Bright Black Bean Avocado Salad With Mango And Quinoa Recipe

In warm weather, our appetites tend to decrease, as does our desire to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. For these reasons, hearty salads often take the place of entrees, but there are only so many variations on lettuce + meat + cheese that you can make without getting a bit bored. This summer salad, on the other hand, is lettuce-free, meat-free, and cheese-free — in fact, it's entirely vegan. It's built on a base of quinoa and is, in the words of recipe developer Deniz Vergara, "bursting with summery flavor from fresh ingredients like sweet and juicy mango, creamy avocado, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette."

The salad also contains black beans which, in combination with the quinoa, provide heart-healthy fiber and plenty of protein. This makes the salad a complete meal in itself, although you could also serve it in conjunction with a cold soup, such as gazpacho or avocado soup. While Vergara feels that this salad tastes best the same day that it's made, she does say that it can be refrigerated for up to five days.

Gather the ingredients for the bright black bean avocado salad with mango and quinoa

As you can probably tell by the name, this salad is made with black beans, avocados, mangoes, and quinoa. Other ingredients you'll need to complete the preparation include olive oil, salt, scallions, a shallot, cilantro, and lime juice.

Step 1: Put the quinoa in a pot

Add the rinsed quinoa and water to a small pot and bring the water to a boil.

Step 2: Cook the quinoa

Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Fluff and cool the quinoa

Fluff with a fork and let cool for 5–10 minutes.

Step 4: Combine the quinoa with the mango, beans, and scallions

In a medium bowl, gently stir together the cooked quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, salt, mango, scallions, and cilantro.

Step 5: Mix the oil and lime juice

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and olive oil.

Step 6: Dress the salad

Add the shallot and diced avocado to the lime mixture, and then gently fold the mixture into the salad.

Step 7: Eat the salad cold or at room temperature

Serve immediately, or let the salad chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Bright Black Bean Avocado Salad with Mango and Quinoa Recipe
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This bright, summery salad is one of the best alternatives to a traditional, lettuce-based offering, and it's entirely vegan and gluten-free, too.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
4
servings
quinoa salad with white spoon
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15 ½-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 champagne mango, diced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 medium avocados, diced
Directions
  1. Add the rinsed quinoa and water to a small pot and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Fluff with a fork and let cool for 5–10 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, gently stir together the cooked quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, salt, mango, scallions, and cilantro.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and olive oil.
  6. Add the shallot and diced avocado to the lime mixture, and then gently fold the mixture into the salad.
  7. Serve immediately, or let the salad chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
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What are champagne mangoes, and can I use another kind in this salad?

The champagne mango wasn't named for the fact that it tastes fizzy, although you could always squeeze one to make a mango mimosa that would pair well with your salad. Our recipe uses tangerine juice and mango liqueur, but mango juice could replace both ingredients for a fresher-tasting, lower-ABV cocktail. Instead, the moniker may have been adopted to make these mangoes sound fancier than their alternate name of Ataulfo. Vergara says that she likes to use them for this salad because of what she describes as their "exceptionally sweet flesh." While champagne mangoes aren't very large, the pits are small in proportion to the size, resulting in more flesh than you might find in a similarly sized mango of a different variety.

The champagne mango is preferred for cold preparations, such as salsas, salads, or just eating it on its own, because it's not as fibrous as some other types, but it's only in season from March to July. A more widely available mango is the Tommy Atkins, which is in season from March through July and again from October through January. It's true that this variety has more fiber and a larger pit, but its flesh is also tasty in salads, so you needn't worry if you have to substitute it for the champagne mango.

What other ingredient substitutions can I make in this recipe?

In addition to changing up the mango variety, you can also swap out several of the other ingredients in the salad. Vergara suggests that the black beans could be replaced with either pinto beans or chickpeas, while you might want to consider using a different type of grain, such as bulgur or buckwheat, instead of the quinoa. Half of a small yellow onion makes a great substitute for the shallot, too, since the flavor is a bit more pungent but overall pretty similar. Onions also tend to be quite a bit cheaper than shallots.

The cilantro, too, is not required for this salad, so if you have the cilantro-hating gene that makes the stuff taste like soap, feel free to leave it out. Vergara suggests that chopped parsley can be used in its place, but there's no need for this if you don't have it on hand or don't care for its flavor, either. The salad already has plenty of greenery from the avocado and scallions, so it won't lose any visual appeal should you choose to omit the herb element altogether.