simple bean salads

I’m really into bean salads right now. Once I realized how truly simple – yet satisfying – they could be…let’s just say I’m sorry it took me so long.

I like to keep it really basic: no fancy home-made dressings, no crazy chopping of vegetables, just beans + herbs + olive oil + spices and maybe some cheese if it works. I love the complex bean salads, with more flavor, lots of tiny vegetables and delicious dressings, but simple bean salads deserve their place in the world too! This salad has been a lunch staple lately and in my effort to keep lunch-cooking/prep to a minimum, it’s been perfect.

Other Simple Bean Salad ideas:

  • garbanzos + parsley + feta
  • black beans + cilantro + queso fresco
  • garbanzos + mint + feta
  • white beans + chopped arugula + parmesan
  • lentils + red pepper + goat cheese
  • garbanzos + sun-dried tomatoes + parmesan
  • black beans + avocado + cilantro (a splash of oj would be great in this one!)

Am I missing any bean salad staples? Share your favorites below! 


  1. says

    I love these, too! Sometimes I make them and just throw a handful onto lettuce, too (if I need more bulk – and I usually need more bulk ;) ) Also:

    black beans or garbanzos + pico de gallo
    black beans + corn + rotel

  2. says

    ummm yes please. to all of them. but truthfully, since i’ve started cooking my own dry beans (in lieu of canned), i can totally just eat a bowl of warm or cold beans plain. i think i’m really weird though… haha. now that my herbs have started growing i think i should totally use some on them! delish!

    • Emily says

      I need to get back to cooking my own beans! Better on so many levels: environmentally, financially, flavor, and probably some more things I don’t even know about. :)

    • Emily says

      I’m so glad you commented twice! I think I’ve had something similar, but I had TOTALLY forgotten about it…I’m going to make it next week for lunch!

  3. says

    Chick peas, lemon, arugula, and feta are my favourite (it ends up looking pretty much similar to the one you have in your picture).

    Beans are great because they are so high in fibre that they keep me full for hours! I find it much more satisfying to eat than salads with just leafy-greens.

    Like you, I have been sticking to salads with no salad dressing. It’s way too much hassle!

    I also tend to buy canned unsalted chick peas and seasoning the salad with salt and pepper myself. Salted chick peas are just way too salty for me (and it saves me the step of having to rinse it off myself).

  4. says

    Agreed. Eats that are high in fiber just like beans can keep you full for a long time. That is why dieticians usually advise travellers to eat beans,oats and the like while traveling and they cannot have full meal…By the way, thanks for sharing this recipe. I will try it myself, looking forward to learn more from you :) Kudos!

  5. says

    Oooh, these are some great ideas! I’m in the mood for a good bean salad. I saw your comment about cooking beans. I really need to get myself settled since our move. I used to cook all my beans from dried, but have felt so rushed and out of sorts since the move that I’m back to some convenience things that I’d really rather not be. I need to get back to it.

  6. says

    Serve chilled as a side to your favorite burger, sandwich or on a bed or greens. John loves packing some of this up for a simple workday lunch. He’s definitely a fan of bean salads. This salad will keep well for several days.

  7. Sonya says

    This looks so good! Something I can actually throw together before work that I would actually eat.

  8. says

    Emily, I love these bean salad ideas.

    These are great as either a stand-alone meal or as a side.

    Do these keep well? I like to make salads in advance as a quick meal or addition to my meal.

    By doing this it is one less thing to worry about when I am having a busy day. It is nice to come home after a long day and grilling some fish to go with a salad and calling it a day.

    Have you found anything really good to pair these with? I like adding to my recipes so that I can keep my meals fresh and interesting!

    • Emily says

      Hi Elle,
      Yes, they do keep! I had mine for 3-4 days. I think grilled chicken or fish or grilled vegetables would be awesome with the bean salads. I randomly had mine with egg salad (on the side) which also worked! :)

  9. says

    These large, red beans are popular in chili, salads, soups and baked beans. Make sure to cook them until completely tender and cooked through to eliminate the gastric distress-causing toxin Phytohaemagglutinin (Kidney Bean Lectin) that’s present in raw and undercooked kidney beans.

  10. says

    A hearty, satisfying lunch salad is one of the best make-ahead meals — a big bowl of farro and roasted vegetables can carry you through a week of lunches. Legumes like chickpeas and lentils also make delicious, protein-rich salads that satisfy. Read on for 15 of our favorite hearty lunch salads. There’s a salad of brown rice and sweet apples, another of couscous and butternut squash, and plenty of bean inspiration, including a delicious mix of white beans and roasted vegetables. Is it time for lunch yet?

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