Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Summery Bean Salads

This past weekend I had brunch at a little French café not far from home. Being that it was so hot outside, I was looking forward to ordering something light and refreshing. Boy was I happy to find a delicious white bean salad on the menu! It was a perfect blend of Tuscan-style white beans, arugula, minced fresh veggies, Parmesan cheese, just a wee bit of prosciutto and basil croutons. What more could I ask for on a summer’s day?

Beans (also called legumes) are an excellent source of plant protein and dietary fiber. They are forever flavorful, naturally nutritious, inescapably inexpensive and verily versatile. While cooking a pot of beans can be very rewarding, relying on canned, preservative-free beans provides no-need-to-cook protein that helps you beat the summer heat and eat lighter, with less meat and heavy foods. Delicious as a main dish or as a side; for lunch, dinner, potluck, picnic or party, bean salads add great taste, simplicity and variety to any occasion.

From basic to bountiful, you can create a bean salad to please every palate. Begin with your choice of cooked beans. Remember to have fun and mix and match. Choose one, two or several varieties. Just open the can, drain and rinse before using. Next, add your favorite cooked and raw veggies. Finally, add a salad dressing — creamy, light, whatever suits you. To spruce it up, add whole grains, pasta, olives, chili peppers, fresh herbs, prepared grilled veggies and some unusual ingredients such as fennel, Daikon or red radish, radicchio and jicama.

Here are some basic and bountiful bean salad ideas you’ll definitely appreciate:

Are you big on bean salads? Got a recipe? I’d love to hear!

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Catherine says …

These look delicious and easy enough for me! Thanks, Cat x

Jennifer Lancaster says …

I just picked up an amazing bean salad from your salad bar and I want to know how to make it. It had black beans, I think garbanzo beans or chick peas, cherry tomatoes and some kind of herb in it. Do you know which salad I'm talking about and do you have the recipe?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JENNIFER - I was unable to find that exact recipe on our website so it leads me to believe it was a wonderful creation by a chef in the Prepared Foods department at your local store. Next time you're shopping, ask a team member in PFDS if they have the recipe. They'll be happy to help!