ingredients except the avocado the day prior and then add back to the blender with the avocado just prior to serving. Hope that helps!

  30. Charlotte says

    This salad is delish! Will be making all through the summer…and beyond. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. anne says

    Loved the comments regarding this recipe- I am excited to try it. I am using canned black beans, do you rinse them first?

  32. Irina says

    I made this salad for dinner tonight, made enough for four and the two of us finished it! The sweetness from the corn, the slight acidity from the orange, the creaminess of the avocado and beans, the freshness of the vinaigrette and all the cilantro – this is my new favourite salad! I substituted quinoa with couscous as I noticed at the last moment that I didn’t have quinoa – and it was great!

  33. Kristin says

    This was delicious. Didn’t change a thing (except omitted cilantro…just got lazy towards the end). Made it for a Cinco de Mayo dinner along with Chicken enchiladas in green sauce and it was gobbled up!

  34. Keertana says

    I usually dislike most quinoa salad recipes because I find them to be too bland, but I love love love this recipe! I followed every step to the dot but substituted Avocado with some guac and it came out amazing! There is so much flavor and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow. Thank you very much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Keertana. We are so glad you enjoyed this salad! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  35. Julie Pradalié says

    This recipe became a favourite of ours. The mix of flavours and ingredients is perfect, it’s healthy, delicious and satisfying for a vegetarian/meat eater couple.
    We live in Bolivia and the quality of the products here makes only justice to your salad. We literally have cravings and we’ll go to a local market that’s a bit far to select the best oranges.
    Thank you so much from the both of us ! ?

  36. Cindy says

    Wow! Today was the 4th time I made this and the second set of friends I have served this to. Both sets can be quite picky eaters and it has been a challenge since I eliminated animal products from my diet almost a year ago to please them. This did it many times over! I even replaced the oil in the dressing with shredded zucchini and they never knew.
    We also tried the Abundance Kale salad. Another winner to be sure.
    I know pictures are welcome – but it is always too late when I remember.
    Thanks for such delicious salad recipes. I am sure I will be trying more of them soon.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Cindy! We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  37. Ro says

    Just made this and got an incredible amount of excitement from my hubby, who thought there were so many different tasty flavors and loved the guacamole that was simply a little dressing I saved to pour on top. Success! Thank you for another great recipe! I will be making all your salads from this collection. So much fun!

  38. Fran says

    Ok. Dinner is planned for tonight, but tomorrow night I’m adding this to our dinner menu!
    I have all the ingredients so I hope its a keeper!

  39. Cassie Leger says

    As a fellow sauce enthusiast, I have been trying almost all your sauces and this one was basically like a mic drop. My husband immediately was like, “oh, this is clearly the best” and that is after we made your chimichurri sauce and chipotle romesco three times each because we loved them so much. Just finished my first month eating plant-based and am loving so many of your recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  40. Madison says

    Amazing! Seriously every single one of your recipes I’ve tried have been fantastic! I used a blueberry habanero hot sauce in the dressing and it was perfect. Thank you!!

  41. Daniela says

    What kind of hot sauce did you use? What gave your sauce that mustard color? Mine was still green and I think the sauce I chose ruined it. We’ll have to see. I’m taking it for a potluck tomorrow. Hope it’s a success!

  42. Mina says

    Love this recipe! Husband had seconds and thirds and was sad there was not any left over for lunch the next day. I served it with grilled chicken breasts.

  43. Debby says

    WOW! What a keeper! I love the versatility of this recipe, especially in the greens selection. I used kale, arugula, radicchio, and a beautiful bunch of red romaine. I added twice the amount of seasonings for the black beans. For the dressing, I used one whole small avocado (cuz who can have too much of THAT?), and skipped the added oil entirely. It was a magnificent dinner! So beautiful, healthy, and colorful! THANK YOU!

  44. Josh says

    Fantastic recipe, really fresh flavours and overall just scrumptious. I was a little naughty and fried up the black beans with the recommended spices to crisp them up and increased the portions size cause I’m a growing lad. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I love this blog, keep it up!

  45. Dianne says

    Ohhh, this was delicious! First day of summer brought a summer cold with foggy brain and I was not able to be creative in the kitchen. Thanks for coming to the rescue with the inspiring photo of this great salad! Hubby and I are big eaters and this was all we would be having for dinner, so I increased the quinoa (used a full cup w/ 10oz. water in my InstantPot for 5 minutes); added two ribs of sliced celery, about 1/4 cup of chopped red bell pepper, and 1 cup of halved grape tomatoes. I forgot to add the oranges, so they were dessert! I’m not usually a fan of avocado dressing, but your recipe is delicious! I prepared it just as you suggested and mixed it all in. We’ll definitely be enjoying this often!

  46. P says

    Hi, I was wondering what I could substitute for the oil in the dressing, as I don’t use oil? Any suggestions. (I’m whole food plant based & don’t use oil!) Thank you in advance ;-)

  47. Gina says

    This is HANDS DOWN the best, most refreshing, filling, beautiful, salad I’ve ever had. I’m vegan, so that’s a huge statement! My NON VEGAN husband even loved it! We live in Chicago – so as soon as the summer heat hits we ditch the comfort food and jump right into fresh summer salads. This hit the spot on our 1st 90 degree day. I honestly can’t wait to make this again. Minimal clean up too. It will be a regular in our rotation. Really. Spectacular job.

  48. Gayle says

    I made this for a Memorial Day BBQ potluck….it is sooooo good! I used a bit more OJ and Lime and probably some of the seasonings, I like flavor…my friends all loved it! I’m so thankful for the great recipes on this site !

  49. Rene says

    I was looking for a fresh, fiber packed salad and this one was perfect! It has great texture and color. The flavors are amazing. I paired it with roasted salmon, seasoned with fajita spices!