Three Bean Salad with avocado, vegetables and herbs. A flavorful vegan and gluten-free side dish perfect for a picnic or potluck, and filling enough for a main dish!
This recipe had to be made because – I'm very easily influenced.
Mostly by commercials for food and the like. If I see an ad for pizza, I'm going to want to eat a pizza. Every time.
Basically, I'm a marketers dream.
So of course while chatting with a friend on FaceTime and she started making this 3 bean salad, I immediately asked what was in it so I could make it ASAP.
The ingredients in her salad:
- black beans
- kidney beans
- chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- bell peppers (I used orange)
- cilantro (I used parsley)
- garlic (did not use)
- red onion
- lime juice
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
I thought I had all the ingredients on hand but ended up having to make a couple substitutions, and even added a couple things in the moment.
Instead of regular kidney beans, I had Cannellini beans, which are basically the same as kidney beans except white. You could also use great northern beans, navy beans, pinto beans, or red beans.
If you want more of the vegetables and less of the bean fiber, you could also just use two kinds of beans!
Especially because this salad has uncooked beans, they can be harder to digest if you have too much. You know what they say, “beans, beans, good for the heart…”
Other changes I made:
- Added tomato! Because I had good cherry heirloom tomatoes.
- Left out the garlic. I usually only add garlic when cooking, and not raw – personal preference. You can also choose to use garlic salt instead of sea salt if you want that garlic flavor.
- Parsley instead of cilantro. Only because that's what I had on hand, not because I think it tastes like soap.
- Used 1 lime + 1 lemon! I liked the extra pop of flavor that using both citrus fruits gave. You can use either/or.
More suggestions for how to make this bean salad your own:
- Add other veggies like corn, green beans, peas, etc.
- Mix up the herbs and use ones like mint, rosemary or basil to give it a unique flavor. Whichever fresh ones you have from your garden!
- Use salad dressings instead of the olive oil. The options are endless!
- Substitute apple cider vinegar in for some (not all!) of the olive oil. Gives it a more tangy flavor!
- Add some heat with a sprinkle of chili pepper flakes or hot sauce, if you're daring. You know I'm all about that spice, but it's not necessary on this salad!
Three Bean Salad with Avocado
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
- 1 red onion , chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved
- 1 bell pepper (I used orange), diced
- 2 large avocados , diced
- 1 bunch fresh parsley , chopped (or cilantro)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil , more if needed
- 2 limes (or lemons, or 1 of each!)
- sea salt (I love Pink Himalayan sea salt)
- Drain and rinse the cans of beans and dump into a large bowl. Mix in chopped onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado and fresh parsley.
- Drizzle olive oil on salad and stir, and top with lime/lemon juice and sprinkles of sea salt.
- Can serve right away, though the flavors will marinate more if you refrigerate first for at least 1-2 hours. Add more olive oil if desired just before eating.
Recommended and useful tools for this Three Bean Salad:
Like the strainer I use, an avocado dicer and more are available in the Trial and Eater amazon store.
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