Tropical Black Bean Quinoa Salad

6 Feb

tropical black bean quinoa salad

Inspired by the coconut breakfast quinoa I recently cooked up, I decided to try a savory preparation using quinoa cooked with coconut milk. I added black beans for extra substance and played off the tropical flavor of the coconut with mango, avocado, fresh mint, and lime juice. The resulting salad was colorful and delicious (not to mention healthy) – perfect for serving my parents for dinner at the end of a hot day of sightseeing.

Tropical Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Yield: amount made


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 mangoes, diced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 – 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2″ piece ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder*
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • salt, to taste

*Any pure ground chiles – I used a mix of guajillo and arbol.


  1. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well with 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup water, and 1/4 tsp salt, then bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat, and let simmer, covered, until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, about 15 – 20 minutes.
  3. When quinoa is done, remove from heat, and fluff with a fork, then let cool.
  4. Combine cooked quinoa with 3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed), 2 mangoes, diced, 2 avocados, diced, 1 bell pepper, diced, 1 – 2 shallots, thinly sliced, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2″ piece ginger, minced, 1/4 cup mint, finely chopped, 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chile powder, and juice of 1 lime, and mix thoroughly to combine.
  5. Taste, adjusting spices as needed, and add 1 tsp honey, if needed, and salt, to taste. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

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