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Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe

by Jeanette on May 23, 2011 · 23 Comments
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Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Today as I was preparing a few salads for a Ladies’ Luncheon at our church, on a last minute whim, I decided to whip up a Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad, a vegetarian/vegan salad with fruits, grains and beans.

I got the idea as I was staring at the bowlfuls of mangos and avocados that have been sitting on my kitchen counter the last several days. As the boxful of mangos and California Avocados have been ripening, I’ve been making lots of Mango Smoothies and Avocado Smoothies. I’ve also made my favorite Mango Avocado Salsa, so a quinoa salad using similar ingredients seemed to be a natural extension of this recipe. Mangos and avocados make such a nice combination, one sweet, the other more savory, but both offering a smooth and silky mouth feel.

As I thought of what dressing to make for this fruity quinoa salad, I spotted a bottle of raspberry balsamic vinegar in my cabinet which I thought would compliment the fruit flavors in this quinoa salad. To make this salad a complete meal, I included black beans (one of my favorite beans) and quinoa, a gluten-free “grain.”

For those of you who are not familiar with quinoa, quinoa is actually a seed, not a grain, and is a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is sometimes referred to as an ancient grain as it was once considered to be the “gold of the Incas.” Quinoa is a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. In addition, quinoa is a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, folate, and fiber.

Before cooking quinoa, it must be rinsed thoroughly to remove its bitter-tasing coating (saponins).  Cooked quinoa is fluffy and soft, with a little bit of crunch to it.

This Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad was a huge hit at the luncheon. I have to say that after I made this quinoa salad, I wondered whether people would even try it as I wasn’t sure whether anyone knew what quinoa was. These fears were allayed, however, as quite a few people knew immediately what quinoa was, and others had never seen or heard of it before, but were willing to try it. In fact, I think there might have been a few quinoa converts in the room. I was especially glad I had made this vegan salad as one woman’s face lit up when she saw it. Being a vegetarian and newly vegan, this quinoa salad, along with some fruit salad made her lunch complete.

{A funny story on the side – I actually forgot to add the red bell pepper to the salad before I took a picture for this post as flew out the door this morning. I really wanted to make this salad pretty, so I actually ran back home to grab the pepper along with a knife so I could add it before the luncheon. I had hoped to save a sample of the salad from the luncheon so I could retake the picture, but alas, there wasn’t a bite left! You can only imagine how much prettier this salad would be with the red bell pepper.}

I am submitting this recipe to Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Friendly Friday Memorial Day BBQ Roundup.

Mango Avocado Black Bean Quinoa Salad

I used red quinoa, but you can use white or black quinoa. This is not a precise recipe, as mangos and avocados come in all different sizes. I like the silkier texture of  Ataulfo or Champagne over the more fibrous Tommy Atkins variety.

Printable Recipe 


  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large or 2 small mangos, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 ½ cups cooked black beans or 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup mint, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup scallions, minced
  • ½ -1 whole jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To cook quinoa, place well rinsed quinoa in a small saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until water is completely absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar. Add to quinoa and leave uncovered until cool. (Can be refrigerated until ready to finish making salad.)
  3. When quinoa is cool, add mangoes, avocado, black beans, red bell pepper, cilantro, mint, scallions, jalapeno pepper, and lime juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serves 4-6.

This recipe has been submitted to “Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryRouxbe and ManPans.

More Quinoa Salad Recipes
Fat Free Vegan Kitchen’s  International Quinoa Salad 
Chocolate and Zucchini Japanese Inspired Quinoa
Vegan Chronicles’ Vegan Quinoa Salad 
The World’s Healthiest Foods: Quinoa 
Self Nutrition Data: Quinoa 

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  1. mmMMmm this looks sooooooo good right now!!! i love mango, avocado, and quinoa! what a great combination of flavors!

  2. SMITH BITES says:

    absolutely gorgeous Jeanette and one that we will eat!

  3. Pretend Chef says:

    Avocado, mango, and black beans are a combo I really love especially in a salsa I make. I know this would be a great flavor combo for this salad. Yummy!

  4. Inside a British Mum's Kitchen says:

    Thank you for another beautiful healthy recipe. We love quinoa and thank goodness we do as it is SO good for you. Lovely flavors – Yum

  5. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says:

    Love this one! Awesome

  6. Great summer salad. I love the mango in there!

  7. BIg Boys Oven says:

    very sexy! so attractive, how can they eat them all! :)

  8. Jeanette says:

    Thanks everyone, glad you are all liking this quinoa salad. I actually packed some of this for the plane ride down to BlogHer Food and the two men sitting next to me were drooling. I felt almost guilty eating it in front of them.

  9. Feast on the Cheap says:

    You had me at mango…

  10. This looks so pretty, especially with the red quinoa!

  11. susie bee on maui says:

    This looks and sounds great, love quinoa. Great to meet you in Atlanta.

  12. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says:

    I've become a big fan of cooking my quinoa in the rice cooker (thanks to Karina of Gluten-Free Goddess for instructions on how to do it — so very easy), and as a result, I've been using quinoa a lot more often. I seldom have the red quinoa, but it makes such a beautiful presentation that I'm going to start keeping it in my pantry.

  13. Jeanette says:

    I've never made quinoa in a rice cooker before – great idea! Quinoa is actually really quick and easy to make. When I first started cooking quinoa, I bought the white quinoa, but now I buy red or black quinoa whenever I find it just because I love the visual appeal when it's tossed with colorful vegetables.

  14. DandelionRoots says:

    That looks delicious!
    I love quinoa salads…sooo tasty!!

  15. Kim-Cook It Allergy Free says:

    I just bookmarked this one to make as a side dish for our BBQ this weekend. What a beautiful dish! And the flavors sound just perfect together! Love this one, Jeanette! 😉

  16. Jeanette says:

    Thanks! This is a nice healthy side dish to make for your own BBQ or to bring to a friends (so you have something healthy to eat!) 😉

  17. Jeanette, thanks for submitting this gorgeous quinoa to our Get Grillin' event :)

  18. Cookin' Canuck says:

    What a gorgeous dish. Thanks so much for sharing it in our Get Grillin' event!

  19. I am all about this salad! I eat quinoa all the time, but only recently began eating the red. The pairing with Mango & avocado must be an amazing burst of flavor. Thanks for posting this!

  20. Priscilla - She's Cookin' says:

    Great summer salad! I always love mango and avocado, and it looks beautiful with the quinoa.

  21. Jeanette says:

    Thanks for all the feedback on this quinoa salad – I love mangos in the summer, and buy them by the case practically every week!

  22. square kitchen says:

    i only once made a dish with quinoa. should make it again. with mango, that sounds good…

  23. TheIronYou says:

    This recipe with quinoa looks really really good. I’m gonna try it really soon as I’m obsessed with quinoa!
    I also recently wrote an article on the health benefits of quinoa, check it out: http://www.theironyou.com/2011/03/more-on-quinoa.html

    Mike @TheIronYou

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