I’ve done it, I’ve thrown myself into the three bean salad realm and there is no going back. It took a little while to get it right, but I believe this is one you’re going to enjoy. This is one of those salads that the ingredients end up finding themselves in the house for even though I didn’t put them on the shopping list, if you catch my drift. I think I’ve made a fan (or six) of them around these parts.
This is part three of a luncheon I had with my sister, nieces and nephew (and Eric too), where they scarfed everything down. I was so surprised that everything went. It was 1. nutritious, 2. sugar-free, and 3. oil-free–not exactly screaming to kids, “eat me”. Yet, they ate it all up and asked for the recipe. For the other parts of this luncheon I started with the Sea Salt Chocolate Hummus and then served a very simple side salad with the Agave Tahini Dressing. I skipped dessert and just added more strawberries to the table as we continued to snack on the hummus!
I guess some people may think we dipped our toes into a Mexcian three bean salad here by creating a dressing out of the lime juice, and adding in avocado. Aside from that, it doesn’t have any other Mexican flair though, so it’s origins remain a mystery to me. It’s just something that evolved as our tastes and pantry staples did. It’s more of a kitchen sink creation!
Had I known there were so many different three bean salads out there I may have started at a different place. Growing up, I was never exposed to three bean salads, so I apologize if I am ruining one of your old favorites for you by not including a traditional ingredient. Perhaps I’ll explore that down the line! For now, please enjoy my first three bean salad that we’ve come to enjoy in my household, not realizing this is a classic for many.
No sugar, No oil, No vinegar
That’s right folks, there’s a lot of no’s up there, but it’s all true. We made a delicious salad with little effort, all while being able to say no to a lot of “offensive” ingredients that we found out in our research, many of you ask for your three bean salad without! So, you’ve got your salad without sugar, without oil, and without vinegar–all on a silver platter just waiting for you. It’s below, just seconds away.
So, the dressing
Well the dressing is super simple, it’s made of lime juice, salt, and the juice from the tomatoes. I like to think of it more as a marinade than a dressing. That means if you have time, let it marinate, however, it’s good right out of the gate too!
Does the salad need to be refrigerated?
I would make this salad and allow the ingredients to marinate for at least an hour (sans the avocado). You can do this either in the refrigerator or on the countertop. Then, thereafter I would store it in the refrigerator between meals. And of course adding the avocado as you go so it doesn’t brown and stays fresh.
Lastly, because I know someone is going to ask this in relation to this question. I would not freeze this salad. Chunks of avocados cannot be frozen well, so I would stay away from it. The tomatoes would be a mushy mess as well. While you can freeze cooked beans, you might as well just leave them in the can until you are ready to eat.
Alterations and substitutions
I feel like I’m a tailor.
- Additions: cucumbers, corn, shredded carrots, just to name a few. These could also be substitutions if you want to cut things out, for example if you dislike tomatoes and avocados, add in cucumbers and shredded carrots. Or if you’ve made this a thousand times perhaps you want to switch things up, here’s a nice way to keep it fresh. However, if you take out the tomatoes, you may have to add in some more lime juice to get the dressing right. The flavor will change, just keeps that in mind. It will be much more citrus-y.
- Beans: Perhaps you want to change out a bean, like make this without kidney beans. Well, you’re in luck. You can certainly double up on another of the beans or swap it out for black beans, those would work well too.
That’s all I have, folks, get to eating. Please be sure to share this recipe with your friends, we appreciate it, and leave a rating and/or comment below about how you made out!
No Sugar Three Bean Salad with Avocado and Lime
- 15.5 ounces chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 15.5 ounces kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 15.5 ounces white beans rinsed and drained (see notes)
- 2 avocados pitted and diced
- 2 limes juiced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and serve or allow to marinate.
- If you are preparing in advance that’s perfectly acceptable, however, add the avocado last/at the time of serving to avoid browning.
- If you are storing this salad, like with the recipe guidance, do not add in the avocado, keep it to the side and only use it when serving.
- Feel free to substitute your favorite bean(s) if these are not to your liking! One suggestion is black beans.