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.
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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
- 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.
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!