This Black Bean Quinoa Bowl recipe combines bell peppers, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, corn, pumpkin seeds and cilantro with an easy, healthy cumin lime dressing. Perfect for a light vegetarian dinner, colorful side dish or make-ahead lunch!
These Easy Black Bean Quinoa Bowls start with a base of fluffy warm quinoa, then come alive with the addition of bright summer veggies, protein-rich black beans, a tangy honey-lime dressing, and crunchy pumpkin seeds.
I love it as an easy vegetarian dinner all on it’s own but it also makes a great side dish to serve with grilled meat or fish too!
quick & easy make-ahead recipe
Quinoa salad is one of those recipes everyone should have in their cooking arsenal. It’s easy to make and is lovely served warm, room temperature, or chilled. It can be packed to take on-the-go and is one of my favorite easy lunches for busy weeks.
I love that quinoa has a quicker cook time than rice & is done in just 15 minutes. While the quinoa cooks you chop up your fresh ingredients, whisk together a quick dressing and your meal is ready in under 30 minutes.
Canned black beans are not just a great source of plant-based protein but are a great recipe shortcut too. They’re a filling & satisfying addition to black bean salad but are great in heartier dishes too – like these black bean stuffed sweet potatoes.
Tip: Add your dressing to the quinoa while it’s still warm. It’ll soak up all the flavor and get even more flavorful the longer it sits!
use any veggies or toppings you like
The recipe is very adaptable, so feel free to let your imagination and preferences guide you when it comes to the vegetable combination. Use what’s fresh, what you like, and what you have!
You can also get creative with extra toppings. If you like feta and you’re not dairy-free, crumbling some on top would be a nice add-on for these bowls. Diced avocado or even grilled veggies, like in these build-your-own veggie quinoa power bowls, would also be delicious.
I hope you’ll make these black bean quinoa bowls at home soon. If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
recipe & kid-friendly adaptations
1 | Sunflower seeds would also work in place of the pumpkin seeds
2 | Use maple syrup in place of honey in the dressing to keep this recipe vegan-friendly
3 | Before adding the dressing to the quinoa set some aside. Drizzle with olive oil or add a bit of butter and a pinch of salt. This preparation may appeal to the kids who prefer noodles with butter, and is more nutritious (it’s also messier, but we’ll just ignore that part).
4 | Serve all the veggies separately on the plate, or serve them family-style in small bowls at the table. Let the child serve themselves the veggies, then toss them in the bowl. Again, messier, but surprisingly effective.
5 | Let them use the seeds as “sprinkles” to top off their bowl masterpiece.
this recipe is…
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Black Bean Quinoa Bowls
- 1½ cup quinoa
- 2 ¾ cups water or vegetable / chicken stock
- 1 15-oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- ¼ red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 large bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange) chopped
- 2 ears corn kernels cut off (or sub 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted)
- ⅓ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
For the Dressing
- ¼ cup lime juice from about 2-3 limes
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne optional
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- ½ cup olive oil
- Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well. Place the rinsed quinoa in a pot with a tight-fitting lid along with the water (or vegetable / chicken stock). Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand for an additional 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa cooks make the dressing by whisking the lime juice, salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and honey or maple syrup until well combined. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk again until well combined.
- In a large bowl add the warm quinoa and black beans and dressing. Allow to sit 5 minutes for the quinoa and black beans to absorb the dressing. Add cabbage, tomatoes, bell pepper, and corn, stirring to combine. Top with pumpkin seeds and cilantro, then serve warm or at room temperature.