Santa Fe Quinoa Salad


At L.A. Bento in Los Angeles, chef Chad Aaland makes quinoa salad with three types of beans and house-pickled onions. This streamlined version with black beans and jarred cocktail onions is tasty, too.

Santa Fe Quinoa Salad
Photo: © Stephanie Foley
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 3/4 cup quinoa (about 5 ounces)

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed

  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

  • One 3-ounce jar cocktail onions, drained and finely chopped


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Spread the quinoa on a baking sheet; refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over high heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, about 2 minutes; transfer to a blender. Add the lime juice and oil and blend. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Pour the dressing into a bowl and add the black beans, bell pepper, cilantro and cocktail onions. Scrape the quinoa into the bowl, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, plummy Malbec from Argentina.

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