Quinoa Salad with Kidney Beans and Mango

Sunshine on a plate

Sunshine on a plate

Summer is here – well, officially it started yesterday, but the weather does not seem to be taking much heed. It has been grey, cool and wet.

It might not be a perfect warm day out there, but I still feel all summery. I am not sure if it is the sunflowers smiling over at me from the table or the sunny plate of food I just enjoyed; a light quinoa salad studded with red beans and golden mango.

I made this dish for the first time a few nights back as part of a little “end-of-the-work-week-feast”. At first I was not convinced the mango would be necessary. So I started by mixing all the other ingredients together: some cooked quinoa, a small can of beans, chopped spring onion and a crisp citrus mustard dressing. I was already quite happy with the result. But it was only when I decided to add the mango that this dish turned into something special. All the flavours pair beautifully, but I think the real magic is in the contrast between the sweet melting mango and the little pops of earthy quinoa. 

The first sunflower - bringing warmth and happiness symbolizing adoration and long levity

The first sunflower – bringing warmth and happiness symbolizing adoration and long levity


(hardly altered from the blog ‘Taste Love and Nourish‘)
Serves 4

200g of red kidney beans (about 1/2 can)
1 ripe mango
1 spring onion
about 1-1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa
2 tbsp dried cranberries or currants

juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2  – 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

238 IMG_9506


  1. Rinse the beans well.
  2. Cut the mango into cubes.
  3. Slice the spring onion into thin rings.
  4. In a blow combine the quinoa with the beans, mango and spring onions.
  5. If using, cut the cranberries into smaller pieces (currants do not need to be cut). Add to the salad.
  6. In a small bowl combine all the dressing ingredients: lemon- and lime juice, oil, mustard, cumin, salt and pepper.
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad and carefully combine.
  8. If you have the time, keep in the fridge for 1 hour. Then allow to come to room temperature for 15 min. Salad is fine in the fridge for lunch or dinner the next day.
  9. Before serving. Chop the parsley and sprinkle over the salad together with the pumpkin seeds.

Tips & Variations

Consider some of the following

  • Use red instead of regular quinoa (used in the original recipe)
  • Use black beans instead of kidney beans (used in the original recipe)
  • Add frozen sweet corn kernels (used in the original recipe)
  • add avocado cubes or slices

Serve with

  • As part of a vegan dinner: spicy sweet potato, guacamole, green asparagus and strawberry salad with tortillas
  • Tandoori chicken drumsticks
  • Lambchops

More quinoa recipes


  1. Oooo! How cool to throw mango into a salad like this…a great recipe for summer! 🙂

    • afracooking said:

      I really enjoy mango in salads. One of my quick favourites is soba noodles with edamame, mango, spring onion and a chili- and sesame oil dressing.

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes said:

    Exactly the salad I love!

    • afracooking said:

      It really is summer on a plate 🙂

  3. This salad looks so amazing! I am so mango obsessed right now, and I love that you combined them with onion and the quinoa. Beautiful dish that I will be trying!

    • afracooking said:

      I still remember how I was blown away by the taste of my first mango as a teenager – I totally understand your obsessed. What a beautiful fruit!

    • afracooking said:

      Yeap, that is me: sweet but best taken with a pinch of salt 😉

      • Whats about christmas cake?

  4. I love this easy quinoa salad but love to add something more, like smoked salmon or grilled fish! 🙂

    • afracooking said:

      Great idea! I think some grilled fish would work amazingly with this salad. Maybe with a green sauce (coriander, green chili, lime etc). I have to give your suggestion a try! x

      • Oki doki, dear friend! 😀

    • afracooking said:

      Perfect description: this really is comfort food. Comfort food without the usual guilt that comes with soothing dishes.

  5. This salad looks delightful. I always forget about quinoa somehow but I know anything with mango I’ll be a big fan of! Plus the dressing has cumin — my fav.

    • afracooking said:

      Totally understand, quinoa itself doesn’t leave much of an impression. It took me a while to warm to it. I played around with different recipes mainly because it is so incredibly healthy. But by now it is one of my favourite carbs. Now I just love how you can dress it up to go with anything from Arab to Asian, Mediterranean and even Scandinavian.

  6. Lokness said:

    Perfect light summer lunch! Love that you added mango and dried cranberries to it. Little sweetness is what I always look for! YUM!

  7. ciao!
    i don’t cook much with quinoa, but this recipe is a luvMUST…I can taste the flavours.

  8. Liz said:

    Somehow black beans work better for me. Red beans makes me constipate and have a bloating feeling. I truly love the photo. It’s a masterpiece. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This looks like such a delicious recipe. I love all the flavours, and the variations are wonderful!

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