Black Bean and Avocado Lime Quinoa

I love simplicity on a weeknight. And though the plethora of ingredients in this recipe may lead you to believe that it’s complicated, it’s not! You cook the quinoa and simply stir everything else in. I’ve made this many times, and the add-in ingredients are flexible and can be adjusted depending on the state of your pantry. So while it’s delicious just as written below, have fun playing and substituting!

This dish can function as a side, but I love it as a main dish. And my love will remain unshaken.


(Serves 4)

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp kosher salt
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 small bunch cilantro
3-4 Roma tomatoes
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can corn
2 avocados
1 sprinkle lemon juice (for the avocado)
1 hard boiled egg
1 TBS melted butter
Optional: crumbled feta cheese

First: resist the urge to be overwhelmed. Yes, there appear to be a good many ingredients in that picture, but nothing complicated is happening with or to any of them. Take a deep breath and stick with me!

Now, quinoa. I used to be intimidated by it. It was an unknown, and it always takes a little extra energy to tackle something mysterious in the kitchen. Well let me assure you: this delicious little grain is nothing to be afraid of. Its tiny couscous-like pearls are simply cooked in boiling water, and then sit for 10 minutes to steam and soften. And that’s the extent of the Quinoa Threat.

Let’s see this funky lil’ grain in action!

Boil the 2 cups of water in a large pot. When boiling, adjust the heat to medium, add the quinoa . . .

. . . and cook (uncovered) for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. After 15 minutes, cover the pot and turn off the heat.

Let the quinoa sit for 10 minutes and get happy. See? Nothing to fear at all.

Hard boil that egg. After 7 minutes of boiling and a couple minutes sitting in the hot water, mine was perfection.

Dice up the tomatoes and cilantro:

Bam! Bam! Toss them in a bowl.

Peel and cube the avocado, sprinkling the pieces with a little lemon juice to avoid browning.

As you can see, I left a few of the prettier slices whole, to use as a garnish.

Drain and rinse the black beans:

And drain the can of corn while you’re at it.

Chop up the hardboiled egg too–and now all the chunky ingredients are ready to be added once the quinoa is done:

Beautiful! Colorful. Healthy.

Zest and juice the lime into a bowl:

Add the salt, sugar, and pepper . . .

. . . and whisk in the olive oil and butter to form the dressing.

As you can see, I couldn’t be bothered with melting the butter, knowing it would simply melt in the hot quinoa.

Once the quinoa is done, mix everything together in the pot:

This dish can be eaten hot or cold, but I like it at least warm, so if you do too, heat everything for a couple minutes over low heat.

Serve it up! You can sprinkle a little feta on top too, if you’re in the mood for some dairy bliss.

I, surprisingly, wasn’t. I also didn’t have any feta on hand, so maybe that was part of it.

It’s so good. I love, love, love this dinner–there’s no rolling away from the table with a rock in your stomach after a bowl of this veggie-licious combo. I hope you guys like it too!

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22 thoughts on “Black Bean and Avocado Lime Quinoa

    1. Jenna Post author

      We are!! And I hope you are too. It was fun seeing you over Christmas, but I crave more time to actually catch up with your lives!

  1. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef

    this sounds amazing! probably because this was (almost) my lunch half of last spring. no joke. but i didn’t have a set recipe so i’ll have to try your version! and just in case this recipe has upped your love for quinoa… this is the new way i make it now: rinse & dry, toast, and then cook. similar to israeli couscous, kinda. more details here: definitely revolutionized my quinoa. 🙂

  2. Suzie

    Such a pretty dish, the colors are so vibrant! I’ve never had quinoa but, as you stated it really is easy to make. Plus healthy, lots of pluses in this dish 🙂

  3. Erin

    Yum!!!! We’ve been making an almost identical version the past month or so, and it’s soooo addicting!! I like how yours has corn and the lime zest in it – we might add that to ours. 🙂

    1. Jenna Post author

      Nice! I agree on the addicting part. It’s like the effect chips have on me–I just keep wanting another bite–except without so much guilt!

  4. Veronica

    I fell in love with quinoa when I made a dish similar to this. I remember standing over the stove, eating huge spoonfuls straight out of the pan like a barbarian, and not being able to stop. LOL! I like the spin you put on it with the egg, avocado and lime–so healthy and so good!

  5. Joanne

    I’m seeing this as a breakfast/lunch/OR dinner kind of situation. Which is exactly what I love in a meal! Plus all the color and fresh flavor…eat the rainbow-esque.

  6. Amy

    I made this for dinner last night for my boyfriend and I – it was soooo good!
    I had to tweak the recipe a little because the grocery store didn’t have avocados (weird, right?), and I did a fried egg on top instead of hardboiled. My boyfriend declared it a success and ate two huge bowls, AND I have leftovers for lunch today!
    This is definitely going in my recipe rotation.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Amy, I’m so glad it was a hit! And a fried egg on top sounds pretty darn awesome. I think I’ll have to try it that way. =)

  7. Becky

    I sent this recipe to my mom and dad because it fits their unusual medical and dietary restrictions and I just got an email from my mama today saying that they loved it!

  8. Tobi

    Hi Jenna! I’m a new follower of yours (that sounds creepy…) and I tried this the other night. It was DELISH and my hubby said it was a new fave for him! So, thanks!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Tobi! No, that doesn’t sound creepy at all. =) Glad to have you following along, and SO happy you guys liked the quinoa!

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