Kidney bean salad is filling yet light, delicious and easy summer salad that you can make easily in minutes. This vegan and gluten free salad is super simple to make and one of my favorite light lunch or early dinner that I often make during hot summer days.
Keep this recipe as base and build your salad bowl by varying the seasonings and other ingredients. This dish is a great source of protein for those in plant based or vegetarian dessert.
Looking for healthy light and flavorful summer salads? Try out this super tasty with red kidney bean as main ingredient. Along with the bean it has got all the bounty of summer vegetables, flavorful herbs tossed in a wonderful light lime dressing. A really simple salad to put together if you have boiled kidney beans or canned ones handy.
What Are Kidney Beans?
Kidney bean is one of the very widely used bean across the globe. It is a variety of common beans or Phaseolus vulgaris. There are three types of these beans. Red kidney bean, red speckled and white ones.
The shape of these beans resemble human kidney and hence the name. It goes by the name rajma in India. These red beans are not to be confused with another variety of red beans called adzuki beans
Kidney bean is very widely used in Indian, Mexican and Mediterranean cooking. Rajma masala, bean chili, La Rioja, rice and beans are some of the popular recipes using these beans.
These beans are rich in nutrients and they are widely added in salads, stews too. If you are using dried kidney beans, it is absolutely necessary to pre soak for at least 8-12 hours and then cook them thoroughly.
If you are using canned beans, drain and rinse thoroughly before using in the recipes.
About This Recipe
Kidney bean salad is a simple to healthy and delicious salad recipe with boiled red kidney beans. To add color and nutrition we are also adding chopped onion, tomatoes, cucumber to this salad. The flavor comes from chopped cilantro leaves and the salad is tossed together in a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
I love to include kidney beans often in our diet and along with curries I make this salad too especially during summer. It tastes great both cold and at room temperature.
While I always soak and boil dry kidney beans you can easily use canned beans too. Just drain thoroughly and use in the recipe.
You can easily turn this kidney bean salad recipe to three bean salad recipe too. Just equal measures of red kidney beans, black beans and garbanzo beans or chickpeas in the same recipe. Bean salads are one of the healthy & tasty salad for vegetarians.
The other vegetables I have used in this recipe are halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber and onions. You can also add vegetables like grated carrot, radish, steamed broccoli and many more.
I have not used salad greens in this recipe but you can use any greens like lettuce, kale, argula etc. I have added the dressing ingredients directly to the salad instead of mixing them first.
For some crunch you can also throw in some sesame seeds, flax seeds etc. This salad is delicious as it is and will taste wonderful however you customize it. Do try out this easy kidney bean salad and enjoy. It is
Filling yet light
low oil salad
rich source of plant based protein
vegan & gluten free.
How To Make Kidney Bean Salad Recipe
Preparing the kidney beans
You can skip this section if you are using canned kidney beans and proceed to make the salad. Follow these steps of you are using dry beans.
Pick and rinse the kidney beans thoroughly. You can use any variety of it. I have used small ones here. Soak in plenty of water for 8-12 hours.
Drain excess water and cook the beans until they turn soft. To cook in
- Pressure cooker- add 4 cups water and a pinch of salt, cook for 16-18 whistles in medium heat
- Instant pot- Add 3.5 cups water, cook in manual or pressure cook mode for 35 minutes with pressure valve sealed. Natural pressure release.
- In a pot- Add 4.5 cups water and pinch of salt, cover and cook for 60 minutes in medium flame.
Preparing The Vegetables
While the beans are cooking prepare the vegetables as given below.
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions from 1 big onion
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes diced
- 1 cup chopped cucumber, from 1 large cucumber
- 1/4 cup chopped bell peppers.
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
Making The Salad
Add the cooked kidney beans to a large bowl. Add chopped onions.
Next add the other vegetables and cilantro leaves.
Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, salt to taste and 1 teaspoon sugar. You can adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Stir and toss everything well together. Serve kidney bean salad as light lunch or a as side in any continental meal.
Enjoy this salad as light lunch on summer days. It is delicious both cold and at room temperature.
To make it more hearty you can add a toast, a fruit juice or smoothie. You can make this salad with many variations and easily make it a part of your healthy diet.
You can also serve this as side salad in any continental spread.
Vegetables– Along with the given veggies, you can also add one or more of the following vegetables to make this salad.
- steamed or roasted broccoli
- roasted sweet potatoes
- boiled or roasted corn
- roasted pumpkin
- grated carrot or radish
- Green onion or red onions
Dressing– To add a different flavor to this salad you can add one or more of the following ingredients.
- Freshly minced garlic or garlic powder
- dijon mustard
- You could add a small dash of any sweet pickle relish or dill pickle or any pickle oil.
Herbs & Spices- I make this kidney bean salad with various herbs. This time I have used fresh cilantro leaves. You can also use fresh parsley leaves, dill leaves or mint leaves.
If fresh herbs are unavailable you could use dry parsley leaves, basil leaves or mixed Italian herbs can be used.
Cheese– I have kept this salad vegan but add some cheese to make it more tasty as well as nutritious. Use crumbled feta or grated parmesan before serving.
Nuts & Seeds– To increase the micronutrients of the salad and also to add some crunch you can add chopped roasted nuts and different seeds. Try a handful of chopped almonds, pecans and 2 teaspoons of flax seeds, sun flower seeds etc.
Boiling kidney beans– It is extremely important to cook the beans thoroughly before using in any recipe. If you are using dry beans and cooking it by yourself, make sure to pre soak it well for at least 8 hours. While cooking add a pinch of cooking soda or salt for quick cooking.
Make ahead tip– If you are to make this salad in large volume, cook the beans before hand and store in fridge in airtight container for 2-3 days. Chop the vegetables and mix the beans just before serving.
Scaling up– you can double or triple the recipe.
Oil free- If you want to make oil free kidney bean salad, just skip adding olive oil.
More Salad Recipes
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Kidney Bean Salad Recipe
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 3/4 cup kidney beans 1.5 cups boiled
- 1/2 cup onions chopped
- 1 cup cucumber chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup bell peppers chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
- Pick and rinse the kidney beans thoroughly. You can use any variety of it. I have used small ones here. Soak in plenty of water for 8-12 hours.Drain excess water and cook the beans until they turn soft
- Add the cooked kidney beans to a large bowl. Add chopped onions.
- Next add the other vegetables and cilantro leaves.
- Mix well.
- Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, salt to taste and 1 teaspoon sugar. You can adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir and toss everything well together. Serve kidney bean salad as light lunch or a as side in any continental meal.