I’m guessing quite a few of you haven’t cooked with black quinoa before so today I’m sharing a simple salad to get you started – I just love how black quinoa looks in dishes, it adds a touch of drama! I’m also sharing some more Quinoa Recipes down there at the bottom of this post just in case you are as mad about the grain as I am!

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Roast Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with mange toutes and red peppers.

Black quinoa is readily available in whole food stores and Holland & Barrett in the high street. Just look at that salad – isn’t it pretty?!

It’s all change here at Thinly Spread – Number One left for Berlin last week where he will be spending 7 months studying and Number Two is also flying the nest shortly to head up North for his first year at Uni. It will be very odd going from six of us to four and I will be over cooking again as I did last year until I get a handle on quantities. Perhaps I should just pack up the extras and send them on to my boys –  this black quinoa and spiced chickpea salad would travel well!

What is Black Quinoa?

My lot will happily wolf down quinoa which makes me happy as it is a complete protein containing all nine of the amino acids which are essential in the human diet. It’s also really versatile as an ingredient popping up in burgers and bakes as well as salads and stir fries. This Black Quinoa and Spiced Chickpea Salad stands well on its own but is also delicious as a side dish with roasted vegetables, inside a baked sweet potato or as part of a Buddha bowl.

If you haven’t cooked with black quinoa before it has a slightly crunchier texture than white quinoa and the grains aren’t as sticky which makes it an excellent choice for this dish. I’ve made it with summer veg here but you can easily ring the seasonal changes by adding some autumn or winter vegetables instead. Sweet potato is an obvious choice, as are sweetcorn kernels straight from the cob. You could swap the chickpeas for lentils or butter beans, add handfuls of fresh herbs or switch around the spices and add in your favourites – whatever floats your boat!

Black Quinoa and Spiced Chickpea Salad

Spiced Chickpea and Black Quinoa Salad.

Spiced Chickpea and Black Quinoa Salad

Black Quinoa and Spiced Chickpea Salad

A delicious and versatile Black Quinoa and Spiced Chickpea Salad recipe. Serves 8 as a starter or 4 as a main.
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 400 g 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 225 g 1 cup black quinoa (you can use white quinoa if you can’t find black)
  • 450 ml 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 red onion sliced thinly into half moons
  • 200 g 1 cup sugar snap peas, topped and tailed
  • 1 red pepper deseeded and diced
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari


  • Simmer the quinoa in the water for 15 minutes until tender but with bite, drain, refresh under cold water and drain well.
  • Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the sugar snap peas and simmer for 2 minutes, drain and refresh under cold running water.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a frying pan, add the paprika, chilli flakes, chickpeas, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and gently fry for 2 minutes until the chickpeas and seeds are well coated with the spice mix, leave to cool.
  • Pour the quinoa into a bowl, add the spiced chickpeas and seeds, the sugar snap peas, red pepper, red onion and chilli and stir to combine.
  • Whisk together the remaining tablespoon of oil and the tamari stir through the salad and serve.
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Pin my Quinoa Recipe for Later!

Black Quinoa Salad in a bowl.

Here are some more quinoa recipes to tempt you!


One Pot Quinoa Chilli by Thinly Spread

Warm Rice and Quinoa Salad with Pan Fried Tofu by Fab Food 4 All

Gingerbread Quinoa Coffee Cake  by Strength and Sunshine

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