The quinoa and black bean salad at the Whole Foods Deli are some of my favorite foods to buy. The salad is on the pricier side and the quantity never fills me up. So I decided to experiment and imitate the whole foods black bean quinoa salad recipe as closely as I can.

So get your fresh ingredients and let’s begin!

Whole Foods Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 315 kcal


  • 1 cup quinoa dry
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper, seeded
  • 3 green onions diced
  • 1.5 cup black beans uncooked
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher or Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

Optional add-ins

  • 1 cup  cherry tomatoes sliced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chipotle powder


We will prepare our Quinoa and Black beans separately and will combine them at the end

    For Quinoa

    • Rinse Quinoa before cooking
    • To cook Quinoa you can use your instant pot if you have one, or the stove method

    Instant Pot Method

    • Add water and quinoa at the bottom of the pot
    • Place the lid and rotate the steam release valve to sealing
    • Either use a manual or pressure cook button to cook at high pressure for almost 1 minute
    • Release pressure naturally for 15 minutes
    • When the screen shows LO:15, turn the valve steam release to venting, thereby releasing any remaining pressure
    • Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork
    • By removing stainless steel insert from instant pot housing, it will help the Quinoa cool faster

    Stove Method

    • In a saucepan, combine quinoa and water
    • Place on high flame and bring to a boil
    • As the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat
    • Place the lid and let the quinoa cook till tender, for 15 minutes
    • Remove from flame and uncover
    • Fluff with a fork and let it cool down

    For Black Beans

    • In a large skillet add a tablespoon of olive oil and place it on heat
    • Add onion and garlic, saute till they give off an aroma
    • Add cumin, pepper, and black beans to skillet, let them cook for 4 minutes
    • Add salt and pepper to taste
    • Remove from flame


    • In a bowl, mix the leftover garlic and cumin with olive oil, tomatoes, lime juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and add chili and chipotle powder for spiciness
    • Your dressing is ready
    • When the quinoa is ready, pour it into a large glass bowl
    • Add dressing, beans, and green onions to the quinoa
    • Toss everything evenly, this will further cool the quinoa and beans
    • Garnish with cilantro

    Tips for this recipe

    • A warm salad may not taste good, the flavors are muted due to the heat. We recommend placing the salad in the fridge for 30 minutes. Eating a cool salad is more refreshing and delicious.
    • You can store this in an airtight container and refrigerate it for 6 days
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    You made it! With this whole foods black bean quinoa salad recipe, home made salads will never taste or cost the same. It’s easy to make and if you like to meal prep a week in advance you can pack it up as your lunch and it will still stay fresh. 

    The salad is nutritious, the quinoa gives vitamins and fiber while the beans add protein to your diet giving you a balanced meal.

    Side Dish Ideas

    A salad on its own, although nutritious and healthy, never feels enough. But pairing it up with a big meal brings out all the flavors. Black Bean Quinoa Salad complements Eggs Benedict, making breakfast unforgettable. Quinoa Salad will add freshness to seafood dishes such as Grilled Cedar-Plank Salmon and Maple-Mustard Glazed Salmon. Another great seafood dish that pairs well are California Rolls. A spicy Black Bean Quinoa Salad will go well with Instant Pot Meatballs.

    Any salad is incomplete with your favorite dressings, try out these:

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