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How to Make a Mixed Bean and Quinoa Salad

Mixed bean and quinoa salad. Lots of colourful veggies.

A can of mixed beans (sometimes called 6 bean medley)  in your cupboard is the first step in making a high fibre nutritionally dense salad. To stretch out the can and feed more mouths, add some cooked quinoa, a variety of diced veggies, dried fruit and a sprinkle of seeds.

This is one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad recipes.  It has so many flavours and textures – salty from the olives, sweet from the cranberries, crunchy from the sunflower seeds or creamy from the beans.  

Mixed Bean & Quinoa Salad

Tasty high-fibre salad with lots of flavours, colours and textures.
Course Salad


  • small pot with lid
  • bowl
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • large spoon


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves minced
  • 1 can 540 mL, 19 oz mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup carrot grated
  • 1 sweet bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup Moroccan black olives pitted and diced
  • 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds unsalted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries


  • In a small pot, bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt and water to boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer until no liquid remains and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and the mint until dressing looks creamy. Stir in beans, carrot, sweet bell pepper, olives, sunflower seeds, cranberries and cooked & cooled quinoa. Toss until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Keyword plant-based, vegan, vegetarian

Helpful Hints:

  • If you don’t like olives, either leave them out or cut them up very fine so you only taste their subtle saltiness.  I like using Moroccan olives as they taste more salty than briney.
  • To cool cooked quinoa quickly, spread out the quinoa on a baking sheet and place in the fridge.
  • This salad will keep all week in the fridge and transports well in a secure container.
  • Anytime you make a bean and grain salad ahead of time, the seasoning and lemon juice will mellow out.  Just before you serve, taste and adjust with more lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • White wine or rice vinegar can be substituted for lemon juice.