Need a quick salad for a Memorial Day picnic?

We’ve got 3 bean recipes that are ready in 20 minutes or less

The recipes in this post were developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

Click here for a printer-friendly version of these recipes.

Tropical Black Beans

Don’t have a palm tree to sit under and savor the breeze? Try this refreshing salad instead. For the best-tasting bite every time, chop the mango and avocado so they match the size of the beans.

Time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup chopped mango or pineapple
1 small avocado, chopped
1 15 oz. can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
¼ cup cilantro, chopped (optional)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, and salt.

2. Toss with the mango, avocado, beans, jalapeño, and cilantro.

Per serving (3/4 cup):

  • Calories: 190
  • Total Fat: 8 g
  • Sat Fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 24 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Sodium: 135 mg

Asian Edamame Salad

It doesn’t get any easier to make a delightfully crunchy salad. The edamame (immature soybeans) isn’t optional, but if you’re not a fan of cucumber, celery hearts, or radish, try carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli.

Time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1½ cups shelled edamame, cooked from frozen
½ cup chopped cucumber
½ cup chopped celery hearts
¼ cup chopped radish
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and oil.

2. Toss with the edamame, cucumber, celery, radish, and scallions.

Per serving (3/4 cup):

  • Calories: 80
  • Total Fat: 4 g
  • Sat Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbs: 7 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Sodium: 115 mg

Black Beans & Quinoa with Roasted Peppers

Top this dish with shrimp sautéed with garlic in olive oil, and you’ve got dinner in a bowl.

Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

2 red or yellow bell peppers
1 poblano or green bell pepper
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. dried oregano
1 scallion, minced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 15 oz. can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed

1. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Place them skin side up on a lined baking sheet. Broil until blistered and charred in places, 10-12 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and dice the peppers.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt, and oregano. Mix in the peppers and the remaining ingredients.

Per serving (1 cup):

  • Calories: 270
  • Total Fat: 12 g
  • Sat Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 31 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 260 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood & Jennifer Urban/CSPI.

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6 Replies to “Need a quick salad for a Memorial Day picnic?”

  1. These look like delicious meals. I am a great fan of legumes as main courses.

    However, as a single person, I always have to think about leftovers of recipes for multiple eaters. How nice it would be to have portions readily available for singles! Some meals retain their integrity over time, but others are disappointing a second or third time around.

    1. These particular recipes serve 4. Just divide the quantities listed by 4 to arrive at a recipe for one serving.

  2. The Tropical Black Bean salad is primo! Read about it yesterday, got the ingredients on my way home from work today. It really is an easy assemblage and oh, so tasty. Cannot wait to take leftovers for lunch tomorrow! And I feel so good about my meals. Thank you!

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