When your meal needs a protein boost, beans come to the rescue, and this super-easy two-bean salad can be made in 10 minutes or less.
Sometimes, I make a lovely pasta dish or a vegetable-centric main dish (for example, featuring potatoes or sweet potatoes), and then realize that the meal can use a protein boost. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can use what’s on hand in the pantry, and vary it every time you make it.
Bonus — this simple dish gives you the plant-powered goodness and protein of seeds as well. It makes a great portable lunch packed into a container for work or school.
This dish has a hint of green, which can be supplied by fresh herbs, sprouts, or watercress. I’m always looking for ways to use watercress, one of the most nutrient-packed greens on the planet, and this salad is a good place to do so.
Adapted from 5-Ingredient Vegan by Nava Atlas.
- Two 15-ounce cans beans (two varieties; see Note), drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup bottled vinaigrette dressing, preferably balsamic (see note), or as desired
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or watercress leaves
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or a combination
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl and stir together.
- If time allows, let stand for 15 minutes or more before serving to develop flavor.
Here are some variations:
In choosing two different varieties of beans, just know that most varieties go well together. I like combining:
- Chickpeas and pink or black beans
- Cannellini (large white beans) and small red beans
- Pinto beans and black-eyed peas
If you don’t happen to have balsamic vinaigrette on hand, use extra virgin olive oil and balsamic or red wine vinegar.
If you want to convert it into the classic three-bean salad, by all means — just add about 2 cups of green beans, fresh (trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths) or frozen. Steam until tender-crisp in both cases, and increase the amount of vinaigrette.
If you’d like, serve the salad over mixed baby greens or add some cherry or grape tomatoes.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 217Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 670mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 8gSugar: 13gProtein: 9g
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