Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Potluck-Friendly Recipes

Have you ever struggled to come up with a potluck dish that can be enjoyed by all in attendance? Here’s your answer! This recipe for Smokey Black Bean Quinoa Salad from The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre® is naturally gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free. And, most importantly, it’s delicious! We recently made this recipe as part of the Meatless Mains class in our Kitchen Fundamentals series, and it was a big hit.

Smokey Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • ½ teaspoon cumin


In a medium saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt and quinoa. Lower heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

Remove from heat, and allow quinoa to cool completely before preparing the salad.

To prepare the dressing, combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and cumin. Whisk until combined.

Mix the dressing with the cooled quinoa, black beans, cilantro, and green onions until well combined. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Note: Look for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the international or Hispanic foods section of the grocery store. Small cans often sell for less than a dollar. The chipotle peppers are packed in the sauce, so you get both ingredients in one can. If you have leftover peppers and sauce that you won’t use right away, you can freeze them for later use.