Not going to lie, sometimes I love a good Chipotle bowl/salad. Especially on the go. Or when I’m too tired and lazy to cook. Brown rice, black beans, peppers, corn, salsa, lettuce, a lil’ guac – what’s not to love? I know they (unfortunately) have lots of oils, but once in a while, I give in … balance right? It was only a matter of time before I shared my recipe for this Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad because it tastes THE SAME as Chipotle, and without any oil whatsoever. You don’t need it, I promise.

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad [Vegan]

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Cooking Time



  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 6 cups chopped kale, de-stemmed
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn

Spicy Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce of your choice (I used a chili pepper sauce)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium-sized pot, combine 2 cups of water with 1 cup of quinoa and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.
  2. In a large salad bowl, add the kale and the onion.
  3. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add in the black beans and corn to the pot. Mix it up. You could just add these over the kale but I wanted to warm up the beans and corn. Add the quinoa mixture over the kale and mix.
  4. Prepare the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix and enjoy!


Stays fresh in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Can replace quinoa with rice and add any additional veggies you like. Bell peppers, tomato, avocado etc.


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  1. This recipe looks great, but I have a question; why is there an issue with fat?

    Various studies have shown that consuming a little bit of heart-healthy fats/oils such as walnut or avocado assists the body in absorbing vitamins, in particular alpha- and beta-carotene and lycopene. Consuming fat also helps with satiation.
    Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2004. Vol 80, pp 396-403.