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Refreshing Pinto Bean Salad: Healthy & Easy To Make

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Enjoy the perfect blend of hearty beans, crisp veggies, and a delicious zesty dressing in this easy nutritious Pinto Bean Salad recipe. A delightful choice for any occasion.

pinto-bean-salad-large-glass-bowl

This Pinto Bean Salad recipe is not just super tasty but it is also extremely healthy and nutritious. A powerhouse of nutrients, that is rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

A colorful salad that is quick and easy to prepare and makes for a great time-saving healthy option for those on a busy schedule. In just 30 minutes, you have yourself a wonderful, refreshing, healthful salad.

As a 100% plant-based eater, beans are a primary staple in my diet, and I eat them almost every day. I eat them for breakfast in a tofu scramble or smashed and lathered onto a piece of toast, for lunch in the form of hummus or a salad like this Pinto Bean Salad, and in a burrito for dinner. Beans are healthful, delicious, and inexpensive. Truly a super-food in my diet.

5 Health Benefits From Eating Beans

  1. Improve Cholesterol: Beans are high in minerals and dietary fiber and, unlike most animal proteins, contain very little saturated fat and cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating beans and other legumes as part of a healthy diet (1).
  2. Cancer Prevention: Beans contain fiber, folate, and phytates, which may help reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research published an extensive analysis done on diet and cancer, where top cancer researchers recommended eating whole grains and/or legumes (beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils) with EVERY MEAL (2).
  3. Colon Health: Diets that are high in fat are linked to low-grade inflammation and can be damaging to the gut microbiome. Beans are high in fiber, which is a type of prebiotic and helps to protect and even improve gut health (3).
  4. Improve Blood Pressure: Beans and legumes are rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber which all help to regulate blood pressure (4).
  5. Blood Sugar Regulation: Beans have a high fiber content and thus help to protect against diabetes – among other conditions. The soluble fiber in beans not only helps to lower cholesterol but also helps to regulate blood blood sugar (5).

Pinto Bean Salad Ingredients

pinto-bean-salad-ingredients-baby-cucumbers-cherry-tomatoes-red-pepper-celery-lemon-parsley-cilantro-beans
  • Pinto beans – the heart and soul of this beautiful salad dish.
  • Fresh garlic – fresh is always best but you could use jarred minced garlic if in a pinch.
  • Red onion – omit if you are not an onion fan.
  • Grape tomatoes – you could also use regular tomatoes that are diced into small pieces but I like grape/cherry tomatoes because they hold their juice better in this salad.
  • Red bell pepper – you could use green bell peppers instead but I like the mild sweet taste of a red bell pepper for this salad.
  • Baby cucumbers – I like the smaller cucumbers for this salad.
  • Celery – the perfect crunch in this delicious salad.
  • Fresh parsley – for this salad, I would not use dried as a replacement. Look for fresh and preferably organic.
  • Fresh cilantro – omit if you do not like cilantro.
  • Dijon mustard – if you are not a mustard fan you can swap this out for yellow miso paste or raw tahini.
  • Lemon juice – you could also use lime juice if you prefer.
  • Kosher salt – or sea salt.
  • Ground black pepper

Kitchen Tools To Consider

This recipe calls for only a few simple kitchen tools. One’s that I am sure you already have on hand.

large salad serving bowl – I own a few pretty wooden salad bowls that I like to use for this dish.

serving bowl utensils – matching serving utensils are always nice too.

sharp cutting knife – a must in every kitchen, to chop all of your veggies.

wooden cutting board – another must in your kitchen.

chopped-tomatoes-cucumbers-red-pepper-celery-in-glass-bowl

How To Make Pinto Bean Salad

Dressing Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Set aside for the flavors to blend together while making the salad.

Salad Instructions

  • Dice the red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and celery into small bite-sized pieces, and place everything into a large bowl. Toss to combine gently.
  • Next, drain the beans with plenty of cold water, and then add the rinsed pinto beans to the salad and toss again gently.
  • Drizzle the dressing onto the salad and toss gently making sure all of the dressing is spread evenly.
  • Season further with salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Cover and set in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, on up to 1 hour. Allowing all of the flavors to blend together.
  • Serve pinto bean salad in beautiful bowls, sprinkle with additional parsley and/or cilantro, and serve.
  • ENJOY!
pinto-bean-salad-dressing-small-bowl

Tips For Success

BEANS

Canned beans are the simplest to use, so if you are in a hurry, use canned beans. That said, cooking beans from scratch is super easy. It takes time but it is by far the cheapest way to go. So if you have the time, consider using dry beans.

I found a happy medium. I make home-cooked beans but I use an Instant Pot to speed up the cooking process. So what normally would take, soaking the beans overnight, and then cooking them for a couple of hours, now takes about 30 minutes total.

If you are cooking your beans from scratch, add a yellow onion that has been quartered and a couple of bay leaves while the beans are simmering for even more delicious flavor.

One final note on beans. If you would prefer to use another type of bean instead of pinto beans, then by all means go for it! This recipe is so easily modifiable. Other beans to consider would be black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, red beans, great northern beans, and more. Or feel free to use a combination of beans to make it a three-bean salad!

small-wooden-bowl-pinto-bean-salad-green-napkin

MUSTARD

If you do not like mustard, you can easily use yellow miso instead. I love making this easy bean salad dressing both ways, so experiment and see which one you like best.

CILANTRO

If you are not a cilantro fan, no worries, just swap out the cilantro for extra fresh parsley. It will still taste delicious.

ADD-ON’S

If you don’t mind a little spice to your pinto bean salad, consider adding a diced jalapeño pepper to the dressing before pouring it onto the salad.

This dish is naturally low in fat because I chose to make it without oil or cheese. My goal is to always make recipes as healthy as I can without losing flavor. That said, if you would like to use a smidge of olive oil or throw a smattering of cheese on top of this salad, I won’t stop you.

I will sometimes sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top of this simple bean salad to give it a little cheesy flavor without the added saturated fat.

Consider adding brown rice to this pinto bean recipe for an even more nutritious and fibrous meal.

For more Mexican cuisine, consider adding brown rice to this great salad but also a handful of crushed tortilla chips to give it some crunch.

How To Store

For storage, this salad stays fresh better without the dressing mixed in, so my recommendation is to keep the salad and the dressing separate when storing. Then whenever you are ready for a salad, you can mix the dressing in at that time.

This simple bean salad stores best in the fridge in an airtight container. Without the dressing, this salad will last for approximately 3-5 days. If the dressing is already on the salad, it will last about 2 days.

More Healthy Salad Recipes

Here are more healthy salad recipes for you to consider.

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Let’s Connect

I hope you give this delicious Pinto Bean Salad a try and share it with friends and family if you wish.

Please consider giving this bean salad recipe a 5-star rating and comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Complete printable recipe card With Nutritional Information

Refreshing Pinto Bean Salad: Healthy & Easy To Make

Print Recipe
pinto-bean-salad-large-glass-bowl
Prep Time:30 minutes
Chill Time:30 minutes
Total Time:1 hour

Equipment

  • large salad serving bowl
  • serving bowl utensils
  • sharp cutting knife
  • wooden cutting board

Ingredients

  • 15 oz pinto beans (cooked, drained) – or approx. 2C cooked from scratch
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic – minced
  • 1/2 red onion – diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes – preferably organic
  • 1 red bell pepper – diced
  • 4 mini cucumbers – cut into small pieces
  • 2 stalks celery – thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro – chopped
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice – preferably fresh
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

Dressing Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Set aside for the flavors to blend together while making the salad.

Salad Instructions

  • Dice the red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and celery into small bite-sized pieces, and place everything into your large salad bowl. Toss to combine gently.
  • Next, add the drained and rinsed pinto beans, and toss again gently.
  • Drizzle the dressing onto the salad and toss gently making sure all of the dressing is spread evenly.
  • Season further with salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Cover and set in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, on up to 1 hour. Allowing all of the flavors to blend together.
  • Serve pinto bean salad into beautiful bowls, sprinkle with additional parsley and/or cilantro, and serve.
  • ENJOY!

Notes

  • Canned beans are the simplest to use, so if you are in a hurry, use canned beans. That said, cooking beans from scratch is super easy. It takes time but it is by far the cheapest way to go. So if you have the time, consider using dry beans.
  • I found a happy medium. I make home-cooked beans but I use an Instant Pot to speed up the cooking process. So what normally would take, soaking the beans overnight, and then cooking them for a couple of hours, now takes about 30 minutes total.
  • If you are cooking your beans from scratch, add a yellow onion that has been quartered and a couple of bay leaves while the beans are simmering for even more delicious flavor.
  • One final note on beans. If you would prefer to use another type of bean instead of pinto beans, then by all means go for it! This recipe is so easily modifiable. Other beans to consider would be black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, red beans, great northern beans, and more. Or feel free to use a combination of beans to make it a three-bean salad!
  • If you do not like mustard, you can easily use yellow miso instead. I love making this easy bean salad dressing both ways, so experiment and see which one you like best.
  • If you are not a cilantro fan, no worries, just swap out the cilantro for extra fresh parsley. It will still taste delicious.
  • This dish is naturally low in fat because I chose to make it without oil or cheese. My goal is to always make recipes as healthy as I can without losing flavor. That said, if you would like to use a smidge of olive oil or throw a smattering of cheese on top of this salad, I won’t stop you.
  • I will sometimes sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top of this simple bean salad to give it a little cheesy flavor without the added saturated fat.
  • If you don’t mind a little spice to your pinto bean salad, consider adding a diced jalapeno pepper to the dressing before pouring it onto the salad.
  • For storage, this salad stays fresh better without the dressing mixed in, so my recommendation is to keep the salad and the dressing separate when storing. Then whenever you are ready for a salad, you can mix the dressing in at that time.
  • This simple bean salad stores best in the fridge in an airtight container. Without the dressing, this salad will last for approximately 3-5 days. If the dressing is already on the salad, it will last about 2 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 366mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 873IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 80kcal

Reference

  1. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/the-benefits-of-beans-and-legumes
  2. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/beans/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915747/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608274/
  5. https://www.umassmed.edu/nutrition/Cardiovascular/handouts/beans/

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