This 3-bean salad is a twist on traditional recipes, resulting in more high-quality protein and fiber per serving, while having less sugar and fat. It makes a great side dish at home, or can easily be packed and eaten on-the-go.

This protein-packed three bean salad is a twist on traditional recipes, resulting in more high-quality protein and fiber per serving, while having less sugar and fat. It makes a great side dish at home, or can easily be packed and eaten on-the-go.

My clients are always looking for protein options that are portable and can be eaten on-the-go. That’s what inspired this low sugar, protein-packed three bean salad.

It’s served cold, so it can easily be put in a small container, and transported in a lunch bag.

Healthier, Low Fat, Low Sugar 3-Bean Salad

Traditional three bean salad recipes have a vinegar and oil based dressing that’s made with added sugar. This recipe does not. I wanted to keep this recipe low-fat and low sugar, because those recipe qualities suit the needs of my clients. So, this is a healthier version that is lower in fat and calories, and made with no added sugar.

The combination of beans means more protein, fiber, folate and iron than traditional recipe. It’s a good source of many other nutrients.

How To Make Protein-Packed Three Bean Salad

This salad has three beans, but they are not the traditional beans you find in three bean salad recipes. Instead, it uses black beans, red kidney beans and chickpeas. That combination of beans results in a higher protein content per serving than the traditional green and wax beans. It also includes corn, tomatoes and some other ingredients that traditional three bean salad recipes do not have.

To make this salad, start by combining the beans, corn and tomatoes in a bowl. Set it aside.

The only significant prep work that needs done is chopping the red onion and the cilantro. I suggest ¼ cup of chopped cilantro, but you can use more or less, based on your preference. Or, you can leave it out altogether. Once those are chopped, add them to the bowl of beans.

Finally, add the white wine vinegar, lime juice, garlic powder and black pepper, and stir well. That’s it.

Basically, you just combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, stir and chill.

You can eat this three bean salad immediately, but it’s best when made a day in advance. That gives time for the spices and dressing to blend together and soak into the beans.

How Long Does Three-Bean Salad Last In The Refrigerator?

Generally speaking, three bean salad can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It’s best when eaten 24 hours after making, but within 4 days.

Nutrition In Protein-Packed Three Bean Salad

The recipe below makes ~7 ½ cups of three bean salad. I set the serving size at ½ cup, since that amount would make a decent side dish serving.

If you want to make this protein- packed three bean salad your meal, increase the serving size to 1 ½ cup serving, or more depending on your needs. That would triple the protein and fiber, but it would still be considered low in fat and sugar.

Low-Sugar, Low Fat, Protein-Packed Three Bean Salad

This three-bean salad is a twist on traditional recipes, resulting in more high-quality protein and fiber per serving, while having less sugar and fat. It makes a great side dish at home, and it's portable.
Author: Heather Mangieri, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup Black Beans
  • 1 3/4 cup Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 3/4 cup Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 cups Corn (cooked)
  • 1 Medium Tomato or 1 can of Diced Tomatoes (drained)
  • 1/2 Red Onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 5 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Lime Juice
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro (chopped)

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Chill to allow flavors to combine.

Notes

*Note: I did not add any additional salt to this recipe, because the canned beans provide mor ethan enough salt. If you use dried beans in place of canned, you will need to add salt to taste.
  • Recipe Makes: 7 cups 
  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Servings Per Recipe: 14
  • Nutrition Facts (per serving): 110 calories, 20 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 3 g sugars, 1 gram fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 6 g protein, 10% DV iron, 4% DV for potassium, 4% DV calcium
  • Meal Planning Servings: 1.5 CHO; 1 PRO; 0 FAT

If you like cold bean salads,  you might also like this basic lentil salad

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