Start-to-finish…this bean salad is ready to eat in less than 10 minutes!
This salad is so good and so fast that I’ve been making it almost every week this summer. How do I make it so fast? I use canned beans, chickpeas and lentils. Canned, yes, and in my opinion, there’s no compromise to the flavour. It’s delicious!
The only prep work that goes into this salad is rinsing the beans and cutting the red pepper, red onion and cilantro. Once that’s done you throw all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Voila… a perfect main or side dish. All the ingredients are staples in my kitchen, so I’m always ready to whip up this salad… great for quickly making a packed lunch before racing out the door for work in the morning, or serving surprise guests, or as a perfect quick side for when you need more time to be fussing over a more labour-intensive dish.
Not that it’s a race, but I’ve made this salad in 7 minutes flat. I’d say that’s quick meal prep, wouldn’t you?!
Don’t knock canned beans!
Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking from scratch. In this case, if I didn’t use cans, I’d have to soak dried beans. And I’m okay to do that, and have many times. But let’s be honest, we live in the real world where errands, kids, cleaning, long workdays, and so many more things get in the way of “slow cooking” all the meals. I’m okay with taking shortcuts sometimes. It’s about working smarter—not harder.
I’m not opposed to canned beans, canned tomatoes, etc. Canned beans are great source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Canned beans are usually very safe to eat and they’re an incredibly convenient and nutritious alternative to dried beans. Hey…that’s me…. You do you.
An incredibly versatile salad
I use this salad in various ways. Most often I make the salad as a side dish to accompany some sort of protein for dinner. Then I pack the left-over salad and protein for my work lunch the next day. It’s great hot or cold. Sometimes I take this salad all by itself as my full lunch. Delicious and filling!
So that’s all pretty basic, but do you want to take it a step further? How about transforming the salad into something completely different.
I’ve used this salad to make chili in under 30 minutes. I take left-over tomato sauce or meat sauce, throw it in a pot with some of this salad, and simmer it for about 20 to 30 minutes. All of sudden you have a makeshift chili. It may not be your Superbowl Sunday kind of slow-cooked chili, but it’s perfect in a pinch, and honestly it’s really good.
Got 10 minutes? Try this bean salad
If you have some canned beans in your pantry, give this recipe a shot! You won’t need to spend a long time in the kitchen…unless you want to.
Hey… it’s a bean salad… you can be as creative as you want. I’ve received many compliments on this salad, but if there’s something in it that doesn’t jive with you, change it up. Don’t have, or don’t like cilantro? Use parsley. Don’t like all the same beans I used? Try a different variety of beans. Don’t like heat in your food? Leave out the chili flakes. No limes? Use lemons. Like a little crunch? Use raw red peppers instead of roasted red peppers.
You’ve got this! Now (start your timer and) go make today yummy, friends!
- 1 can or 540 ml chickpeas
- 1 can or 540 ml lentils
- 1 can or 540 ml black beans
- 1 whole roasted pepper cut in strips
- 1/2 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1.5 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp hot chili flakes optional
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup flat leaf cilantro chopped
Mix everything in a bowl and serve.
Yup… that’s it! Enjoy with a protein or on its own.
- Don’t have or like cilantro? Use parsley.
- Feel free to use any variety of beans.
- Don’t like heat in your food? Leave out the chili flakes.
- No limes? Use lemons.
- Like a little crunch? Use raw red peppers instead of roasted red peppers.
- Make it ahead of time in keep it in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days