This three bean Summer salad is an easy and nutritious Summer recipe. It’s easy to make, beautiful to look at, and super fresh tasting!
During hot Summer days, I love nothing more than quick, easy, and fresh dishes. This three bean Summer salad doesn’t require an oven, stovetop, or any other kitchen appliance. It simply calls for a little rinsing, a little chopping, some mixing, and a whole lot of enjoying. Additionally, this season calls for fresh and bright flavors. It’s seasoned with citrusy lime juice and cilantro. It tastes like it should be enjoyed poolside on a hot day.!
The best part – this salad is super versatile. You can serve it with some tortilla chips as a salsa-esque appetizer, as a side dish accompanying some protein and extra veggies, or as the main course – perhaps atop a bed of fresh greens and some quinoa. It’s also super customizable. Don’t like cantaloupe? You can try substituting it with pineapple or honeydew. Don’t like red kidney beans? Double up the balck beans instead and you’re good to go. Have picky eaters in the house who aren’t fans of cilantro? Omit it! You can truly make this salad however you like, and however best suits your crew!
My favorite part – this salad packs a hefty nutritional punch. The beans are for sure the star of the show. They load this salad up with protein and fiber, and they’re also a great source of resistant starch. The avocado and olive oil add healthy, satiating fats, and the fruits and veggies pack in even more fiber and micronutrients.
Beans are a superstar ingredient. In addition to being super inexpensive and shelf stable, they’re chock full of protein, fiber, and micronutrients – such as folate, iron, copper, magnesium and potassium.
Did you know that just 1 cup of beans contains about 15 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber? What’s more, they don’t contain the saturated fat found in some animal proteins. This makes them a great protein option of vegetarians, or those just looking for some plant-based protein options. Research has shown that consistent consumption of beans can reduce risk for chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity and cancer.
Beans also contain folate – a B-vitamin our bodies need to produce DNA and continue cell division. Just one cup of black beans contains about 256 micrograms of folic acid – that’s more than half the daily recommended amount!
Not only does cantaloupe add a delightful sweetness to this salad, it has the added nutritional benefits of vitamin C, beta carotene, and potassium. One cup of cantaloupe provides over 100 percent of your daily needs for vitamin A, and about 50 percent of our daily needs for vitamin C.
If there’s one ingredient I would suggest not omitting from this recipe – it’s the avocados. They add such creaminess and depth of texture. In addition to taste and texture, avocados contain significant amounts of fiber, potassium, and healthy, monounsaturated fats. These are commonly known as the “good fats” – they help lower LDL cholesterol (commonly known as “bad” cholesterol) and raise HDL cholesterol (commonly known as “good” cholesterol). These fats are what make this dish so satiating and long-lasting.
Three Bean Summer Salad
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can white cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 small red onion
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
- 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Drain all beans from their cans. Pour into a colander and rinse thoroughly under cool water.
- In a bowl, combine rinsed and drained beans, chopped onion, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, cantaloupe and cilantro.
- Drizzle olive oil and lime juice over ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Toss until well combined.
- Serve right away, or store salad in the refrigerator, covered.
- You can sub any kind of bean you like - pinto beans, white cannellini beans, chickpeas, navy beans, etc!
- You can sub other fruit for the cantaloupe. I recommend mango, pineapple or honeydew melon.
- If you would like this to be spicy, add 1 jalapeno, diced.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.