This vegan black bean edamame salad made with quinoa, corn, and red peppers is packed with plant protein, dense in nutrients, and a fan favorite among my kids. A slightly spicy lime dressing pulls the fresh flavors together. It’s perfect as a stand-alone main dish.
You know that day when you open the refrigerator and you realize you’re running low on supplies, but you’ve got a bunch of random ingredients you need to eat before they spoil?
I was having one of those days. I desperately needed to get to the grocery store, but I hadn’t put together a weekly meal plan, and I didn’t have the energy to do it. We had a little of this and a little that, and I needed to pull something together.
This black bean salad was what I was able to create with what was in my pantry and the produce at the bottom of my vegetable drawer that needed to be eaten pronto.
There aren’t a lot of things I hate, but I really hate throwing away food. Especially produce that’s gone bad. Luckily I got to the red pepper, and lime before they turned, and made a colorful plant protein-packed quinoa bowl that my boys were eager to try. They even asked for seconds!
With some frozen shelled edamame and corn in the freezer, a bag of quinoa, and a can of organic black beans in the pantry, I was able to use what I had on hand, save a trip to the grocery store, and create a meal that’s become a fan favorite in our house.
Why you’ll love this black bean edamame salad…
- Low calorie
- High in plant protein
- Nutrient Rich
- Super Flavorful
- Easy to make
Recipe Ingredients and Notes
- Red Pepper: Dice into chunks.
- Lime: You’ll use the juice for the dressing.
- Shelled Edamame: The shelled edamame will save you time preparing this salad. Shelling edamame for this dish adds to the prep time.
- Frozen Corn: You can use fresh or frozen corn in this dish. I had a bag of frozen corn in the freezer, so that was what I used, but fresh corn would be fantastic in this dish.
- Black Beans: I used a 14 oz can of organic black beans, that I drain and rinse.
- Cumin: Cumin is an excellent and diverse spice to have on hand. It’s used in many recipes ranging from Mexican to Indian cuisine. It brings an earthy depth of flavor to dishes.
- Cayenne pepper: If you or your kids don’t like spicy food, leave it out. Or if you have some in your family that like spicy, while others don’t, simply sprinkle some cayenne on their serving. The measurement of cayenne in this dish does not make it super spicy, it’s just enough to give it a little heat.
- Quinoa: There are many different types of quinoa available. I used a multicolored quinoa for this recipe. Quinoa is one of those super foods that’s simply amazing. Quinoa is not a grain, it’s actually a seed, making this salad gluten-free.
Tools and Equipment
How to Make Black Bean Edamame Salad – Step by Step
Step 1: Bring water and quinoa to boil in a small pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Take off of heat and fluff with a fork.
Step 2: Rinse black beans, and set aside.
Step 3: Dice red pepper.
Step 4: Cook the corn according to package instructions.
Step 5: Boil edamame if not already defrosted.
Step 6: Combine the cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, and red pepper.
Step 7: Add the juice of one lime, and the spices including the cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt.
Step 8: Fold the ingredients together until combined. Enjoy!
Variations and Substitutions
Less Spicy or More Spicy: Leave out the cayenne pepper if you don’t like the heat, or substitute black pepper. You can also increase the amount of cayenne if you like more of a kick.
Different Beans: If you don’t have edamame on hand you could sub in another bean such as kidney beans, pinto beans, or lentils.
Top Tips for Making Black Bean Edamame Salad
- Thaw frozen edamame in the refrigerator overnight.
- If it’s not thawed, simply add it to a pan with ½ cup of water and heat on medium-high for about 5 minutes.
- Don’t overcook the corn. You want it to have some texture and crunch.
- Prepare the quinoa in advance to make this recipe in just a few minutes.
Quinoa is a seed not a grain. It is the only complete plant protein source. It’s got a nutty flavor. I also love quinoa because it’s a time saver! In 15 minutes you have perfectly cooked quinoa. Whereas rice takes 30-40 minutes to prepare. It’s my go-to as a base for stir-fries.
You can enjoy this salad as a side dish, or a main dish too! I suggest serving it over a bed of fresh spinach for added vitamins and nutrients.
This salad tastes even better the next day. It’s excellent for leftovers, or to take to work for lunch the next day.
Yes, this salad is very healthy! It doesn’t have any added oil making in whole food plant-based. This also keeps the fat and calories down. The edamame, black beans, and quinoa all add protein and fiber, while the red pepper and corn added vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, and magnesium.
Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
Try these other healthy vegan salad recipes!
- 25 Vegan Salad Recipes Hearty Enough for a Meal
- Farro Salad
- Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Mango Cucumber Salad
- Beetroot Salad
Black Bean Edamame Salad
- ½ cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 12 oz edamame thawed from frozen
- 12 oz corn kernels frozen of fresh
- 14 oz black beans (canned) drained and rinsed
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ½ tsp salt
- Bring water and quinoa to boil in a small pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Take off of heat and fluff with a fork.
- While quinoa is cooking, drain and rinse black beans.
- Cook frozen corn according to package instructions.
- Chop red pepper into small chunks.
- Combine defrosted edamame, black beans, corn, red pepper, and cooked quinoa in a large bowl.
- Add the juice of one lime, cumin, cayenne and salt to the bowl. Fold together to combine. Enjoy!
- Defrost frozen edamame prior to preparing the salad by putting it the refrigerator the night before or quickly defrosting it in the microwave.
- Some quinoa needs to be rinsed before cooking unless the package says it is pre-rinsed and ready to use. Use a metal sieve and run water over quinoa until water runs clear. Drain and transfer to pot.
- Optional: Leave out cayenne and let each person control their own spice.