My Favorite Bean Salad


On Mondays, I eat extremely cleanly, bloated from the glorious excesses of the weekend. No guilt however because it’s those indulgences that keep me sane. Breakfast is a very green smoothie and black coffee, and lunch or dinner is a grain bowl salad, or in this case, a bean salad.

This recipe is not mine, although I wish it were. It belongs to Marie Gonzalez, vegan chef-instructor and Yummy magazine columnist. I first met her (and this salad) about two years ago, and I was enchanted by both. I have always liked all kinds of beans but never had I had it in this way. Marie calls this her rainbow black bean salad and it aptly describes the distinct smack, tang, and crunch of each of its components. I simply call it my favorite bean salad.

I have lightly adapted Marie’s original recipe that you can find here. I’ve taken great liberty with several of the ingredients and all are noted below. The recipe is entirely customizable with what you’ve got in the pantry and refrigerator and it’s entirely delicious and healthy too. As they say, eat your rainbow.

My Favorite Bean Salad
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Adapted from Marie Gonzalez

1 cup quinoa, any color, cooked. Use any grain or combination of grains you’ve got; I’ve used brown rice, barley, and freekeh. You can also make the salad without any grain.
1 tablespoon cumin – I adore cumin but start with a teaspoon if you’re “mild mannered.”
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes – yeah, I like it hot
1 cup cooked beans, use any that you’ve got in the house. I’ve used red beans, chickpeas, lentils of all colors, butter beans, etc.
1 small red onion, roughly minced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced – I sometimes make this without a pepper, depends if I’ve got one or not. But when I do, I like using an orange one.
4 red tomatoes, diced (leave the seeds in)
1 large cucumber, washed and cubed. You can peel the cuke if you want but I don’t.
1 1/2 mangoes, peeled and roughly diced. Use the seed too by slicing around the edges and scraping it clean.
Juice of 2 limes. I’ve also used lemon juice and dalandan juice to much success.
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar – really, any kind of vinegar you’d like. I like things sour so start with 1 tablespoon first if you’re not into acid.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. This isn’t in the original recipe but I find the acidity very appropriate here.
Large handful each of parsley (flat leaf or curly) and cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients with a large wooden spoon or spatula. Adjust for seasonings accordingly. This is wonderful at room temperature or even straight from the fridge. It keeps for about 5 days.


I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it, please tag me on Instagram @dessertcomes1st or tag it #DCF8020. Email me if you have any questions about the recipe or just want to get in touch. 

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