Make an oil-free vegan bean salad recipe for a quick and easy lunch idea or your next BBQ or picnic—a fast and easy recipe in 15 minutes or less.
With BBQ season right around the corner, a quick and easy vegan bean salad recipe is one of my favorite go-to salads. First, it travels well when going to a BBQ, or if you are hosting a BBQ, it stays together nicely in the summer weather. And, of course, I made a vegan bean salad without any oil, loaded with veggies, with a tangy, tasty flair.
When I plan menus for BBQ parties or weekly lunches, I think about the easiest and quickest meals I can make. We are all busy, so why not take the thinking out of cooking and make it as simple as possible? Since I'm all about convenience and taste, let's make it 15 minutes easy!
Regardless if you are looking for a quick and easy lunch idea or a recipe for a picnic or BBQ, vegan bean salad is always popular with a crowd.
How to Reduce Gas From Eating Beans
Unfortunately, a lot of people have difficulty digesting beans, and gas is the result. Stop worrying about tooting when eating beans. One solution, however, is to use a piece of Kombu in your beans when you cook them.
What is Kombu?
This magical sea vegetable can change your vegan life. Many people have asked me how I can eat so many beans and other legumes without the stomach pains and gas associated with eating beans and legumes. In my opinion, its real power is in its ability to take the gas out of beans; yes, removes the negative results of heavy bean and legume consumption.
Seaweeds are becoming more widely known as a healthy food with few calories and rich minerals. Kombu, however, possesses something that other edible seaweeds do not, and this is what makes kombu kelp the “King of Seaweed.” Not only is Kombu delicious on its own, but it is different from other seaweed in that it produces Dashi(stock). No other seaweed has that gift. This exclusive characteristic of the kombu is extremely important and indispensable to Japanese cuisine. Dashi is the base of several dishes and is valued as a vital and rich ingredient.
How to Cook with Kombu
All you have to do is put one piece of Kombu, whole, into your bean and legume dishes while they are cooking. For instance, I put a piece in the crockpot of the chili we ate for dinner tonight. I left the Kombu all-day brewing in the chili. Like a bay leaf, I removed it when I served the chili.
What Does Kombu Taste Like?
Despite being a form of seaweed, kombu does not leave a seafood taste; you won’t even know it was in there, but you will notice a decrease if not full disappearance of gas and discomfort that some experience when eating beans and legumes.
Where to Buy Kombu
I bought my Kombu at Whole Foods, in the Asian section, but you can buy Kombu on Amazon as well.
Since I plan to use canned beans for this salad, instead of cooking kombu into my beans, I ground up kombu to put in my vegan bean salad.
The Benefits of Eating Beans
Dr. Joel Furhman, in a 2015 article, "Beans Lead to a Longer Life," says, "Beans contain both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber and are very high in resistant starch. Although resistant starch is technically a starch, it acts more like fiber and 'resists' digestion. Since it passes through the small intestine undigested, it means that a significant amount of the carbohydrate calories are not absorbed."
And as any vegan knows, eating beans is a great way to get that protein everyone thinks we can't get from vegetables alone, which of course is untrue.
Eat Beans 4 Times a Week
- Good for digestion
- Helps regulate weight
- Reduces the risk of different types of cancers
- High in fiber
- High in protein
- High in vitamin B
- High in iron
Bena Salad Ingredients
You need very few ingredients to make a crunchy and tasty vegan bean salad recipe. However, because I like to include several colors and textures, I add some other vegetables not typically in a traditional bean salad.
- Cannellini Beans: a popular white bean native to Southern Italy. They are large and oval, with a nutty flavor and a creamy texture. Also called white beans or navy beans
- Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans): actually a legume rather than a bean; chickpeas are compared in flavor to cannellini and pinto beans because they're starchy. They're also known to have an earthy taste with nutty undertones.
- Dark red kidney beans: are known for their slightly sweet taste and firm texture.
- Red onion: this sweet onion is less harsh tasting than a white or yellow onion, and provides a mild flavor.
- Garlic: contains antioxidants that support the body's protective mechanisms against oxidative damage
- Celery: provides an earthy, fresh taste when added to salads
- Red bell pepper: the sweetest of all bell peppers, red bell peppers are not bitter, and often have a slight citrus flavor.
- Parsley: parsley has a bright, herbaceous, and slightly bitter taste that serves as a contrast to emphasize the other flavors in a dish, similar to lemon zest
- Dill: has a bright, sweet flavor—somewhere between anise, parsley, and celery.
- Red pepper flakes: Red pepper flakes can really be quite hot, and for those who are sensitive to heat, it might be way too much heat in a meal. So, always add small amounts until you get your desired heat level.
- Salt and Pepper to Taste: Choose the amount of sat and pepper for individual preference.
- Substitute other preferred beans to include beans and legumes in the recipe, such as pinto beans, black beans, or prepared brown lentils, if desired.
- For a stronger onion presence, choose a white or yellow onion instead of red onion.
- Choose thyme or tarragon to replace parsley in recipes. Dill also works very well with the combination of ingredients in this recipe.
- Cayenne Pepper or paprika can substitute for the red pepper flakes in the recipe, but remember to add in small amounts for desired heat preference. Or, if you are sensitive to heat, omit it altogether.
- Or choose a diced jalapeno as a way to add a little spice to your bean salad.
Salad Dressing Ingredients
Whenever I am making an oil-free dressing, I start by replacing the oil I would have used with water. Yes, water! Although water is not oil, it does mellow out the flavors of the vinegar and other ingredients. Oil, after all, doesn't really taste like anything. For instance, you wouldn't drink olive oil; that would just be disgusting!
- Red Wine Vinegar: It's known for its delicious and distinctive tangy flavor
- Maple Syrup: provides a slightly sweet dressing component as a sugar replacement
- Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard tastes like a smooth, slightly salty, complex tang.
- Salt and Pepper to Taste: Add desired salt and pepper for personal preference.
- Italian Seasoning: Italian seasoning usually consists of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram, with other herbs and spices sometimes making an appearance
- Water: Water as used as an emulsifier in the absence of oil.
Salad Dressing Substitutions
- When I don't have any red wine vinegar, I often substitute it with a similar dark vinegar such as sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or raspberry vinegar.
- Stone-ground or spicy brown mustard is close to the taste of dijon mustard as a substitute in a pinch.
- Fresh herbs add a more fresh taste, so if using fresh herbs, make sure to double the amount of fresh to the dry Italian herb blend. Dry herbs are much stronger than fresh herbs at a 2:1 ratio in terms of taste.
Not only is this bean salad, healthy, but it is also easy to make. So, the next time you are wondering what to make for lunch, or bring to your next picnic or BBQ, just bring a bean salad.
A vegan bean salad may last for 3 to 5 days. We recommend storing the salad in airtight containers to maximize its shelf life. After that, place it in the fridge.
Yes. Beans are good for weight loss. They're an excellent addition to your diet as they're high in fiber and protein, making you feel fuller.
Along with being an excellent source of protein, they're packed with fiber and other plant-based nutrients. Plus, they're extremely low in fat, can prolong the feeling of fullness after a meal, and can help control blood sugar levels.
- If you meal prep, as I do, bean salad is easy to pack for lunch, and the oil-free dressing enhances the bean salad the longer it marinates.
- If soaking and cooking beans instead of using canned beans, soak the beans overnight before cooking.
- Keep the aquafaba (chickpea brine) from the chickpea can when draining to use for other recipes.
- Dress the salad in advance and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours because the flavors enhance over time.
- For more bean recipes, try Green Bean Salad, Kidney Bean Salad, or Chickpea Quinoa Salad!
Try this delicious vegan bean salad recipe for your next barbeque, picnic, or lunch!
Vegan Salads for a Summer BBQ
If you love this bean salad recipe, give us a 5-star review and comment below. We would love to hear from you!
- 15 ounces Cannellini Beans rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces dark red kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- ⅛ cup water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Rince, drain, and combine all beans in a large bowl.
- Dice vegetables and add them to the bowl with the beans.
- I use a vegetable chopper to make the vegetable uniform in size.
- Add herbs and seasonings.
- Set aside to make the dressing.
Bean Salad Dressing
- Whisk all ingredients together.
- Pour over the bean salad.
- Stir into bean salad mixture.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator.
- The bean salad needs to marinate int eh refrigerator for at least an hour for optimal flavor.
- Prepare and refrigerate the bean salad so the dressing and salad ingredients marinate, enhancing the flavors.
- Always be careful when adding hot spices like red pepper flakes. Instead, add small amounts until you get the desired taste, or skip the ingredients if you are sensitive to spice.
- Rinse the beans in a colander and shake off excess water before adding them to the salad bowl.
- Store the salad in an air-tight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂