Easy and Delish High-Protein Red Kidney Bean Salad Recipe
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Fresh veggies are garnished with a tasty dressing in this super easy and satisfying high-protein kidney bean salad. Made in a cinch and packed with nutrients, it’s the quick lunch or crunchy side dish you’ll love!
Some time ago, our white bean salad made the rounds in the health and fitness blog niche and ever since then, I’ve been searching for another high-protein dish that was just as tasty as it was sure to catch the eye.
And, oh boy, do I have one for you. Once you’ve tried it, it’ll be pretty hard to deny this summer dish a place at your table.
It pulls the best from Greek and American salads, using feta, canned beans and corn as the base with a dressing made from the tangy combination of red wine vinegar, lime and cumin.
It’s really easy to prepare so it’s perfect for chucking into a box and taking to work as a light lunch, out for a picnic or for a bbq as a side salad or just for something quick at home.
As with most of our recipes, you can change this dish up a bit with a couple add-ons here and there, but have a look at the tasty salad ingredients I used which I touch a bit on below!
Fruits and veggies
With sweet corn, spring onions, cucumber and of course, kidney beans, this high-protein kidney bean salad is filled with some of the most renowned pantry staples out there.
They work really well in this dish but there are a few substitutes here and there that could equally suffice.
You can pick just about any kind of canned kidney beans you’ve got handy (or use one you made yourself) and shallots or red onion in place of the spring onions.
Instead of fresh cucumber, use sweet pickles or dill pickles, but in that case, you’re going to want to cut back on some of the spices so your salad isn’t too overwhelming,
Spices and dressing ingredients
The goal is to lightly coat all those colourful veggies with a tangy, sweet and spicy dressing to tie their different textures together and give the dish that extra flavour boost.
Ground cumin, dried oregano and the good ol’ salt n’ pepper were all the spices I used to achieve that.
But if you’re all out of cumin or oregano, just swap them for ground coriander or black pepper and dried thyme or parsley. Heck, you can even add some garlic powder if you wish.
Mustard and lime juice add that much-needed touch of acidity to make this vinaigrette the dressing it is. But, you can sub the freshly juiced lime for lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise for the mustard.
For the olive oil, use any other flavourful oil (like peanut and coconut oil). A milder one (like canola and sunflower) would also do while maple syrup will do just fine in place of that honey.
How many calories are in a high-protein kidney bean salad?
One serving of this high-protein kidney bean salad packs about 539 calories and 23g of protein per serving.
In summary, this dish contains:
- kcal 539kcal
- Carbs 54g
- Fat 28g
- Protein 23g
Easy, tasty and nourishing, what more could you possibly want in a salad?!
If being gluten-free is important to you, you’ll be pleased to know this red kidney bean salad recipe is just that.
And, as the name implies, it’s really high in protein too – over 20g in a single serving, just like the dishes in our free 7-day high-protein vegetarian meal plan!
It’ll supply you with more than half a day’s iron needs, lots of calcium and fibre and vitamins A, C and B6.
In addition to those, swapping less nutrient-dense food (eg. white wheat products and other processed foods) for bean-rich dishes has been proven to have significant health benefits.
They have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, various types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. On top of all that, they help with weight loss.
It’s not just a colourful salad you’ll enjoy making and eating, but one your body will almost literally thank you for.
Subscribe to get our FREE 7-Day Vegetarian High Protein Meal Plan for Weight Loss
How to make the best high-protein kidney bean salad
- Prep your veggies: Drain the corn and kidney beans, rinse and set them aside. Dice the cucumber then chop the fresh parsley or fresh cilantro and the spring onions.
- Make the dressing: Get a small bowl and mix in all the ingredients for your dressing. Stir for a bit and have a taste to make sure it’s just as savoury as it needs to be.
- Assemble your salad: Grab a large bowl and throw in your veggies. Crumble the feta over the vegetables and toss everything together. Now, add that dressing, fresh herbs and give your salad a good mix.
And there you have it, a lip-smacking nutrient-packing vegetarian salad in just seven minutes!
FAQS for high-protein kidney bean salad
Do I have to cook canned kidney beans?
If you’re making a kidney bean salad, there’s absolutely no need to cook your canned kidney beans. Just draining the water in the cans and giving your beans a nice rinse is all you’ll need to do.
Are red kidney beans healthy?
Red kidney beans are incredibly healthy. Since they’re loaded with fibre and other essential minerals, there’s a range of health benefits kidney beans provide. Let’s not forget that they’re also a great source of protein, low-fat protein at that!
I love adding them to stews, whirling them into dips and tossing them in salads for filling and nourishing meals.
Can you eat kidney beans raw?
You cannot and should not eat kidney beans raw. According to the nutritional information of these red beans, not only are one of the plant compounds in kidney beans pretty toxic but eating raw kidney beans just doesn’t sound like a delightful experience to me.
If you’re prepping the kidney beans for this salad from scratch, start by soaking them in water for a couple of hours or overnight.
It’s also really important to not cook the beans in the water they’ve been soaked in. Drain them out and rinse them again before you cook them in fresh water.
When they’re all done, let them cool at room temperature after you’ve drained them and that’ll do!
High protein red kidney bean salad variations and alternatives
While this salad is already everything, adding some more veggies won’t hurt. If you’ve got canned chickpeas handy, throw the garbanzo beans in for an even heartier and nourishing salad!
You can also add green beans, cannellini beans or black beans into the mix to make this a 3-bean salad if you will.
If a creamy kidney bean salad is right up your alley, you’ve gotta try this recipe with mayonnaise to make a creamy dressing instead (or one of these low calorie salad dressings if you want to cut the cals!).
But, be sure to use mustard (or vegan mayo), leaving out the feta as well to make it vegan. You can also decide to make this salad oil-free if you feel like it.
More kidney bean recipes
Meatless Chilli Con Carne
High-Protein Vegan Lentil and Bean Salad
Simple Chickpea Salad
- 1 can kidney beans (1 can = 15 oz, 435g)
- ½ can sweet corn (1 can = 15 oz, 435g)
- ½ cucumber (finely diced)
- ½ cup parsley, fresh (or cilantro)
- 1 spring onions
- ¾ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
For the dressing:
- ½ lime (juiced)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- ½ tsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Well, the ingredients say everything you need to know already, but let's elaborate just in case:
- Rinse and drain the corn and the kidney beans.1 can kidney beans, ½ can sweet corn
- Dice up the cucumber and chop the cilantro or parsley.½ cucumber, ½ cup parsley, fresh
- Then chop the green onion. So far so easy.1 spring onions
- Get a big bowl and throw in everything you rinsed and chopped. Now crumble in the feta and give it a good mix.¾ cup feta cheese
- Get a small bowl and add all the ingredients for the dressing. Stir, then taste to make sure it's fine.½ lime, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp cumin, ground, ½ tsp oregano, dried, 1 tsp honey, Salt and pepper to taste
- When approved, mix in the dressing to the salad.
- And there you have it, your salad is ready!
This tangy, beautiful and easy bean salad is amazing and one of my favourite bean salad recipes (and if you like it, why not try some of our awesome low calorie salads?).
Its varying textures and wonderful flavours might be reminiscent of the white bean salad, but the addition of that amazing dressing here makes all the difference.
Your comments make my day so be sure to leave any questions (and testimonies!) about this salad you have in the comments below!
Ooh I love recipes like this. Actually I love all recipes that allow you to chuck the food in a box! Sometimes I violently throw it in with fury. I’m definitely gonna visit your blog from now on! Furious food + voyeur gamer = win! Love the nutrition tips too 🙂 do you have a page on Facebook!? If you do hit us up, we can connect there!
Hi Amrita! I love the definition “voyer gamer” !! That’s me. I guess Dave plays a little every now and then on his ps3 though. But well, I have to admit that I keep myself fit when it comes to Fifa. But that’s more of a competition thing with my friends than actual gaming 😉
Cool, let me add you on facebook!
I actually really do like beans, they just REALLY DO NOT agree with me unfortunately 🙁 Doesn’t mean I cannot drool over your gorgeous dish!
Wow, you have a lot of food allergies, don’t you?;-)
Or maybe we just pic the wrong ingredients for you all the time, haha
This salad is practically identical to one I make frequently but I can’t eat it without chopped cherry/baby tomatoes, just gives that extra tang of acidity which I think this salad needs. I normally add avocado as well but then I’m an avocado freak 🙂 Oh and I like *loads* of coriander too (sorry, cilantro to you guys in North America).
Sometimes instead of the kidney beans I use warmed, slightly mashed spicy cajun black beans (from a Gordon Ramsay recipe) and add a sprinkle of red chili flakes – changes it entirely but still super healthy.
Your dressing looks great – don’t usually do dressings on salads unless they’re really healthy (it just negates the benefit of the salad) but I will definitely try your one when I make this again tonight.
hahaha, well if you meant by “you guys” us, then it’s actually coriander too, since we’re a British/German combo 😀
For me dressings are a must! I love how they add to the flavour. I actually think with the right dressing almost any salad is great, hahaha
Thanks for the comment, Mike!!
I was just thinking the same thing, going to add cherry tomatoes
Give it a try! That should be a nice option!
How long will this keep in the fridge? And is ACV a good substitute to the red wine??
4-5 days easily. Actually, This salad is definitely tastier the second day! Regarding your second question: that was our mistake in the text! The red wine vinegar is not necessary at all for the salad. Sorry about the confusion, Caley!
Are the calories you list on all your recipes for the whole recipe or per serving size?
Hi karli, unless otherwise stated they’re usually per serving.
So as a part of new year resolution, I decided to add Salads for one of the meal every day. And this is exactly I was looking for 🙂 I love Kidney beans and guess what everything you mentioned in the recipe. So I am making this one today to eat tomorrow ( as it will taste much more yummy them ) and going to browse through your recipes now for something to cook tonight 🙂
Do you have a facebook page to follow and get the recipes from 🙂 If yes, do add me – you will find me as Aanchal Karnwal
Hi Aanchal! I think your new plan sounds excellent!! I already had my salad today, with kidney beans actually 😀
Yep, we have a Facebook page, you can easily find us by typing in “hurry the food up” into the search bar in Facebook. Other than that, we have an app now! It’s called Easy Vegetarian and it’s available for Android 🙂
I am an “older” Lady, as I sit here in front of computer eating a cup full of my old recipe for Red Bean salad. Amazingly a pop up brings me here. haha Imagine the coincidence.. About the same as this, that my family ,parents included, have enjoyed for years. Except. Nothing spicy now. Just plain, red kidney beans,boiled eggs, green onion, dill relish. My dressing is simple as well. Miracle Whip, heavy pinch of sugar, tiny bit of dill pickle juice and a little bit of evaporated milk. Have eaten this since i grew teeth I think. & I am almost 80.
Hi Ruth, thanks for sharing the story with us. Yes, often times the best recipes are simple and straight forward. Your version sounds amazing, I have to admit! 🙂
I just discovered a liking for kidney beans literally last week when I decided to be brave and threw a few on my salad in the cafe at work. I’m in my mid 40’s and just wasn’t raised eating beans so I didn’t. Now that I’m more conscious of what I eat, I’m excited about kidney beans and the huge health benefits. My question is…since I haven’t prepared them for a salad yet, how should I cook them…do you eat them straight out the can or should they at least be warmed in a pot of water? I have the same question for the corn. I love corn and enjoy that on my salad as well, but I’m not accustomed to what sounds like eating food not fully cooked.
Great question, Cokie! Actually, you can eat canned beans and corn without heating them up first. Just properly drain and rinse them, then they’re ready to eat 🙂 All the best!
I am trying to move to a high fiber/healthier diet and this recipe sounds great. However I am not a fan of feta or most cheeses. I like cheddar generally and mozzarella, romano, and parmesan in Italian dishes. Do you have any suggestions of what I could substitute for the feta?
You could go for the feta equivalent made of cow’s milk (herder’s cheese?!). Alternatively mozzarella, yes absolutely!
I don’t see red wine vinegar in the ingredients. The salad was good without it, but maybe I’m just not seeing it in the recipe. What quantity was used?
Hi John, actually we don’t use any red wine vinegar in this recipe, that’s a mistake in the text from our side. I will change it now. I’m not saying the red wine vinegar wouldn’t make it any tastier though, I’d start with 1 tbsp and work up from there 🙂
It looks yummy bean salad recipe . I would like to try but confused about mustard , is it mustard powder or Dijon mustard? Pls let me know . Thanks
Hi there Sumera, yes it’s real mustard. You can use any you like really – if you love Dijon then for for it! I often use it too 🙂
Happy to help, Sumera 🙂
How would it taste if I decide I don’t want to use dressing? Perhaps just a little olive oil and salt & pepper?
You could definitely give it a bash, Lisa! I haven’t tried it like that, but a good quality olive oil with s&p is often just enough on its own 🙂
Hi, these recipes look amazing! Thank you for the incredible amount of content for us who’re just starting to go vegetarian.
Any tips to a person who’s lactose intolerant? How to replace cheese and still get enough proteins? Especially after an intense workout at the gym?
Thank you for your help and keep up the great work!
Hi Elisa, that’s a good question indeed. So, at the moment I’d say have a look at our vegan high protein recipes (you should be able to find a high protein recipe link in our navigation). Also, we are planning to create a proper vegan meal plan that is high in protein for download. Give us 4 more weeks and we can send it over (still prepping some vegan high protein recipes for that)
I don’t want os like an idiot but, regarding the dressing, what measurement is,
“½ lime’s juice”?
Hi Mike! It’s the juice from half a lime. Let me see if I can make it more clear 🙂
Delicious! I also added some cherry tomatoes, as I really love them. As for beans, I am a lucky one, because we cultivate beans in the back yard at my father’s village in the mountains. So I boiled more kidney beans and batched and freezed. We also produce giant beans, in Greece we cook them and then we bake them in tomato sauce, deliciously.
It sounds idyllic! I love the city, but definitely miss the countryside, too. Cool idea with the tomatoes!
The salad was perfect,thank you
Woohoo! Really happy to hear that