Cookout-Friendly Cumin, Lime & Black Bean Quinoa Salad

It’s summer, and you know what that means?


When the weather is warmer, we often crave lighter, more cooling foods. For that reason, I like to prepare healthier alternatives to the heavier potato, egg and pasta side salads we typically see at picnics, potlucks and cookouts.

If you want a quick and delicious dish to bring to your next cookout or potluck, give this one a try! It’s packed with plant-based protein, healthy fats, and tons of flavor.

It also gave me a reason to use these beautiful spring onions that were in my Hometown Harvest bag this week.

Aren't these pretty?

Aren’t these pretty?

This recipe was inspired by another one from Angela, who writes an amazing blog over at ohsheglows. She just came out with her first cookbook, too! It’s on my wishlist 🙂

I made a few tweaks to the salad itself and the dressing based on the flavors we like.

The original recipe called for 3 times as much cilantro, but I find cilantro to have a very strong taste, so I reduced it. I also tossed in some creamy avocado and added a little more flavor to the dressing by throwing in some chili powder and a subtle pinch of cayenne pepper.

As always, my hubby added a few shakes of hot sauce on top of his bowl and liked it so much that he went back for seconds! Success 🙂

Cumin Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This salad was delicious. Bill went back for seconds AND had leftovers for lunch the next day!

Servings: 6.5 cups (or serves 4)

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 3 cups cooked). Click here for how to cook perfect quinoa every time!
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, shaved (about 1.5 cups) We had some beautiful rainbow carrots to use from our HH bag, and they added even more color to this dish!
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • fine grain sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. After cooking the quinoa, let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, black beans, cilantro, carrots, avocado, and green onions.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour the dressing onto the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad the day before your next potluck or cookout, and the flavors will come together even more once you serve it! If you make it ahead of time, throw the avocado on just before serving, so it’s as bright green as possible!


About racheldruck

I love to cook, and I am passionate about spreading the message of how delicious, simple and nourishing real food can be. Check out my blog for posts on healthy recipes, tips and tricks, and lessons learned on my healthy eating journey! I'm passionate about educating, teaching and equipping you with the skills, tools and inspiration to live a purposeful, energized life! I live in Baltimore with my husband, my college sweetheart, and work as a wellness consultant and health coach. I also teach healthy cooking classes. I love what I do!

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