Meal Prep & Nutrition

Smoky Quinoa and Black Bean Salad (Vegan)

This is one of my favorite meal prep recipes! I make it in bulk and then portion it out for either lunches or dinners during the week. The original recipe is from, but the below recipe includes some of my alterations. (Quick plug: Budget Bytes is a great website. I like it because you can change the serving size and it will tell you how much each ingredient costs per serving. It is great for us college students who are on a budget!) This recipe says that it makes 4 servings, although I typically find that it makes a bit more than that.

Note: I often also make chicken with this recipe that I sometimes cut up to toss in the salad or I eat it on the side. I normally season the chicken with oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. This makes the recipe no longer vegan, but delicious nonetheless. 


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 15 oz can of garbanzo beans
  • 2 bell peppers (preferable red, yellow, or orange)
  • 2 green onions (I have never used these in this recipe)


  1. Use a wire mesh sieve to rinse the quinoa. Drain away the excess water and place the rinsed quinoa in a sauce pot.
  2. Add 1.75 cups water to the sauce pot with the quinoa, place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 minutes, without removing the lid. Finally, fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool. You can place the quinoa in the refrigerator for faster cooling.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, rinse and drain the garbanzo beans. Toss them in salt, pepper, and olive oil and toast them on a baking sheet in the oven. You can keep them in until they reach your desired crunchiness, but don’t dry them out entirely. Toss them periodically for even cooking.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  5. Rinse and drain the black beans. Dice the bell peppers, and slice the green onions.
  6. Combine the beans (both types), bell peppers, green onions, and cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top, and stir until everything is evenly mixed and coated in dressing. Taste and adjust the salt if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Make sure to stir the salad well before serving.




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