Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad

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Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad: Turn canned beans, lentils and chickpeas into a flavourful salad that will add a healthy boost to your meals. Perfect year round, this fiber-rich heart healthy lunch salad is a great way of adding legumes into your diet.   

For a heart healthy meal, this can be served as a side dish to Chili Lime Chicken Kabobs, perfect for potlucks or to make it a main for lunch serve it over spiralized cucumbers.

Share on Pinterest DON’T LOSE THIS DELICIOUS RECIPE, PIN IT FOR LATER!

Close up of a white bowl with five bean salad in it on a blue and white striped napkin.

Every February is Heart Health Awareness Month.  This is a topic that hits very close to home, as I’ve become more aware of the connection between the foods we eat and the health of our heart. 

Two years ago my mom had a heart attack, she had a stent put in and is now ok, but has had to make some lifestyle modifications, including changing the food she eats.  A week ago my dad suffered from a stroke (it’s why I haven’t been too active on social media this week).  Heart disease runs in my family, so that is a big reason why I run, strength train and have been choosing to eat more plant-based heart healthy foods, such as beans!

Today, to celebrate Heart Health Awareness Month, I’m sharing with you my heart healthy mixed beans salad recipe. 

Make this heart healthy bean salad then check out my Montreal Steak Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Honey Mustard Dressing, Roasted Asparagus Caesar Salad, and Classic Waldorf Salad and more of my healthy salad dressing recipes.  

What makes this Mixed Bean Salad Healthy?

This recipe is so easy to make, plus it’s a super healthy lunch!  Beans are a naturally healthy, super versatile and affordable food. Beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Eating beans regularly may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and helps with weight management!  

Close up of a white bowl with five bean salad in it on a blue and white striped napkin.

I try to add beans to most of my salads because legumes (beans) are a great source of plant protein, and they are also low in fat. They’re full of fibre and they have a low glycaemic index (GI) which means they can help you feel full for longer. Beans and lentils can also be a useful source of iron and zinc for vegetarians (along with tofu, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and green vegetables).  I add chickpeas to my lunch salads, and I add beans to casseroles, chilis and soups.  I recently shared a delicious black bean quinoa salad recipe and today I’m sharing a flavorful heart healthy mixed bean salad that your family and friends are sure to love!

Related: Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad – this salad features buttery chickpeas, summer fresh corn, red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, and a homemade cilantro lime dressing. It’s the perfect summer salad for a potluck barbecue!

Close up of a white bowl with five bean salad in it on a blue and white striped napkin.
COLOR POP!

Why You’ll Love this Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad Recipe

This salad is not only healthy but it also has crazy amounts of textures and flavors that are going on. Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad you make my mouth so happy! 

Let it also be known that this salad is perfect to make ahead or on the spur of the moment. Let’s be real we all have those moments when your BFF calls you mid afternoon to ask if you want to grill a few burgers with the fam by the pool for an impromptu get-together and you’re then scrambling to figure out what to bring. Enter: this heart healthy mixed bean salad recipe, which calls for a can of mixed beans from your pantry and onion and cilantro from the fridge. The dressing features a little honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and dijon mustard – things we tend to still have even when we’re turning into old mother hubbard (ladies, we’ve all been there right?).

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What do you Need to Make Five Bean Salad?

Overhead photo of ingredients needed to make bean salad: mixed beans, cilantro, red onion, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, honey, and olive oil.
  • Canned Bean Salad mix, rinsed and strained
  • Honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic cloves, pressed
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
ingredients icon - Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad: Turn canned beans, lentils and chickpeas into a flavourful salad that will add a healthy boost to your meals. Perfect year round, this fibre-rich salad is a great way of incorporating legumes into your diet.   This can be served as a side dish, perfect for potlucks or to make it a main for lunch serve it over spiralized cucumbers.

Note: To make this a vegan-friendly dish, use maple syrup instead of honey.

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Which Canned Bean Mix do I use?

You can use any unflavored canned Bean Mix or Bean Medley as the beans will take on the flavor of the dressing. The canned mixes typically consist of the following beans: chickpeas, romano beans, red kidney beans, white beans/cannellini, etc. For the salad to be heart healthy, look for no salt added, or unsalted, or no sodium added etc.

- Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad: Turn canned beans, lentils and chickpeas into a flavourful salad that will add a healthy boost to your meals. Perfect year round, this fibre-rich salad is a great way of incorporating legumes into your diet.   This can be served as a side dish, perfect for potlucks or to make it a main for lunch serve it over spiralized cucumbers.

Salad making essentials

Alligator Vegetable Chopper | Manual Hand Food Chopper with Container | Perfect Onion Chopper and Salad Chopper | Effortlessly Chop, Dice & Slice Vegetables | 3 Stainless Steel Blades Included

ALLIGATOR CHOPPER

Zulay Kitchen Professional Cheese Grater Stainless Steel - Durable Rust-Proof Metal Lemon Zester Grater With Handle - Flat Handheld Grater For Cheese, Chocolate, Spices, And More - Black

Cheese grater

Cuisinart Large Salad Spinner- Wash, Spin & Dry Salad Greens, Fruits & Vegetables, 5qt, CTG-00-SAS

SALAD SPINNER

Zulay Kitchen Metal 2-in-1 Lemon Squeezer - Sturdy Max Extraction Hand Juicer Lemon Squeezer Gets Every Last Drop - Easy to Clean Manual Citrus Juicer - Easy-Use Lemon Juicer Squeezer - Yellow/Green

LEMON SQUEEZER

KITEISCAT Extra Large Elegant Ceramic Oval Salad Bowl Set with Premium Acacia Wood Salad Serving Utensils - Large Capacity, Stylish and Practical, Kitchen Must-Have

ELEGANT SALAD BOWL

Regular Mouth Mason Jars 16 oz - (4 Pack) - Ball Regular Mouth Pint 16-Ounces Mason Jars With Airtight lids and Bands - For Canning, Fermenting, Pickling, Freezing, Storage + M.E.M Rubber Jar Opener

MASON JARS

How to Make Five Bean Salad

Two white bowls on a blue napkin, one bowl has mixed bean salad in it, and the other has the dressing with a whisk in it ready to mix together.
  1. Rinse and strain the legumes.
  2. Place strained legumes in a salad bowl with onions and cilantro.  Close up of a white bowl on a white wood background with mixed beans, minced cilantro and red onion in it.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, olive oil and garlic.  Close up of a white bowl with the dressing ingredients for mixed bean salad: Garlic, olive oil, dijon mustard, honey and white wine vinegar with a whisk in the bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over the legumes and mix.  Heart Healthy Bean Salad 5 - Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad: Turn canned beans, lentils and chickpeas into a flavourful salad that will add a healthy boost to your meals. Perfect year round, this fibre-rich salad is a great way of incorporating legumes into your diet.   This can be served as a side dish, perfect for potlucks or to make it a main for lunch serve it over spiralized cucumbers.
  5. Enjoy!

Make this Heart Healthy Salad then check out my Arugula and Watermelon Salad with Red Onion, Feta and Pine Nuts, Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe and Walnut Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and more of my Delicious Quinoa Salad Recipes to take to your Next Potluck.

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Close up of a white bowl with five bean salad in it on a blue and white striped napkin.
ingredients icon - Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad: Turn canned beans, lentils and chickpeas into a flavourful salad that will add a healthy boost to your meals. Perfect year round, this fibre-rich salad is a great way of incorporating legumes into your diet.   This can be served as a side dish, perfect for potlucks or to make it a main for lunch serve it over spiralized cucumbers.

Pro-Tip: It wouldn’t be right if I left you without a pro-tip from one salad lover to another. A handful of crushed pita chips to top off your portion of salad right before you munch! I live for that crrrunch!  Another option is to spiralize some cucumber and serve over the spiralized cucumber as a meal. 

TIPS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Read on for tips and substitution ideas on how to make this recipe, and how to avoid making it a disaster.

How to make this bean salad recipe into a hearty meal

To make a bean salad into a hearty meal, you can incorporate the following elements:

  1. Protein: Add additional sources of protein to your bean salad. This can include ingredients like grilled chicken, cooked shrimp, tofu, tempeh, diced ham, or canned tuna. These protein additions will make the salad more substantial and satisfying.
  2. Grains or Pasta: Include cooked grains or pasta to bulk up the salad. Options like quinoa, couscous, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta can provide additional texture and make the salad more filling.
  3. Vegetables: Load up the salad with a variety of fresh vegetables. You can add diced bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, grated carrots, red onion, corn kernels, or any other vegetables you enjoy. This will increase the nutrient content and add more volume to the salad.
  4. Greens: Incorporate leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or arugula to provide extra fiber and nutrients. These greens will make the salad more substantial and add a fresh element to the dish.
  5. Nuts or Seeds: Sprinkle toasted nuts or seeds like almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds over the salad for added crunch and healthy fats. They will contribute to the heartiness and texture of the dish.
  6. Garnishes: Consider adding garnishes such as crumbled feta cheese, grated Parmesan, chopped fresh herbs like basil or parsley, or sliced avocado to enhance the flavor and visual appeal of the salad.

By incorporating these elements, you can transform this basic bean salad into a hearty and well-rounded meal that offers a balance of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and nutrients. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of ingredients to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.

How to store mixed bean salad

To store a bean salad properly, follow these guidelines:

  1. Refrigeration: Bean salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Transfer the salad into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid if it was prepared in a mixing bowl or a serving dish.
  2. Timing: Consume the bean salad within 3 to 4 days for optimal freshness and food safety. After this time, the quality may decline, and there is a higher risk of bacterial growth.
  3. Separation: If your bean salad contains ingredients like avocado that may become mushy or spoil quickly, it’s best to store them separately. Keep the delicate components in a separate container and add them to the salad just before serving.
  4. Stir Before Serving: Give the bean salad a gentle stir before serving to redistribute the flavors and ensure that all the ingredients are well-coated.

Remember to use your judgment when assessing the freshness and quality of the bean salad. If it looks or smells off, or if you have any doubts, it’s safer to discard it.

🌷 CELEBRATE Spring with 

8+ Easy spring Salad Recipes

Spring has sprung, and do you know what that means? It’s time to lighten things up with these spring salad ideas that your whole family will love!

More Heart Healthy Meal Ideas:

Here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Close up of a white bowl with five bean salad in it on a blue and white striped napkin.

Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Turn canned beans, lentils and chickpeas into a flavourful salad that will add a healthy boost to your meals. Perfect year round, this fibre-rich salad is a great way of incorporating legumes into your diet. This can be served as a side dish, perfect for potlucks or to make it a main for lunch serve it over spiralized cucumbers.

Ingredients

  • 540 ml Bean Salad mix, rinsed and strained
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • ½ tsp Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/4 cup Red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Rince and strain the legumes.
  2. Place strained legumes in a salad bowl with onions and cilantro. Close up of a white bowl on a white wood background with mixed beans, minced cilantro and red onion in it.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, olive oil and garlic. Close up of a white bowl with the dressing ingredients for mixed bean salad: Garlic, olive oil, dijon mustard, honey and white wine vinegar with a whisk in the bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over the legumes and mix. Heart Healthy Bean Salad 5 - Heart Healthy Mixed Bean Salad: Turn canned beans, lentils and chickpeas into a flavourful salad that will add a healthy boost to your meals. Perfect year round, this fibre-rich salad is a great way of incorporating legumes into your diet.   This can be served as a side dish, perfect for potlucks or to make it a main for lunch serve it over spiralized cucumbers.
  5. Enjoy! Close up of a white bowl with five bean salad in it on a blue and white striped napkin.

Notes

This salad tastes best if it has time to marinate in the fridge for a few hours before serving.  

What Canned Bean Mix do I use?

You can use any unflavored canned Bean Mix or Bean Medley as the beans will take on the flavor of the dressing. The canned mixes typically consist of the following beans: chickpeas, romano beans, red kidney beans, white beans/cannellini, etc. For the salad to be heart healthy, look for no salt added, or unsalted, or no sodium added etc.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

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Close up of a white bowl with five bean salad in it on a blue and white striped napkin.

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7 Comments

  1. First off, I dislike beans more than any other food. I also have very high cholesterol and beans are one of the best things for lowering cholesterol. So I looked for healthy bean recipes I would tolerate. The flavor of this recipe is 5 Stars, delicious. I still don’t like the bean texture, but with such a good flavor, I can eat this for the heart benefit.

  2. Elizabeth at Reserved for Running says:

    I pinned this to try soon! I love beans and I am always looking for different ways to use them. I would love to toss this mixture onto a bed of lettuce.

  3. Patrick@looneyforfood.com says:

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning and I am so jealous! This salad is darn delicious as well. Yummy way to protect that ticker.

    1. Janice - Salads for Lunch says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Patrick! I have just started on my food blogging journey and I feel like out of everything photography has been the hardest part.

  4. Deborah @ Confessions of mother runner says:

    I like the combo of mustard and honey in here. Love me some bean salads

    1. @Deborah @ Confessions of mother runner,
      What can you sub, or do, if you don’t like mustard?

      1. Janice - Salads for Lunch says:

        Hi Kathy, I actually don’t like dijon mustard myself, but I don’t taste it in this recipe because there are so many other flavours. In this recipe, dijon mustard is used as an emulsifier in the dressing. You could try mayonnaise instead as it is also an emulsifier.