Lemony White Bean Quinoa Salad

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Spoon and fork in a bowl of white bean quinoa salad topped with lemon slices

Next time you’re looking for a simple, nourishing side, try this white bean quinoa salad! It’s bright, herby, lemony, and SO versatile. We especially love it with portobello “steaks” or baked fish, or really any main dish with parsley and lemon!

Just 1 bowl and 30 minutes required for this protein- and fiber-packed salad. Let us show you how it’s done!

White beans, quinoa, red onion, parsley, lemon, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper

It begins with cooking quinoa until FLUFFY (or using leftover if you have it around). This pseudo-grain (technically a seed!) originated in South America, but its health benefits have now earned it a spot on menus in far-reaching regions. It’s rich in magnesium, fiber, folate, zinc, and all the essential amino acids!

Fluffy quinoa with a fork in a saucepan

While the quinoa is cooking, we marinate white beans in lemon juice, olive oil, red onion, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and LOTS of parsley. The white beans soak up the flavors, leaving them a little tangy, herby, savory, and spicy!

Pouring olive oil over white beans, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and red onion

Then we add the cooked quinoa and give it another good stir.

Stirring cooked quinoa with other salad ingredients

Then it’s ready for any last-minute tweaks to make it perfect for your taste buds. More olive oil will give it richness, lemon juice adds brightness, and only your heart (okay, and taste buds) will know how much salt is right for you!

Fork and spoon in a bowl of white bean quinoa salad topped with lemon slices

We hope you LOVE this white bean quinoa salad! It’s:

Subtly spicy
& SO delicious!

It’s a quick and easy side that keeps and travels well, making it perfect for picnics, meal prep, or a weeknight dinner. Need some weeknight meal inspo? Try it with our Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri, Easy Baked Cod with Spring Vegetables, or Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad.

More Delicious Ways to Enjoy Quinoa

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Slicing into a portobello steak on a plate with a side salad

Lemony White Bean Quinoa Salad

Easy, nourishing white bean quinoa salad with fresh parsley, garlic, lemon, and a subtle kick from red pepper flakes. Just 10 ingredients, 1 bowl, and 30 minutes required for this fiber-packed, plant-based side!
Author Minimalist Baker
Close up shot of a bowl of white bean quinoa salad
4.95 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (~3/4-cup servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired, Nut-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days


  • 1 ½ cups COOKED quinoa* (1/2 cup dry quinoa yields ~1 ½ cups cooked)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed (we like cannellini or butter beans // or sub ~1 ½ cups homemade)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, large stems removed (either kind will work, but flat leaf Italian parsley is best)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2-3 small cloves garlic, minced (2-3 small cloves yield ~1 Tbsp or 9 g minced)
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


  • If you don’t already have cooked quinoa, prepare it at this time. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup dry quinoa and 1 cup water (1/2 cup dry quinoa yields ~1 ½ cups cooked // adjust amount if altering default number of servings). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking for ~12-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy and has expanded. Remove from the heat, stir, and set aside (covered) while you make the salad. The quinoa will get even fluffier as it sits!
  • Meanwhile, to a medium mixing bowl, add drained and rinsed white beans, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, onion, garlic, salt (starting with the lesser amount), black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the white beans to marinate and soak up the flavors.
  • Add the cooked quinoa to the marinated white beans and stir to combine. Taste and adjust as needed, adding more lemon juice for brightness, parsley for herbiness, or salt to taste. We added a little more of each.
  • Leftover salad keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Not freezer friendly.


*Cook time and total time include cooking quinoa.
*This recipe is also delicious as a white bean salad if you replace the quinoa with more white beans!
*Inspired by our Portobello Steaks with Avocado Chimichurri.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of salt.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 (~3/4-cup) serving Calories: 198 Carbohydrates: 29.8 g Protein: 8 g Fat: 5.6 g Saturated Fat: 0.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 332 mg Potassium: 376 mg Fiber: 6.2 g Sugar: 1.9 g Vitamin A: 115 IU Vitamin C: 13.9 mg Calcium: 59 mg Iron: 2.9 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Zopi says

    This is such an amazing recipe. It’s refreshing, wholesome and packed with flavour. I made this recipe with buckwheat as I didn’t have quinoa and absolutely LOVED it. Thanks for sharing another winner recipe!

  2. Monica Jae says

    Making this now & it’s flavors are incredible. I’m going to plop it onto a bed of arugala tossed with a little olive oil & lemon. Can’t wait!

  3. Catherine says

    I made this as part of a Mother’s Day bunch. It was delicious. I will definitely be making this again. I think I may double the recipe next time, because it made fantastic leftovers and the original recipe made a fairly small quantity. It looked beautiful on the buffet as well!

  4. Carol Arment says

    Hi, I love so many of your recipes! Thank you. I made this today for lunch. I added 1/2 c each of Kalamazoo olives, marinated artichoke hearts. And about 10 grape tomatoes. So good.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Your modifications sound delicious, Carol. Thank you so much for your kind words and lovely review! xo

  5. Ashley Powell says

    I added cherry tomatoes and subbed basil for parsley…So delicious! Will definitely make again!

  6. Kat Kess says

    For as cheap, simple, and easy as this is, it’s surprisingly tasty. I’ve only made it once but I’m definitely going to be using this as a staple meal from now on.

  7. Susan says

    Delicious! I added the zest from the lemon. Otherwise, made as is and this will be a regular on my make-ahead lunch menu!

  8. Daisy says

    This is my second time making this. The first time I used vidalia onion because I didn’t have a red onion, it was awesome, so don’t let not having a red onion keep you from making this. It was perfect to use up some parsley I didn’t want to go bad but the store only sells it in huge bunches. The second time I made it I had the red onion, but even though I still had parsley in the fridge, I opted to use some curly parsley that I grew in the garden and it’s a bit stronger in taste, it still tastes great in this salad, I happen to really like parsley (can’t stand cilantro – I omit it whenever I can), I wouldn’t worry if you can’t get flat leaf parsley, but it definitely can’t be left out. This is great for bringing my lunch to work. I wanted to start eating more beans and quinoa and this did not disappoint. The only issue is you will want to do a parsley stuck in your teeth check after eating, especially if you eat this at work.

  9. Kate says

    I zested the lemon and added that too and topped it with asparagus and doubled the batch making it a main course. So bright and yummy.

  10. Kim says

    YUM! This came together so quickly, it’s light, bright, and flavorful. This will be in the regular rotation for my spring and summer, a great way to spruce up my usual quinoa salads.

  11. Celine Reskovich says

    this was DELICIOUS! I cannot get over how simple and delicious this little recipe is. such a keeper! My two littles (4 and 1) gobbled it up! Will be making on repeat this summer. Your recipes come to my inbox and always inspire me and they are always a hit – thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the lovely review, Celine. We’re so glad you (all!) enjoy our recipes!

    • Jason r says

      Made according to recipe.
      Used veg broth in cooking Quinoa.
      This is excellent.
      Flat leaf parsley.
      I’m not huge fan of quinoa but I want to eat it and this was a perfect integration with white beans which I also don’t love. Together this works and will make again and again.

  12. Jodie Tanino says

    I was so mad at myself! Bought everything at the store and said “let’s do this!”. I accidentally opened garbanzo beans instead! And I knew it would taste good but I wanted the cannelini beans! So I opened another can. This recipe is so simple yet delicious. I added some sweet corn and am going to bulk up some left over cabbage slaw instead of making the quinoa. Thanks for a quick healthy delicious meal. I’ll make some curry with the chickpeas tomorrow I guess!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ah, shucks! We’re so glad you found a solution :) Extra chickpeas sounds like a happy accident! Thank you for sharing, Jodie! xo

  13. Leslie says

    So delicious and fresh! The ingredients are simple but they come together in such a flavorful way. I accidentally left out the red onion, but I added more crushed red pepper which gave it a spicy kick!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love that you already made it, Leslie! Thank you for the wonderful review! xoxo

  14. Beth says

    Hi! Do you have a tried and true method for dried white beans that does not involve an instant pot? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Beth, we’ve only used the Instant Pot. For cooking on the stovetop, we’d definitely suggest soaking for at least 6-12 hours before cooking.

  15. Lauren Hruska says

    Thanks for all your amazing recipes! Question… do you have a recommendation for an alternative to parsley in this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lauren, maybe cilantro or a lesser amount of mint? Let us know if you try it!

      • Tracy says

        yeah — i dont have quinoa or parsley but I am thinking this could work with brown rice and cilantro! sounds delish

        • Bec Andrew says

          I wonder if spelt, whole-wheat or Israeli cous cous could be good alternatives? I’m going to try it with one of these… but I reckon rice would work well too. And so would risoni or orzo if you’re not GF.

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Couscous or orzo would be delicious! We think rice would be good if eating on the first day, but would become dry/hard after refrigerating.

  16. Cyndy says

    I’m wondering what would be a nutritious substitute for quinoa. I’m not a fan of quinoa or brown rice. The recipe sounds good, and I have lovely dried Lingot white beans from SW France that I would like to use.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Audrey, maybe cilantro or a lesser amount of mint? Let us know if you try it!