Pesto Bean Salad with Almonds and Cranberries
Fresh and flavorful, this pesto bean salad is a perfect quick lunch or dinner! With a homemade spinach pesto, three kinds of beans and dried cranberries, it’s anything but boring. Gluten free and vegetarian with dairy free and vegan options.
So with it being back to school time and all that jazz, I thought it would be fun to talk about a few lunch ideas.
This coming from the lady without kids.
But, us adults need fun and new lunch ideas too. I’m more of a whatever leftovers I had from dinner last night become my lunch type person, but I decided I should try to think about lunch a tad bit more.
Give it the attention it deserves.
And so I give you pesto bean salad with almonds and cranberries.
About This Pesto Bean Salad
A super super easy meal that you can throw together in 20 minutes or less.
And then it’s ready to go for lunches all week. Lunch is served! Especially with lots of crunchy pita chips – my fave.
And the bean salad? It’s filled with three … count em’ three … kinds of beans, a hint of red onion, some crunchy almonds and dried cranberries for little bursts of sweetness.
And we’ll toss it all in a spinach-based pesto and then finish it with a sprinkle of fresh chives.
Really you can use any kind of pesto that you like … my poor basil plants are dead so spinach it was.
Who manages to kill basil? This girl does. Sigh.
Additional Bean Salad Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Balsamic Chickpea Salad
- Roasted Three Bean Salad
- Mediterranean Chickpea and Lentil Salad
- Mexican Bean Salad
Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.
For the pesto:
- 4 cups packed baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup raw slivered almonds
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese*
- ½ tablespoon honey**
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (to taste)
- ¼ cup olive oil
For the salad:
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- ½ cup raw slivered almonds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
To make the pesto:
- Add the spinach, basil, almonds, parmesan, honey, garlic and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add in the olive oil and process until smooth. Set aside.
To make the salad:
- Add the chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, red onion, almonds and cranberries to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- Add in some of the pesto and mix until combined. Taste and add additional pesto to your liking (I use about ¾ to all of the pesto).
- Sprinkle on the fresh chives. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
*To keep this dairy free / vegan - omit the parmesan and substitute with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast.
**To keep this vegan - use maple syrup instead of the honey.
I love to serve this with something crunchy - like pita chips!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 713mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 12gSugar: 17gProtein: 19g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.