These Bean Salads Will Help You Meet Your Protein Goals Sans Meat

·4 min read
Sweet Corn and White Bean Succotash
Sweet Corn and White Bean Succotash

Jen Causey

When you want a delicious, satisfying hot-weather dish that's a breeze to throw together, beans are there for you. "They offer a variety of flavors and textures and can go in many directions - hot, cold, rich and comforting, or elegant and refined," says Christopher House, the chef at Cal-a-Vie health spa in Southern California.

And the body benefits of beans are powerful. "Packed with protein and soluble fiber, beans improve digestion and keep cravings at bay," says Kara Ludlow, R.D.N., a registered dietitian nutritionist in California. Plus, beans are loaded with essential nutrients, including zinc, a mineral that supports your immune system, and iron, a mineral used to make proteins in red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. Case in point: A half-cup serving of white beans, for example, contains 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 3.2 milligrams of iron (nearly 18 percent of the RDA), and 1 milligram of zinc (nearly 13 percent of the RDA), according to the USDA.

In the summer months, though, the last thing you'll want is a piping hot bowl of chili. To get quell your hunger and score those key nutrients, make one of House's bean salads. Trust, they're packed with flavor, easy to make, and won't make you sweat. (Related: How to Cook Beans So They Actually Taste Good)

Calypso Bean Salad with Pesto

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 quart water

  • 2 cups dried calypso beans, soaked overnight

  • 1 carrot, cut into large dice

  • 1 celery stalk, cut into large dice

  • 1/2 onion, cut into large dice

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup store-bought basil pesto

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 qt. water; 2 cups dried calypso beans, soaked overnight; 1 carrot, cut into large dice; 1 celery stalk, cut into large dice; 1/2 onion, cut into large dice; and kosher salt to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook the beans until soft, about 1 hr. Strain the beans, discarding the vegetables; let cool.

  3. In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil over high. Add the beans, and sauté until their exterior is crisp. Toss with 1/2 cup store-bought basil pesto. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Stuck with leftover pesto? Use it up in the TikTok-approved pesto eggs recipe.)

Cranberry Bean Salad with Lemon and Olives

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water

  • 2 cups fresh or dried cranberry beans

  • 1 carrot, cut into large dice

  • 1 celery stalk, cut into large dice

  • 1/2 onion, cut into large dice

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley

  • 1/2 cup nicoise olives, pitted

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Manchego cheese

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 qt. water; 2 cups fresh or dried cranberry beans; 1 carrot, cut into large dice; 1 celery stalk, cut into large dice; 1/2 onion, cut into large dice; and kosher salt to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until beans are tender, 25 min.

  2. Drain beans, discarding the vegetables. Place beans in a medium bowl. In a small pot, add 1/4 cup grapeseed oil and 1 lemon, cut into quarters. Simmer on low heat for 20 min.

  3. Remove lemon, and cut into small dice; add to beans. Add 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley; 1/2 cup nicoise olives, pitted; and 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil. Toss and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with grated Manchego cheese if desired.

(Related: Summer Salad Recipes That Don't Involve Lettuce)

Sweet Corn and White Bean Succotash

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup diced onion

  • 1 cup corn (white and yellow)

  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas

  • 3/4 cup canned white beans

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon nondairy butter (like Earth Balance, Buy It, $4, amazon.com) or regular unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes

  • Basil

  • Chervil

Directions

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil on low in a medium nonstick skillet. Cook 1/4 cup diced onion and 1 cup corn (white and yellow) for 5 min. (The corn should have no color.)

  2. Add 1/2 cup sugar snap peas; 3/4 cup canned white beans; 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Raise heat to high, and cook, about 1 min.

  3. Add 1 tsp. nondairy butter or regular unsalted butter. Add 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes, tossing quickly; remove from heat. Garnish with basil and chervil.