Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pinto Bean Salad Recipe with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro
Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro is perfect for those times when you *must* have tomatoes, even if it's not quite summer yet.

(Updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions for Meatless Monday, May 2013.)  This Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro salad was originally inspired by one I loved at a party I attended with my brother Rand where guests were asked to bring Oaxacan dishes.  Back home I came up with my version on one of those spring days when suddenly I had to have that fresh tomato flavor in my mouth. When the tomato urge hits me, I don't care whether it's tomato season or how much I have to pay, if I can find tomatoes that taste good I'll buy some. The tomatoes I used were from Costco, and they had that "tomato smell" I always look for if I buy tomatoes.  Even the best store-bought tomatoes can't match that late-summer umami-filled tomato flavor I get when I'm picking my homegrown tomatoes in August, but these tomatoes tasted pretty good.

Now fast forward five years, and I made this salad again recently for a baby shower (for my nephew's wife, who's having twins!) and then again when I had two good friends over for dinner.  Both times, people raved about the salad so I decided I would make it again, take new photos, and update this post for my weekly Meatless Monday pick.  Hope everyone else enjoys it too!  (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch. For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

Put one can of pinto beans in a colander, rinse, and let drain well (or dry with paper towels.)

Then toss the drained pintos with white balsamic vinegar and let them marinate while you prep the other ingredients. 

Cut up an avocado (or two) and toss with lime juice.

Cut those have-to-have-them cherry tomatoes into quarters or halves.  Chop cilantro and red onion (photographer fail!)

Toss the red onion and cilantro with the pinto beans.

Then gently fold in the diced tomatoes and avocado, drizzle a little olive oil over the salad, season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and gently toss again.  Serve right away.

Pinto Bean and Tomato Salad
And here's the close-up photo of this salad from when I first made it back in 2008, not bad at all for those days!


Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro
(Makes 4 side-dish servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, rinse and drain very well
4-5 tsp. white balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar (or use any mild white vinegar
1 avocado, diced into pieces 1/2 inch square (sometimes I use two avocados; if so double the lime juice)
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 cup chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1-2 T olive oil, or a bit more
fresh ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Pour beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well until no more foam appears. Let beans drain well for at least 15 minutes. Then blot beans dry with paper towel, place in plastic bowl, and toss with white balsamic vinegar. Let beans marinate in the vinegar while you prep other ingredients.

Cut avocado into 1/2 inch pieces and place in small bowl. Toss with lime juice. Chop tomatoes, or if using cherry tomatoes, cut in half.

Chop red onion and cilantro. (I like to chop with a chef's knife, but you could use a mini-chopper or food processor for this.) Mix onions and cilantro into marinating beans. Then use a large spoon to gently fold in avocado and tomato. Drizzle olive oil over salad and season to taste with fresh ground black pepper and sea salt, and gently toss again. Serve immediately, at room temperature.

This could also be made with other types of beans; I think black beans would be a good option.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  This salad with Greek Salmon Cooked in a Grill Pan would be a nice combination. For a larger meal for phase two or three you could add something like Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

More Tasty Salads with Tomatoes and Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients)
The BEST Bean Salad ~ Tasting Spoons
Tomato, Pepper, and Garbanzo Salad with Sumac ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
White Beans and Cherry Tomato Salad ~ Simply Recipes
Garbanzo, Tomato, And Cilantro Salad (with or without avocado) ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Quinoa, Tomato, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad ~ The Perfect Pantry
(Want even more recipes?  I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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62 comments:

  1. What are you trying to do here, make it summer already! This is totally beautiful!! I will have to be eating this soon. It has most of my favorite things!!!
    You are a dream Kalyn!

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  2. This looks delicious! I am definitely beginning to crave not-so-comfort foods.

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  3. Oh this looks delicious! This is a sure fire way to start spring early (at least mentally!).

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  4. I have tried many of your salads Kalyn and each one has been fantastic - I just love this though. Although I have not tried it I can already feel my mouth watering. I like the beans in this. Perfect!

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  5. I've been looking for some new salad recipes and this one is just up my alley.
    Thanks!

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  6. This sounds really good! I have been recently thinking of making (my substitute for) pinto beans. Making them into a salad sounds yummy! especially since it is summer here!

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  7. Beautiful, Kalyn!

    What a wonderful combination of ingredients. I know what you mean about craving tomatoes.

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  8. This looks so good!! I'm going to try it tomorrow. It becomes frustrating when I run out of salad ideas. Thanks for giving me a new idea... the motivation to lose weight is back!

    Great blog.
    Heather

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  9. I'm glad I'm not the only tomato craver! You guys are also nice not to mention that I'm not all that frugal or eco-conscious buying tomatoes in March in Utah. (I do grow my own plus lots of other veggies in the summer, so can I get some earth-friendly points for that?)

    I did try the salad tonight with black beans for my dad; just as fantastic with the black beans!

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  10. Kalyn, This has summer and spring written all over it, fresh and delicious! I will definately make this.

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  11. Give me anything with avocados, and I'm a happy girl!!

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  12. Kalyn: I love this recipe, especially the part with the cilantro. I'm going to have to make it. ;-)

    Paz

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  13. Looks fantastic--contains so many of my favorite things.

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  14. So pretty! This will be lunch for a few days next week. :)

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  15. What a yummy combination...pair this with some grilled chicken and a margarita and I'm one happy camper!!
    Thanks Kalyn.

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  16. Those colors and flavors truly evoke summer- just when we need it. I'm so sick of winter. Bring on fresh summer flavors!

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  17. That salad looks both tasty and healthy. I am really missing those fresh locally grown tomatoes as well!

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  18. I should try to cook different beans. By looking at many recipes of WHB itself makes me realize I haven't tried enough to do different things. Thanks for posting this, Kalyn!

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  19. Gorgeous! It has so many of my favorite flavors, too! Definitely on my to try list! :)

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  20. Pinto beans aren't very easy to find in France, while lots of US cookbooks + blogs use them. Very frustrating ! Which sort of beans would you advise to put instead ? Thanks in advance.

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  21. Hi Virginie,
    First, I think you can make this salad with any kind of beans. I made it for my dad with black beans and it was great.

    Pinto beans are a type of bean with a pinkish tan flesh and a slightly sweet flavor. In the U.S. they're often used in Mexican or Southwestern food. I think white beans would be the closest flavor.

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  22. A lovely, lively sounding salad, Kalyn! My father-in-law would only eat tomatoes he'd grown in his own garden, precisely because store bought wouldn't match the August-picked-from-your-garden taste. Store bought is getting better, though, particularly the tomatoes sold on the vine. The vine continues to provide nutrients to the fruit, enhancing the flavor. To retain the most flavor in any tomato, never refrigerate it--chilling will sap flavor and make it bland.

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  23. Terry, you are so right. It always makes me crazy when I see people put tomatoes in the refrigerator.

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  24. mmmm that looks yummy. I really love the colors of this salad, as well as the combo of ingredients in it.

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  25. Kalyn...I just got to see your blog, its amazing...has got me so hungry!this thing esp is a must do this wknd for me.

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  26. Kalyn,

    I'm avocado crazy recently and I will definitely try your recipe. I love Mexican flavours as well... spent plenty of time in Mexican restaurants when I was working on the cruise ships... Cozumel was one of my favourite ports to go out for dinner! :)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, Margot

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  27. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. I made it this weekend and loved the fresh zingy flavors. It was so delicious.

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  28. Thanks for the feedback everyone. Anonymous, so glad you liked it. I love this salad, so simple and so fresh tasting.

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  29. I made this tonight and it turned out fantastic! I can't wait to try more of your recipes. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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  30. Jennifer, thanks for the feedback, and very happy to hear you enjoyed it. I've made it a couple of times now and loved it every time.

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  31. I made this tonight, Kalyn. The only change I made was to use basil instead of cilantro(did not have any). I also threw in some cucumbers that I had. Simply loved the colors and flavors! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  32. Mmm, I think it sounds very good with basil. The funniest thing is I made this tonight for dinner at my dad's house!

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  33. Just made this exactly to bring to a party tonight and another one with a bunch of other beans. I also added cucumber and cumin. This is sooooo easy and soooo satisfying! I'm going to keep a batch in my fridge always! Add this to a salad and who needs salad dressing? =)
    Many thanks!

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  34. This is a great dish! I love recipes that are so versatile - I added some wheat berries and a jalapeno, and it was fabulous! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks, Kalyn!

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  35. Katie, thanks! Love the sound of your additions too.

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  36. Wow, I made this last night and ended up eating it for breakfast and lunch today as well. I'm a new lover of this site.

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  37. Jenni, thanks for letting me know you liked it!

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  38. i made this tonight and it was wonderful! both my hubby and i put it in our favorites!

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  39. Hannah, thanks. So glad you liked it; definitely one of my favorites too.

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  40. This looks fabulous! Do you think apple cider vinegar would work instead of white balsamic or champagne vinegar?

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  41. I think apple cider vinegar would be fine. Actually, I really like the flavor of it, should have thought of it as an option.

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  42. I just found your blog through Pinterest. Wish I would have known about you when I went on South Beach Diet in Jan of 2011. Anyway in four months I was able to lose 10% of my body weight and then maintain that weight loss through the entire year! I didn't gain a single pound until Christmas. I'm now back on Phase II (couldn't bring myself to do phase I again!) until I get my Christmas pounds off and then its back to Phase three! Anyway, thanks for the great recipes. I will be following you in my reader. I also started a food blog. Very simple and filled with family recipes (some South Beach friendly and some not)

    http://hungryhugheys.wordpress.com/

    Thanks,
    Mama Hughey

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  43. This is such a gorgeous salad! And oh so perfect for summer with all of it's fresh flavor.

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  44. Thanks Joanne! Some of my favorite ingredients.

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  45. What a pretty salad, Kalyn! I rarely cook with pinto beans (not sure why), but this salad looks like a reason to change that.

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  46. Dara, I definitely don't use them as often as I do garbanzos or black beans either, but love them in this salad.

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  47. Great variation on one of my fav summer salads Kalyn! I could pretty much live on this during the hot summer months here in Phoenix.

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  48. Thanks Gwen, glad you like it!

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  49. Kalyn - I love this! I love absolutely ever ingredient in this salad - what a great salad for summer!

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  50. So glad you like it. I think what wowed me when I first had the inspiring salad at the party was the combination of favored ingredients.

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  51. I used this as a template to make something similar last night. I subbed in kidney beans (didn't have pintos in stock), added asparagus (it's in season now), and left out the avocado for now (not ripe yet). I also chopped up some quarter inch chunks of salami to add some meat and make it more meal-like. I really like the idea of marinating the beans in the vinegar, I think that gives them even more flavor. Thanks, and keep up the great work on the blog.

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  52. Pretty damn good salad...
    great combination of, flavour and texture,
    this won't be failed recipe!

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  53. You mean there's more to do with pintos than refried beans??? A revelation!

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  54. Donna, nothing much can beat refried beans, but this was pretty darn good!

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  55. This is one of my favorite recipes. Always get lots of compliments when I make it. Goes with everything - chicken, fish, hamburgers etc. Endless possibilities. Thanks for a great recipe.

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  56. This is one of my favorite recipes.Goes with everything from chicken to fish. Thanks Kalyn for such a great recipe.

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  57. This is one of my favorite recipes. Goes with everything, chicken, pork, fish. Thanks for another great recipe.

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  58. Ok I made this tonight & it is now officially one of my absolute favorite recipes ever!!!! Def goes great with anything, or even by itself as a meal. Love love love this! Thank you! Yay!!!

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  59. Thanks, so glad you like it so much!

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  60. This was so tasty, thank you so much for posting. It's funny because some of the simplest recipes are the most tasty. We will definitely be making this again. I hope you don't mind but I did post a link to this recipe on my website so others can find your delicious recipes. Thanks again.

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    1. So glad to hear you enjoyed it. I have made this over and over myself. And no problem about linking to it, I appreciate the shout-out!

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