Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad Over Red Quinoa with Cilantro Dressing

I made this new dish tonight that was very inspiring! You can enjoy this as an appetizer or main dish. Cinco de Mayo is around the corner, and this dish would be perfect for a party.

This dish was adapted and altered from the back of a Trader Joe’s Organic Red Quinoa box. Thank you Joe! The dressing recipe was altered from a Betty Crocker recipe I found. Thank you Betty! This could be served as a salad or as a main dish like I enjoyed it tonight. The warm red quinoa was amazing. This dish is beautiful, different and deliciously vegan!

Updated on 6/24/13 – to make life easier. I just made this dish again over the weekend and tweaked the measurements and rewrote the directions to make it simpler to follow. I am happy to report, this dish was a hit as usual!

Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad Over Red Quinoa with Cilantro Dressing


  • 2 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup Red Quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth (above)
  • 1, 15 oz Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Cups Frozen Sweet Corn Kernels, thawed
  • 1 Avocado, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 Cup Red Onion, finely diced
  • Zest of 1 Lime
  • 1/3 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • Cilantro Dressing (recipe below)
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Chopped Cilantro for garnish – optional


Cook quinoa with broth according to package directions.

While quinoa is cooking, combine beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion, lime zest and cilantro. Add the Cilantro dressing (recipe below) and toss gently. Taste, and add sea salt as needed to bring out the flavors. It may not need much more. I added a little over 1 tsp more.

When quinoa is cooked, drizzle with olive oil, mix and spread evenly onto a large platter and top with the bean salad. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired. 

Cilantro Dressing

  • 1/3 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs Finely Chopped Cilantro
  • 3 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 – 3 tsp Agave Nectar

Place all the above ingredients into a container with tight fitting lid and shake. Taste and adjust.

Let the quinoa cool before topping it if serving as a salad, or top it and eat it warm right away! Mmmmm. Mmm



~The Karmatarian

14 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Melissa said,

    Haha! Love how you thank Joe & Betty.. you crack me up! :) Great pics! Keep em coming!

  2. 2

    karmatarian said,

    Lol! I am glad that I can entertain you my love! Now get your booty in the kitchen and make this awesome recipe and tell me what you think!!! XOXO

  3. 3

    Karen said,

    I made this recipe tonight, and LOVED it! Thank you for posting it! :)

  4. 4

    karmatarian said,

    Hi Karen, That is so awesome to hear! I am glad you liked that recipe. It definitely was too good not to share. Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

  5. 5

    Cin said,

    Glad to find this recipe, as I had made the one on the back of the quinoa box from TJ’s, and was disappointed that the bottled dressing included dairy.
    I will make it today for a party at work tomorrow.

    Thanks! C

  6. 6

    Ollie said,

    Trader Joe’s has been out of the Red Quinoa for months. Something about a crop failure. Does this work as well with different color quinoa?

  7. 7

    Christa said,

    Hi Ollie, it really upsets me when I find something I love at TJ’s only to go back and they don’t have it for one reason or another…. I looked in my pantry and I also have this brand called Alter Eco. I found the website for you I have the black but it really looks reddish… So I guess you can use either black or red. Hope it works out and you find yourself some. I don’t know about any shortage as I haven’t ordered any quinoa in a little while. Please let me know what they say and if you get your hands on it! Thanks, Christa

  8. 8

    […] also may like Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad Over Red Quinoa with Cilantro Dressing …boasting beans and all of their nutrition. Or Fast, Friendly & Vegan Big Game […]

  9. 9

    Jeanne Angelos said,

    I made this last night and it was an incredible success. I had to
    alter one thing because I didn’t have agave nectar on hand, so I
    used a little honey. The lime zest is what kep it from being too sweet
    but I would suggest one thing….after tossing the salad, (if you are
    a cilantro lover like me), add some chopped cilantro on top because
    the dressing does not bring out the cilantro taste and it a little bit
    would truly enhance the dish.

    Three people ate it…. three people loved it.

  10. 10

    Christa said,

    Hi Jeanne, I’m so glad you liked this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. I am glad you added cilantro to suit your tastes. Thanks for sharing the tip!

  11. 11

    Joolie said,

    Just made this. Thanks for the recipe. I too added additional cilantro. I had to use rice vinegar and honey due to what I have on hand, but it was excellent. My first time making quinoa, I didn’t know to rinse it. Looking forward to making again properly!

  12. 12

    Christa said,

    Hi Joolie, I am so glad you enjoyed this salad. It’s one of my favorites. I usually put the uncooked quinoa into a small mesh colander and rinse under filtered water a few minutes before cooking. I also occasionally buy an organic brand from Whole foods that is pre-rinsed. I’m sorry that I can’t remember the brand off the top of my head and I don’t have any on hand. Anyway, have fun with quinoa. I also like putting it on top of my green salads. Thanks for your comment :)

  13. 13

    […] Black Bean & Corn Quinoa Salad with Cilantro Dressing […]

  14. 14

    […] Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad Over Red Quinoa with … – 2010-04-22 · April 15, 2013 @ 9:25 pm Hi Joolie, I am so glad you enjoyed this salad. It’s one of my favorites. I usually put the uncooked quinoa into a small mesh …… […]

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