Wendi’s Super Delicious Black Bean Cranberry Quinoa Salad!

This is a super delicious and super nutritious salad that can be enjoyed at any party, family meal or small gathering. Extremely easy to prepare and will be one of the most popular dishes at your next gathering. What is so amazing about this salad is that it is amazingly simple to assemble upon cooking the quinoa. This makes for a very fresh, light, and a savory side dish to enjoy at any gathering. So let’s get on with it!


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shaved almonds or grated walnuts
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 Mixed color bell peppers
  • 3 Minced garlic cloves
  • 2-3 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 2-3 tsp. oregano
  • 2-3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Sliced cucumbers
  • Salt and cracked black pepper or coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of pinto or garbanzo beans
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 cups of chopped cooked asparagus
  • 2 cups of sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • Dried cranberries (optional)


Prepare your quinoa first then add the other ingredients like you would a salad in a large bowl.

You can also rinse your beans, chop the veggies, portion out the nuts and seasonings, and set them aside so you can throw in your large salad bowl once you have prepared your quinoa.

First, how to cook the perfect fluffy quinoa:

  1. Rinse the quinoa: Pour the quinoa into a colander and rinse under running water for 30 seconds. Drain well. This can help remove any bitterness on the outside of the quinoa (caused by saponins).
  2. Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat, then reduce the heat slightly to maintain a gentle simmer.
  3. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Special note, (smaller amounts of quinoa will be ready closer to 8-10 minutes; larger amounts between 15 to 20). Decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

  1. Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5-7 minutes. This is key to wait as it will aid in fluffy and thick quinoa!
  2. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Season to taste and proceed with the salad assemble!

Now the salad!

  • Be sure to use a large mixing bowl to assemble all the ingredients.
  • Mix in your olive oil, fresh veggies, and seasonings.
  • Have fun with it! Personally, I rinse the beans before use and I do not cook them.


**Serves 5-6

When you make these please snap a photo and tag me on social media using the tagline #Eattherainbow #Everydayimbrusselin’ #Nutritionwithwendi and I will be sure to share it and send you a little something special!

God bless and enjoy this delicious recipe. It pairs well with literally ANYTHING! If I had to make a suggestion, make extra because you will want leftovers!


In good health,


Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, CISSN