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:

Super Healthy
Loaded with super foods, protein, + fiber
& 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
Pouring Creamy Orange Chili Dressing onto a bowl of Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad
4.91 from 86 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3
Course Entrée, Salad
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days



  • 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)


  • 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


  • 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.


*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. Isa says

    Hola Dana! He preparado esta receta para la fiesta de unos amigos mexicanos. Esta ensalada ha sido el perfecto balance de sabores para acompañarla junto a unas enchiladas con mole, súper deliciosa! Muchas gracias por compartir tantas maravillosas recetas, estoy fascinada con tu blog! Eres grandiosa!

  2. Judith says

    I wanted something different to take to our Easter meal this year and this was it. Everyone loved it! We printed the recipe & passed it around. The only change I made was to add less hot sauce & ditch the chili powder because we had some people who just can’t do hot. I left the corn & black beans separate for those who couldn’t have them and the rest of us just added them to our salad when we dished it out. Wonderful flavors. Love the oranges in it. Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes. Thanks so much!

  3. Susan says

    I’m wondering if You think I could use roasted beets instead of beans in this. Taking to a potluck on Saturday. I have some roasted beets I need to use up. I’ve seen other beet and orange salads but this one with the avocados in the salad and the lime and avocado dressing sounds divine.

      • Susan says

        Thanks for pointing me to the second recipe. I will try that one next week as a main dish dinner I love lentils but might use a different greens, not fond of kale. The lemon tahini dressing also sounds wonderful.
        Will stick with quinoa recipe but will add the beets and will post on how that works after Saturday’s potluck. Thanks again. Susan

  4. Sara says

    This. Is. Delicious!
    I made this over the weekend for a family BBQ (doubled the recipe) and it was a hit! None of my boyfriend’s family had ever tried quinoa before and even the skeptics enjoyed this. My dressing was greener (and thicker) than the photos (maybe the size of my avo?) and I substituted chives for the coriander (the boyfriend despises coriander) and it was simple delicious! Thank you Dana!

  5. Geeta says

    Amazing recipe! Worked out really well! I switched to lemons because those were the only ones on hand, added a bit of tomato too. I love the dressing!! I’ll be making this again :)

  6. Frolic says

    Absolutely fantastic. You had the right idea to toss the rest of the Avocado into the dressing. I used my mini Cusiniart. :) OhHoYum!
    Happy colorful meal…family loved it.

  7. Mary says

    AMAZING! I’m not going to lie, I was a little skeptical, but decided to give it a shot. Delicious! I want to make this for everyone I know.

  8. stephanie says

    I was looking through the thread and notice one post this year, is this thread still active? If it is I would like to know what kind of hot sauce also. It was not clear. Also the chili powder, is that what ever chili powder we choose. I would like to make the recipe the way you made it, then deviate.


  9. Kristen says

    Wow! This was amazing! Definitely making it again and making more everything for leftovers. It took me longer than 30 minutes to prep though but definitely worth the time.

  10. Sandy says

    I made this and it’s delicious! What a great summer dish! I’ll be making it again! Thanks, Dana!

  11. Jayne says

    This salad is delicious! The dressing is heavenly! I took a picture but can’t post it here. (I’m too old for twitter or instagram:-)

  12. JustAMom says

    Just made this and topped with some pepitas for crunch. Delish!! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  13. Hasret says

    So so good and easy and healthy! I’ve made this a few times but my dressing never looks like the picture, it comes out green. Regardless this is amazing! It’s hard to find simple week night meatless (trying to cut back) dinners, this is one of my go tos. Even my husband loves it and actually requests this dish! Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  14. Karen Van Eyk says

    Last year I came across your excellent site and made a recipe of yours, which we loved! It was “Provençal tomato soup” and it had thyme and orange Peel zest in it. IT was delicious!! I have tried searching through the recipes on your site, but I cannot seem to find this one? Maybe you could help? Please?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen! We’ve never had a recipe with that name! You might be thinking of another blog? Hope you find it! Here is our Tomato Soup recipe in case you’re looking for another one :D

  15. Louise says

    The dressing is out-of-this-world-amazing! I made the salad last night for myself and my meat-a-tarian mr came along and taxed a huge portion. I too loved the salad. I followed the recipe exactly and I loved it. This is going to be a favorite. I will definitely bust it out when I have guests over.

  16. Bonnie says

    I am excited about making this salad! Maybe I am missing it, which could very easily be the case, but how much garlic powder is suggested for this recipe?

  17. Leeann C says

    If I am short on time and budget, is there a store-bought dressing you’d recommend as a substitute for this delicious homemade dressing?

  18. Sarah W. says

    This salad was amazing! I didn’t have orange juice, so just subbed with water, but the dressing (and everything else) was still so good!

    This is about my 6th or 7th recipe I’ve made from your site. I’ve loved them all but just had to comment on this one!

  19. Suzanne says

    Holy Cow Dana! This salad has to be the holy grail! Out of all the recipes I’ve tried on your website hands down, this one has to be the best! It’s so good I think it’s worthy of serving it in a high end vegan restaurant! The only swap I made was pinto beans for black beans, and the amount of spices to necessary to season the beans was 1/2 tsp each of salt, cumin, chili powder and garlic. I don’t know where your culinary creativity comes from, but keep on giving us the great recipes we’ve all been accustomed to at Minimalist Baker! Definitely a five star salad!

  20. Kristi says

    Dear Dana, I would like to thank you for this incredible salad recipe and the beautiful blog! I moved to the USA a few months ago and had to leave all my cookbooks and recipe collections behind. To build a new cooking repertoire, I started to follow American food blogs. I discovered your blog very soon after my arrival, immediately started to cook your recipes, and am an avid reader ever since. Thank you for sharing your passion for food and recipes, they have become an integral part of my new life in America.

    This Mexican Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing is simply fabulous and is a staple in our kitchen. We make it whenever we crave for a fresh salad, quinoa, or beans. The salad is so colourful and vibrant, green from the avocado and greens, bright yellow from the fresh sweet corn, orange from the orange, and deep red from the red quinoa and onion. And the citrus dressing is the absolute star of the salad and my husband’s favourite. :) However, I feel that 1/2 avocado “gets lost” in the salad, so sometimes I have mashed the entire avocado for an extra creamy and avocado-y dressing, and added more orange juice. I also add a pinch of cayenne to the dressing for an extra kick and spiciness.

  21. Talia says

    Big fan of this salad. The first time I made it, I had just moved in with new roommates and had accidentally ruined a banana bread that left them very suspicious of my cooking. They all agreed that it was delicious and I was redeemed! I’ve made it plenty of times since then because it is so good, filling, healthy and easy.

  22. Liz says

    Just made this salad now, it was really good, easy to put together. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It would go down very well at a Summer Potluck

    Your website is great, gotta cook some more of your recipes :)

  23. Victoria says

    This is such an amazing recipe, I absolutely loved it! Did a bit of riffing and subbed mixed beans, mango and rocket and made the dressing into a vinaigrette. Topped off with a little fried halloumi and it was insane! Leftovers packaged up for lunch tomorrow, very happy reader :)

  24. dana says

    I just made the dressing for this salad to take to a luncheon tomorrow. I might just eat it all right now. With a spoon.

  25. Kristin says

    I never leave reviews on anything. But wow. Since I started making your recipes I am feel so much more eager to cook. Tonight I wanted something a little more simple so I chose this. And I seriously think it’s the most delicious salad I’ve ever had. Ever. And I eat salads very often! You are absolutely incredible!!

  26. tammy says

    Thank You for this recipe! It’s great. Perfect for warm days. It also has many other uses. I can see leaving off the greens for a side or even the black beans w/the dressing, no quinoa nor greens.

  27. Lylian says

    This recipe was awesome! I was trying to find an easy to follow and delicious sounding recipe to try making quinoa for the very first time and for a dinner party. The dressing was very delicious. I opted for omitting the oil and included low fat mayo instead. I also added grilled chicken breast, but salad tasted as good without the chicken. I will definitely make this again!

  28. Kate says

    This was AH-mazing! My avocados weren’t ripe but the vinaigrette was delicious! I want to put it on everything!

  29. Mandy says

    This was amazing!! Even my meat eating no salad ever boyfriend liked it! Thanks for such a great reciepe!

  30. Rich says

    Yet another hit from my go-to cooking resource. I loved it and my guests loved it… My dressing did not turn out as yellow as yours it was more green, and I thought it was a little thick with the recipe as written. I did sub coconut oil for all the oils. I just added oil and oj until it was about what I thought the right thickness. How you you spread your dressings? Squeeze bottle?

  31. Joyce Vandenberg Porter says

    I made this salad tonight and will be posting it on my blog tomorrow. Of course I will link back to you. Loved it!

  32. Fernando says

    Amazing!!! Level 1 recipe! It’s definitely a must-try-salad.
    Just to let you know, I seasoned the black beans with finely diced white onion, garlic and a hint of butter. So yummy all flavours together :)

  33. Heather says

    I don’t know what is wrong with your site but, I keep getting reroute to iTunes when I try and open the dark chocolate quinoa.

    I don’t think it is on my end because this recipe doesn’t do that. Hope you get this fixed. I love your recipes! :)

  34. Delrea says

    This looks delicious! ALL of it. I am going to a dinner party this weekend and I think this will be a big hit! YUM! Thank you for the idea!

  35. Magdalena says

    I LOVE THIS RECIPE. Made this for dinner last night, couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers today. My boyfriend who doesn’t like salad was also obsessed. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

  36. Tori says

    I love this salad. also love the idea of your blog since I over complicate all my meals.

    Do you have a pinterest link to the recipes?

  37. BrownEyedBlog says

    It´s love in a bowle!!! I am totally stuffed rigth now, as I just finished a huge portion of this, but I LOVE IT. Especially the dressing is making me so happy <3
    Thank you :)

  38. Maia says

    This salad has most definitely become a favorite in our house! (We’ve made it at least 5 times within the past month or so…) We can’t get enough of the delicious dressing!! Who knew throwing avocados in the food processor turned out so well? Thanks again for another awesome recipe.

  39. Lin Lee says

    Hi. I’m a new vegetarian, leaning towards vegan. This recipe sounds fantastic and I am planning on trying it this week. However, I have a question that maybe you can answer for me. Why would you put corn (87% of which is GMO and no way to tell what you have got) into these Clean Eating recipes. So many of the vegetarian/vegan recipes include corn and I do not understand this point. Can you help me understand how you choose the corn you use? Thanks, Lin

  40. Vicky Q says

    Are the quinoa, beans & corn supposed to be warm? I’m making this salad for dinner tomorrow as a side. Looks yummy. Thanks.
    Vicky Q

  41. dre says

    I just made this and it is wonderfully fulfilling and refreshing on a hot day like today. My dressing was more like a sauce (maybe my limes did not give enough juice since i did not measure the juice), but my family enjoyed the thick creamy salad sauce :)

  42. Megan Wise says

    I just discovered your site! Thank you for posting such delicious recipes! My hubby and I have begun a new chapter of living simply (we even live in a tiny home to be frugal!) and we can’t wait to try your food! Love that it’s so easy!

  43. Brett says

    Thanks for sharing these recipes. As a student, they are everything I have been looking for. I find most recipes always call for too many ingredients and are always too specific, making the job of cooking a meal harder than it has to be. These recipes are all very good, easy to make, and are extremely healthy too. I’m impressed.

  44. Annie! says

    These were DELISH (as is everything else I have made from your site)! I added tofu, red peppers, and forgot the orange (oops). It was so delicious that I actually wanted to say “no” when my husband asked if he could take one of the salads to work ;)

  45. Uma says

    Hi, are there any alternatives to quinoa that you would suggest? I’m trying not to buy quinoa because I don’t really want to contribute to the insane demands of quinoa from South America which is affecting domestic prices as a staple for South Americans. Do you have any suggestions? It looks amazing, I’m dying to make this.

  46. Amelia says

    This is the 4th MB recipe I’ve tried and again- I was standing up in my kitchen wolfing this down because it was so good I couldn’t make it to a table. This dressing- OMG I wanted to drink it. I’m not a vegan and topped the salad with garlic/cumin/lime marinated shrimp. LOVED this salad!

  47. Mai says

    I made this last week and it was so good I’m making it again on Friday when a friend is coming for lunch. Salad perfection.

  48. Dani says

    I’m eating a big ‘ole bowl of this right now and it’s just what I needed on this first day that feels like spring is arriving here in DC. Delicious!

  49. J says

    Looks yummo … What is the ‘hot sauce’ .. I am trying to find this in Australia .. Is it like Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce, or tabasco? Thanks

  50. Victoria M says

    We made this last night and it was delicious. Being carnivores, I slow roasted an organic chicken with some smoked paprika and lemon, and shredded it though the salad.. The flavours were amazing, this is definitely going to become a favourite! Premade your black bean and sweet potato burgers to bake for tonights dinner, hope they turn out as tasty! Thanks so much for the recipes and inspiration :)

  51. Sarah says

    Looks awesome :) Wondering how long you think the dressing would stay fresh? I like to prep salads on Sunday to eat for lunch throughout the week, but I’m afraid the dressing won’t keep well since there’s avocado in it. Thoughts? Thanks!

  52. Alice says

    Just made this dish. Really delicious! I added grapefruit and white beans in place of orange and black beans, and I added fallalfel balls. Definitely something you would see in a fancy vegan restaurant.

    Took me a long time to make though (like an hour) because every item has been chopped, peeled, heated, etc. But if you have it all prepped though, assembly will take two minutes.

  53. Jasmin says

    This salad makes me think of some nice summer day. The main thing that interests me is how the chilli powder and hot sauce dressing goes with orange and avocado – I’ll surely going to try it to found out :)

  54. annalea says

    i’m munching on this salad as i type. SO good!!! and the dressing! OMGosh, lady, it’s amazing! want to put it on everything :) #’d it on instagram. thanks for the yummy lunch!

  55. Improv Oven says

    Dana, you come up with some of the most beautiful recipes, and your photography is amazing. We’ve been following your blog for the past year or so and you inspired us to start our own! Look forward to all the best recipes and photography in the future.

  56. Jenny K says

    I am sad to say I am allergic to avocados :( Feel like I totally am missing out on life!
    What do you think I could use as a substitute in the dressing? Salad looks delicious!

  57. Triin says

    Love the look of this salad. Quinoa has been a favourite of mine for a year now and always looking for new ideas how to make it more exciting. Thank you!

  58. Maggie @ Veg Fiend says

    That dressing sounds fantabulous. I am with you on the veggie immersion upon returning from a trip.

  59. Arman @ thebigmansworld says

    Totally feel that way after travel!

    Not going to lie….That dressing is something I wouldn’t mind drinking.

  60. Heather Mason @NuttyNutrition says

    yummy, can’t wait to try it! Pinned! Also, I like that you use the whole avo instead of just half, it’s much more efficient that way. They brown so quickly!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I know! Darn avocados. One tip I have is to wrap the other half in saran wrap with lime juice. Then when you’re ready to use it, peel the skin away and just scrape off any brown parts. The rest of the avo is still good!

      • Heather Mason @NuttyNutrition says

        thanks for the tip Dana! I will try that. I usually just leave it in a plastic bag, so maybe the saran wrap is better.

  61. Jeanie says

    I made this for dinner tonight and we both love loved it! Thanks again for a delcious, easy, fun recipe! My only problem is when I went to purchase your 31 day cookbook I could not get past the I WANT IT button. Is the purchasing website down or what? Please help! I do want to try the cookbook! Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, try it again today! Not sure what’s up. If you still have issues, email john at for help! I just tried the BUY NOW button and it seemed to work!

  62. Avi says

    I just made this tonight with brown rice (I was out of quinoa) and it tasted DELICIOUS!! YAY for leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  63. Brittany says

    I always crave home-cooked healthy foods after being on a trip. This salad sounds like my kind of Mexican food, especially the creamy dressing. I wanna bite!

  64. Izzy says

    I have a simple taco salad that I make all the time too! But it is nice to mix things up sometimes and I love this citrusy dressing! I tend to way over indulge on trips too, sometimes I just use it as an excuse to go crazy! But it is always so nice to come back home and load up on a delicious salad like this one :)

  65. Leigha @ The Yooper Girl says

    I know EXACTLY what you mean – after a trip all I’m craving are big green smoothies! This looks absolutely fabulous and perfect for easy lunches. I’m just not a fan of lime juice though – you think olive oil would work? Love the pics, btw!! Is that a new white board? I’m in love!

    • Jo jo says

      I tried this recipe a few weeks ago, and it was excellent except that the dressing was way too lime-y for me. Next time I will just add more orange juice and olive oil instead of lime.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for the feedback, Jo Jo! I’m kind of a lime freak, so that’s totally understandable. Glad you stilled enjoyed it!

  66. Ashlae says

    Sooooo, I replaced the mixed greens with finely chopped kale and then threw in some smoked chickpeas and SWEET BABY BUDDHA. Delicious, babe. Or should I say.. BABES. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So glad! Now I just need to make your no bake chocolate cookies so we can both be in nirvana. Seriously though, DEM COOKIES.

      • Ashlae says

        You should because they take all of 10 minutes to make. Then 10 more to chill. ;) Also forgot to tell you.. I ate the entire salad followed by three of those no-bake cookies so I kinda hope your calorie count is off. Although I’m sure it’s not. YIKES. Oink.

  67. Caitlin says

    Ah I feel ya on traveling. I usually can’t wait to get back to my kitchen and eat like a normal person again. I like the sounds of orange in my mexican salad! I’ve never tried it but it looks delicious.

  68. Traci | Vanilla And Bean says

    Sometimes it is so challenging to find good food when traveling. I do the same thing after returning home! Get that VitaMix out and get going as well as eating the freshest veggies I can get my hands on. Love the flavors in this salad Dana, and your dressing sounds over the TOP! I am all about oranges right now too, so adding oranges to a brilliant Mexican salad is something I can do! Thank you for this, Dana!

  69. Simple Green Moms says

    I am not a salad person but THIS is my kind of salad. The toppings + dressing look so tasty it tricks you eating + loving salad. Whoop whoop! =) PINNED!

  70. Kellie says

    The orange, lime, and chili dressing sounds amazing and healthy too. I look forward to trying this recipe.

  71. Tom @ Raise Your Garden says

    Well, my wife has been sick like for 2 weeks so I’m on dinner duty for my family of 4. This is a problem because my definition of dinner is going to Chipotle every night and getting take out (after all, I’m a gym teacher!) But this Mexican salad actually looks easy and simple to make and has the types of ingredients we have on hand. And her appetite is coming back. And I forgot about Valentine’s day this year so I should try to make it up to her.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ha! Sounds like you’re working your way off the sofa and back into the bedroom ;D Hope you all love this recipe, Tom!

  72. Anna Craig says

    That dressing sounds (and looks) really good! I’ve never made my own dressing before. I may have to try this!

  73. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says

    It’s like all my favorite things in one bowl! It looks awesome (and still healthy!)