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Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa

Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa

Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa

Summer green beans are here! Perhaps other beans, too, so substitute any of the three beans with what you can get on sale or from your garden... or the neighbors'. Quinoa is a light, whole grain with plenty of protein itself; once you try it, you'll invite it back to your table again and again.


  • 1 Cup uncooked quinoa
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 Pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, cooked and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 1/2 Cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1/2 Cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 Cup prepared Italian dressing
  • 1 Teaspoon dried tarragon


Calories Per Serving192

Folate equivalent (total)160µg40%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg10.3%

Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa - Recipes

As you can see, I recommend roasted red peppers for the recipe, but it’s fine to use raw ones instead. And of course, you should feel free to add your own veggies of choice grated carrots, fresh corn, and roasted zucchini would all make a great addition to the salad.

This protein-packed bean & quinoa salad is part of my year long celebration of the International Year of Pulses! In honor of the UN’s recognition of pulses as a sustainable, economical, and nutritious protein source, I’m inviting everyone to take the Pulse Pledge with me. It’s a commitment to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks or more. For plant-based eaters, this amount may be easy. But if you’ve been hoping to incorporate more pulse recipes into your diet, the pledge is one fun way to do it.

In addition to being crowd-pleasing, this salad lives up to its name: once serving packs about 15 grams of pulse-powered protein. Which means that it’s both a tasty and a nutritious contribution to any holiday weekend gatherings you might be joining.

I hope you’ll enjoy it. And I look forward to seeing you back here this weekend, as always, for my weekly roundup of recipes and reads.

This post was created in partnership with the USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Opinions are my own. Thank you for your support, and I can’t wait to share more pulse recipes with you this year! To learn more about the Pulse Pledge, visit

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To keep things light, I replaced the traditional oil/vinegar dressing with a lovely lime dressing. Most of the researchers I follow recommend avoiding processed oils. So I opt for oil free dressings and sauces when possible.

The lime dressing compliments this salad beautifully. It has just the right mix of tang and sweetness to bring out the flavors of the ingredients.

Four Bean Salad with Quinoa Recipe

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The quinoa cooks on the stovetop in just a few minutes. If you really don’t want to have any heat in your kitchen, cook the quinoa in a rice cooker out on your patio. Once the quinoa is cooked, the rest is “dump and stir.”

A refreshing light salad…perfect for the dog days of summer!

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I love this recipe. I have made it many times and I always get asked for the recipe. I find I need to make a little more dressing to give it more flavour. Usually just end up adding more cumin, garlic and lime. It is fresh and delicious.

Absolutely love this recipe. The seasonings and textures are perfect! Every time I make this I end up printing or forwarding the recipe to everyone who eats it.

The first time we made this, we made it as written. Yummy. I did agree that perhaps 1.5t of salt was too much as the canned peas and beans come with some salt. We had to use frozen edamame in their pods (1.5 lbs is about 1.5 cups shelled). The next time we made it, I reduced the salt by 1/4t, added 50% more oil, doubled the lime juice, and added a shake of cayenne. Very yummy. We used to serve Texas Caviar as a "dip" with tostitos scoops (also yummy) but move over Texas Caviar, this is better!

Terrific, easy. definitely a summer go to salad!!

Made as written but it seemed a bit bland. A little turmeric, cider vinegar, extra salt and pepper and this is to die for!

Delicious and healthy . Great combo of flavors !!

Very yummy. I'm usually not a fan of cumin. It's one of those flavors that just jumps out. I made a few alterations to fit the ingredients I had on hand and the only thing I measured was the olive oil and cumin. I used 1 can each of chickpeas, kidney beans, and black beans, the juice of 1 lime and omitted the celery and garlic. Everything else remained. I plan on using over kale for a healthy vegan meal.

I made this last night with fresh scarlet runner beans and frozen edamame and black-eyed peas. Very tasty - not your everyday bean salad. And beautiful, too - all pale green, creamy white, and lavender.

So good. It would be great with chunks of tofu also.

We loved it. Used dried black-eyed peas. I had soaked them and then boiled gently for less than 30 minutes. Frozen edamame and canned black beans (store was out of dried). Was so tasty and a real hit.

You know you love a salad when you start looking forward to the leftovers while doing the supper dishes. Delicious and healthy too! I love cumin but was afraid this might be too much. It's the perfect amount. Bravo to the creator of this one!

Bright, crunchy and refreshing! The only substitution I made was fresh corn for the black eyed peas. This is a wonderful, healthy summer side.

This is a favorite light dinner for my husband and me. It's quick and easy to prepare, we keep most of these ingredients around in the pantry, and it's really healthy and delicious. I've made a few changes - instead of doing two cups of celery, I usually make it with one cup of celery and one cup of finely chopped carrots, which ups the nutrient factor and makes it even more delicious - plus it makes it even more colorful. I usually heat the oil and add cumin along with some smoked paprika, then throw the garlic into the oil for a few seconds to rid it of that bitter raw garlic flavor. I add a bit more garlic than called for, and increase the lime juice too. I suggest letting it sit for a while after mixing it - the longer it sits the better it gets, which also meas it's GREAT for,leftovers. A total winner in my book!

I followed the recipe exactly - no modifications - and it was fantastic. I can't imagine changing anything. I particularly don't understand why some reviewers are calling for more cumin. If I had added any more than I did, it would have totally overwhelmed the other flavors. Can't wait to try it tomorrow after it's been refrigerated overnight.

This was a hit with Mexican dinner. I didn't have black-eyed peas so I threw in a can of whole corn. Looked pretty and the group loved it.

This is a great recipe, although as written I find the other beans overwhelm the edamame. Edamame salads very popular in delis out here on Cape Cod, and so I adjusted this recipe to follow suit - cut out black beans and black-eyed peas, amping up edamame and then adding fire-roasted corn (Trader Joe's frozen works perfectly). Omitted celery, threw in chopped sundried tomatoes, added some red pepper flakes to the cumin oil for some heat. Perfect for summer snacking or picnics!

Very tasty salad. I've also used baby lima beans when I can't find edamame with good results. Will make it again.

Mmm scrumptious! Cut the oil, increased the lime and cumin per other reviews and it was a big hit. Will definitely be bringing this to pot-lucks/BBQs in the future.

Be extra careful not to overcook the edamame, al dente ones are best for this salad I think. I also added a bit more lime juice and cumin then call for to up the ante and it worked nicely.

I modified this because I wanted even more of a southwest flavor and more color. <p> Additions: i Can Red Kidney Beans 1 Can cut Italian green beans 1 Small can chopped green chilies (mild) 1 small jar red chopped pimentos 2 whole roasted red bell peppers chopped (about 1/2 cup) 2 table spoons dehydrated red and green peppers (will reconstitute) 1/4 cup white wine vinegar Extra chopped cilantro and dried garlic a few dashes of red Tabasco sauce. Substituted celery seed powder instead of fresh celery (about 1/2 teaspoon) People raved! And asked why don't you have a restaurant already? I'll take that as approval.

I was assigned to make Three-Bean Salad for a picnic, meaning the traditional canned green and yellow bean salad. I wanted something fresher and more complex, so I used this recipe. I didn't use canned beans I cooked them fresh, but followed the rest of the recipe, and it was a big hit. I have had many requests for the recipe and would most definitely make it again. It will be in my permanent files for any time I'm asked to bring a veggie salad for a picnic. Such a huge step up from those canned green bean recipes.

I love this dish and the combination of flavors and textures. It's a delicious, healthy and portable lunch. I've taken another reviewer's suggestion to freeze it in individual portions, and that works well. For my taste 1 1/2 teaspoons salt is too much -

I REALLY loved the bright and complex flavors of this salad. I traded out the edamame for canneloni beans and put in 1/2 the oil. All worked well.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad Ingredients

  • Quinoa: I have used white quinoa here. Make sure to rinse it under cold water to remove the natural coating, called saponin to avoid any bitterness before adding. You can also use tri-color quinoa.
  • Beans: use canned or freshly cooked beans. I have used black beans, you can also use pinto beans or red kidney beans. When I have time I cook black beans in an Instant Pot Pressure cooker. Set the pot to “BEAN/CHILI” Mode and set the timer to 35 minutes OR (20 minutes for beans soaked overnight) and natural pressure release.
  • Vegetables: I have used onions, tomato, and red bell pepper.
  • Cilantro: I have used freshly chopped cilantro.
  • Jalapeno: Finely chopped with seeds and membrane. Use as per your spice level.
  • Dressing: I have prepared homemade dressing by using extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and seasonings like ground cumin, salt, pepper.

Three-Bean Salad

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This delicious mix of plant-based goodness is sure to satisfy your craving for the traditional three-bean salad, which is typically made with lots of oil and sugar.

But this Three-Bean Salad is the bomb! It tastes great, is low-fat and is much healthier for you! Simple ingredients makes this an easy dish to throw together for your next BBQ or picnic.

I can’t say enough good things about beans. First, they’re on Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s list of the “most nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods on the planet.”*

His list has the acronym, G-BOMBS – Greens, Beans, Onions, Berries and Seed. He recommends that you eat these foods daily, and this three-bean salad is a great way to do just that.

Beans and other legumes act as an anti-diabetes and weight-loss food. They are digested slowly, and thus stabilize your blood sugar.

Beans contain soluble fiber, which lowers your cholesterol levels. Beans also give your friendly gut bacteria something to chew on. Bacteria actually ferment the fiber into “short chain fatty acids such as butyrate, and butyrate protects against colon cancer.”**

To make this three-bean salad, you can use any of your favorite beans, canned or freshly made. The traditional unhealthy three-bean salad recipe used green beans, and that’s an option as well.

I like to use kidney, white or black beans, and chickpeas. Then I spice them up with some red onion, chopped celery, and parsley, or even cilantro.

Protein-packed plant-based recipes to try:

The dressing is traditionally made with a lot of white sugar, but for this version, we’ll substitute white sugar with either maple syrup or your favorite substitute sweetener. For a granulated sugar substitute, erythritol is the best according to Dr. Michael Greger of

Try this easy bean salad and increase your consumption of beans daily.

I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Three-Bean Salad! If you have a photo and post it on my Facebook page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!

This recipe is Certified Plantricious
because it meets the following guidelines.

Quinoa Is a Versatile Superfood

Quinoa’s fluffy texture and versatility easily add protein, antioxidants, and B vitamins to vegetarian or vegan dishes, and it’s yummy at any temperature.

Is quinoa gluten-free? Yes, quinoa is entirely gluten-free while still providing complex carbs.

This superfood is easy to substitute into almost any recipe. Its subtle, nutty taste makes it an excellent fit for beefing up soups, salads, side dishes, or even breakfast bowls with a little extra nutrition.

Three-Bean Salad

The flavour of this fibre-packed salad only gets better as it sits. Consider making it on Sunday and taking it to work for healthy lunches the following week.

1 - 19 oz (540 g) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 19 oz (540 g) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 19 oz (540 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 - 10 oz (283 g) can mandarins, drained
2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 cup (250 mL) curly parsley, chopped
1/3 cup (80 mL) apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) agave syrup
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
Hempseeds (optional)

In large bowl, mix beans, tomato, mandarins, celery, onion, and parsley.

For dressing, whisk together vinegar, agave syrup, oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl.

Add dressing to bean mixture toss to coat.

Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Place bean salad in serving bowls and drizzle with lime juice. Garnish with hempseeds if desired.

Each serving contains: 410 calories 17 g protein 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat) 64 g carbohydrates 15 g fibre 946 mg sodium

Tip: While there are plenty of good-for-you varieties of canned beans available from natural health retailers, those same retailers often sell dried beans in their bulk sections. If canned goods aren’t your thing, make your own beans—it’s easy! Rinse your dried beans carefully to ensure no dirt or other foreign matter soak your clean beans in plenty of fresh water overnight in the morning simply drain, rinse well, and then boil in fresh water for 10 minutes. That’s it! Now your dried beans are ready for use in this or any other recipe.