This simple, protein-packed Kidney Bean Summer Salad with Lemon and Cilantro is filled with texture and bright, zesty flavours. Perfect for a healthy, light lunch or tasty side! This protein-packed Kidney Bean Salad is loaded with kidney beans, cucumber, spring onion and parsley.
It’s all brought together with an appropriately lemony, garlicky dressing and it’s here for all of your summer-forward feasting needs.
This is why I am loving this Kidney Bean Salad:
- It’s super healthy & quick to make
- Beans = protein as we have an overload bean situation going on with kidney beans
- It’s really pretty with the combination of colours
- Unusual addition of nutritious pom kernels and its bright red colour
- With all of that chopped cucumber and lemony flavour it’s really refreshing
- It keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days so is great for packing up in lunch boxes and picnics.(
To make this kidney bean salad you’ll be needing kidney beans, crunchy cucumber, tomatoes, and fresh parsley or cilantro. They are the main players. Then comes the lemon dressing with a touch of garlic to give it some pop. It’s simple and basic but that’s a good thing with salads, right!?
How to prepare kidney Beans
First up, you might be wondering how you go about preparing kidney beans for a salad? In my case, because I’m organized and plan meals ahead, I do not need to open a can of kidney beans. But if you want to use canned beans it’s totally up to you. Let’s keep things simple here. So if you want to, you can cook your own kidney beans from dried. I’ve included details on how a little below.
Tips and Tricks
- If you’re cooking the kidney beans yourself from dried, be sure not to overcook them. The salad won’t look as nice, or have the same texture with disintegrating beans.
- Use red kidney beans, and not the very small variety. They are slightly firmer and look better in this salad.
- Don’t be tempted to use dried parsley. It must be fresh.
- After making the salad let it all sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving so the flavours have time to blend together.
- With all of those beans it’s already pretty substantial, but if you want to make it a hearty main, try stirring in some cooked and cooled quinoa, brown rice through it.
How to cook dried kidney beans?
On the stove top – Soak dried kidney beans in plenty of water overnight. If you forget to soak them don’t worry. Put them in a pan, cover with plenty of water and bring to a rolling boil. Then turn the heat off , leaving them covered, and let them soak for about an hour before draining.
Once soaked, drain the beans, place them in a large pan and cover with plenty of fresh water. Bring to a boil and be sure to boil them solidly for 10 minutes. Then turn down the heat a bit and allow them to simmer until tender which is usually for around 50 minutes. This varies greatly between different batches of beans though. The best way to know they are done is to fish one out, let it cool and taste it. Cooked beans should have a tender, creamy texture throughout.
In an Instant Pot – If you want to cook your kidney beans in and you don’t need to soak them.(Though honestly i don’t skip this step as soaking beans is good for digestion)
Simply place them in the pot, cover with plenty of water (3 parts water to 1 part beans), set the Instant Pot to manual pressure high, and cook for 40 minutes. Leave the pressure to release for about 10 minutes then manually release what’s left. Be careful because it might splutter a bit. I always cover the vent with a dish towel just in case.
How do you cook canned kidney beans?
- You don’t need to cook canned kidney beans because they are already pre-cooked.
- Add a pinch of chili flakes to the dressing
Can you eat kidney beans straight from the cans?
- Yes, kidney beans are safe to eat straight from the can. The liquid in the can though is a mixture of water, salt, and the starch released from the beans so it’s best to rinse them first especially when you’re adding them to something like a salad. Just pour them into a sieve and run water through them for a minute or so.
Is Kidney bean salad good for you?
- Beans of all kinds are an important part of a healthy diet.
- Beans are very low in fat, dense in macro and micronutrients and they provide us with complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and plant-based protein.
How to store the leftover?
- Store leftover salad in an airtight container. It will last for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. You can make it last a little longer by making it without the parsley/cilantro. Just add it in right before you plan to serve.
- I like to keep my dressing separate while storing salads.
Make this salad your own by:
- Adding a generous salty sprinkle of crumbled feta right before serving. The salty, creaminess works really well with the cool crisp, lemony flavors.
- Switching up the herbs. Parsley works well
- Use a store-bought dressing to make it even quicker and easier to make
- Switch the kidney beans for black beans
- Add some corn
Kidney Bean Summer Salad
This simple, protein-packed Kidney Bean Summer Salad with Lemon and Cilantro is filled with texture and bright, zesty flavours. Perfect for a healthy, light lunch or tasty side!
- 2 cups boiled Kidney Beans (¾ cups uncooked beans yields approx 2 cups)
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion (I medium-size onion)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup red bell pepper
- 1 cup pomegranate kernels
- 2 tablespoon spring onion (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped coriander/parsley
- ½ cup mint leaves
- 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak ¾ cup kidney beans overnight and boil kidney beans in a pressure cooker (20-25 minutes) /instant pot (beans setting)with salt.
- Do not overcook or else the beans will become mushy, It should be soft and still hold shape.
- Drain the water and chill the beans.
- Add onion, capsicum, tomatoes, mint, and coriander.
- Top it with pomegranate kernels and dressing. Mix well and serve.
- Use Sweet fruits like grapes, orange, apple in place/or in combination with pomegranate.
- Green pepper can be used in place of red bell peppers.
- Use mint, parsley, and coriander as per choice.