Southwestern Pinto Bean Salad

Today’s recipe was adapted from Nava Atlas’ American Harvest; a fabulous out-of-print cookbook I’ve borrowed time & again from the library. I love Atlas’ creative approach to vegetarian cooking. Always something new to discover with each recipe, and her drawings are as incredible as her food. In honor of the warmest day we’ve had in a while, I decided first thing this morning we were going to grill. Never mind rain is threatening. I NEED TO SMELL CHARCOAL. This salad is the perfect warm weather side for a BBQ or potluck. It’s different enough to stand out, much lighter than the usual bevy of mayo-laden whatsits, and it tastes great. I’ve used chopped cilantro because I LOVE the stuff, but if you don’t, substitute fresh parsley instead. The combination of meaty pinto beans, scallion, the aforementioned cilantro and the tangy sour cream dressing is a great contrast in flavors. Piquant, subtly creamy, with a palate-refreshing quality that keeps calling me back for another bite. Try serving with Tequila Chicken.

Yields 6 servings.

SODIUM CONTENT: 26 mg per serving


2- 15-oz. cans no-salt-added pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 c. sour cream
2 t. Westbrae no-salt-added stoneground mustard
3 T. vegetable oil
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Combine the pinto beans, celery, bell pepper, scallion and cilantro in a large mixing bowl and stir well. Measure the remaining ingredients into a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving.

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6 Responses to Southwestern Pinto Bean Salad

  1. This looks wonderful, Dishy!
    I never have much luck with a grill. If it’s small enough to fall through the grate and into the fire, it will. If it’s too big to fall through, it will. The laws of Physics do not apply. And, sadly, charcoal never seems to taste as good as it smells. Although it does have a nice crunch. 🙂

  2. Christy says:

    Inky, what you lack in grill talent you more than make up for in sheer artistry. So hand that spatula to your wife and step away from the charcoal! LOL

  3. Wonderful! This is exactly the kind of thing I’m all over. Chock full of ingredients I love, healthy, tastes great, and doesn’t require any cooking! I’m going to surprise Kam with this some night soon.

  4. Christy says:

    Yay! Let me know how you like it. The combination of flavors really appeals to me — the oniony scallion, the bite of the cilantro, the sour cream.. oooh I love that. And pinto beans have such great flavor naturally – they taste great even on their own.

  5. Lesley Kling says:

    I tried this recipe today and absolutely loved it! The apple cider gives it a slight tang and the cilantro gives it a lovely flavor. Will definitely be a favorite!

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