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

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro is a delicious option for those times when you must have tomatoes, even if it’s not quite summer yet. And this delicious salad is low-glycemic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

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. For 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.

(Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro was updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions for Meatless Monday, May 2013.)

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

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

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com
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.

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com
Cut those have-to-have-them cherry tomatoes into quarters or halves.  Chop cilantro and red onion (photographer fail!)

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Toss the red onion and cilantro with the pinto beans.

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

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 Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

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

Ingredients:
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

Instructions:

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.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:

This salad is a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet, but beans are a limited food for Phase One, so don’t have a big serving for that phase. For other low-carb diets, you could make this salad lower in carbs by using more avocado and less beans (and who doesn’t love more avocado!)

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?

If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Salads with Tomatoes and Beans:
The BEST Bean Salad ~ Tasting Spoons

Tomato, Pepper, and Garbanzo Salad with Sumac ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

White Beans and Cherry Tomato Salad ~ Simply Recipes

Quinoa, Tomato, Avocado, and Black Bean Salad ~ The Perfect Pantry

Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com
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 found on KalynsKitchen.com
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65 comments on “Pinto Bean Salad with Avocado, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Cilantro”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

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

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

  6. 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.

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

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

  9. 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!!!

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

  11. 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.

  12. Hmm these look delicious, thanks for posting up this recipe, looks quite simple to make.

    Simon

  13. Kalyn, I love this recipe so much. I've made it a million times and will probably make it a million more. It's so quick and easy and I love that it goes with everything. I make it for myself so that I'm not munching on the kids' potatoes or pasta or whatever side dish I'm making for them. It makes me feel good and fills me up! Thank you.

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