Bean and lentil salad recipes are so versatile! With a light, delicious dressing (like this one!) to pull together all the flavors, you can use pretty much whatever veggies and beans you happen to have on hand. You can make the whole salad out of just vegetables if you are eating it as a side dish alongside a protein-source. If this bean and lentil salad is your main course, it’s great to have some legumes in the salad for protein. We love to use canned lentils and beans for added convenience, but you absolutely use precooked beans or lentils. If you use canned legumes, make sure to rinse them well to remove any added salt. We also recommend that you buy low sodium canned beans.
Bean and lentil salad is great eaten over a green leafy salad. It’s also yummy scooped up with crackers or a spoon. Some people love it stuffed into a pita or a tortilla. Our favorite is to eat it in lettuce cups. The choice is really up to you!
Many bean salads, especially the American-favorite three-bean salad, use chili powder and cumin in the dressing. While that makes for a great Southwest flavor, sometimes I just don’t want that kind of heavy flavor. The dressing on this bean and lentil salad is super light and zesty, with the use of vinegar, garlic, and lime juice. It’s also full of good-for-you ingredients. Two of these ingredients are olive oil and apple cider vinegar (in addition to all those beans and vegetables, of course).
Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of dressing if you prefer more or less dressing on your bean salads.
Even though ten years ago fat had a bad rap, research has pretty much dispelled this myth. The right kind of fat is incredibly healthy for you! We love this article that goes into many of the benefits of the types of unsaturated fats found in olive oil. One reason that the Mediterranean Diet has been called the Healthiest Diet (for three years in a row!) is because of the focus on olive oil. Extensive research has shown that an olive oil-rich Mediterranean Diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease (as much as 30 percent!)
Vinegar would be a good addition to many diets. It brings tons of flavor to foods without many calories or added salt. It is made by fermenting sugar from apples, which turns into acetic acid. This acetic acid is one of the main active ingredients in vinegar, and what makes it taste sour. This is also probably what provides the benefits. While more research is needed, some of the possible health benefits include: killing harmful bacteria, providing antioxidants, and managing sugar levels and diabetes.
Do you love salads? Check out our Soups and Salads page for more delicious recipes. For vegetarian meals, look at our Vegetarian recipes or our Vegetarian Meal Plans, which provide a calendar of recipes for 21 full days. Any time you make our recipes, we would love to see them! Use #medimove on Instagram to show us what you create!
Hi, I’m Ashley! I’m a Mediterranean Diet expert, a family health champion, and a Mom of 3 little people. Any day of the week, you will find me in the kitchen cooking up festive new recipes using Mediterranean Diet principles. I love breakfast for dinner, long days at the beach, the perfect glass of wine, and spontaneous adventures. Originally from Atlanta, I now fondly call Virginia my home.