Cilantro Lime Edamame & Black Bean Salad

By Ann Fulton

Quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor, this colorful salad can be served as a versatile side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips. (We love it with Scoops!) Filling and fiber rich, leftovers make a great lunch.
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Quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor, this colorful salad can be served as a versatile side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips. (We love it with Scoops!) Filling and fiber rich, leftovers make a great lunch.

 

Essentially an elevated version of the age-old three bean salad, this recipe updates that classic with black beans and edamame while infusing memorable flavor with the simplest cilantro lime vinaigrette. After the edamame is quickly steamed or boiled, everything mixes up in a single bowl.

Funny enough, Basil Orange Edamame & Bean Salad, which I first shared on the blog in 2012, is a variation of the cilantro lime recipe. Yet despite coming first, the cilantro lime recipe never made it to the blog until now. (And how has it been 11 years?)

Both are quite versatile, complementing chicken, fish, steak, and pork quite nicely. I especially like the cilantro lime version with all things Tex-Mex. And though designed to be a side salad, the fiber- and protein-rich salad functions well as the center of a plant-based meal. Served with chips, it makes a great appetizer too.

When using as an appetizer, my preferred chips are Frito’s Scoops. They are sturdy enough to not break and everyone always loves them. For added insurance against broken chips though, I do serve with a spoon. 

Endlessly versatile, you can stir a chopped avocado into the salad, a half or whole according to preference. A cup or so of corn offers another worthy option. You can also increase the heat by upping the cayenne, or add a minced jalapeño or serrano pepper – again, half or whole depending on desired heat.

For a hint of crunch, I sometimes scatter a handful of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) over the top; sunflowers seeds are a flavorful option too. A sprinkle of crumbled cotija cheese or feta is, likewise, purely optional but will provide an added flavor dimension. Both the seeds and cheese are best added just prior to serving. 

To make a meal out of leftovers, I like to stir in some canned salmon. Leftover grilled or baked salmon works well too of course, but stocking the canned variety in your pantry makes the quick meal a readily available option.

The salad is also a convenient make-ahead dish: If you have time, refrigerate the salad for at least an hour, as the flavors will meld and improve over time. The salad may also be made up to a full day in advance.

Do be sure to purchase shelled edamame, rather than edamame in the pod. We love to use the latter as a fun appetizer or side dish, but the shelled bag is what you want here.

Edamame cooks in a flash and adds filling, plant-based protein to this salad.

Keep a bag of shelled edamame in your freezer to use when needed. It cooks quickly and is a good source of plant-based protein, although lima beans could be used instead.

Quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor, this colorful salad can be served as a versatile side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips. (We love it with Scoops!) Filling and fiber rich, leftovers make a great lunch.

Red onion adds a little something special to this salad. I find when it’s minced very finely and used judiciously, even people who aren’t big onion fans thoroughly enjoy this dish.

Quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor, this colorful salad can be served as a versatile side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips. (We love it with Scoops!) Filling and fiber rich, leftovers make a great lunch.

When looking for dishes that can be prepared in advance, this is a great pick. The flavors meld and improve with time, and you can prepare it a full day in advance if helpful.

Add leftover cooked or even canned salmon to the salad to make a complete meal. I often add to leftovers for an easy lunch.

Add leftover cooked or even canned salmon to the salad to make a complete meal. I often add to leftovers for an easy lunch. Wild For Salmon is my current favorite canned salmon.

Quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor, this colorful salad can be served as a versatile side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips. (We love it with Scoops!) Filling and fiber rich, leftovers make a great lunch.

Filling on its own, the salad also complements a wide variety of proteins. Pictured above are slices from a leftover Cold-Seared Pork Chop. These chops are always a hit in our house and incredibly easy.

Quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor, this colorful salad can be served as a versatile side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips. (We love it with Scoops!) Filling and fiber rich, leftovers make a great lunch.

If you make this recipe, please comment and give it a 5-star review if you enjoy. (I think you will!) Your feedback is always appreciated!

Cilantro Lime Edamame & Black Bean Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: approximately 1½ quarts
Quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor, this colorful salad can be served as a versatile side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips. (We love it with Scoops!) Filling and fiber rich, leftovers make a great lunch.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup thinly slivered or minced red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lime juice + the zest of one lime
  • ¼ cup (56ml) olive or avocado oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly each ground cumin and coriander
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (may sub black pepper to taste)
  • Optional: ½ – 1 avocado diced; 1 cup corn; ½ -1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, minced; ½ a bell pepper (color of choice; yellow looks pretty)
Instructions
  1. Cook the edamame according to the package directions, and then drain and rinse with cold water to cool slightly.
  2. Mix the edamame and both cans of drained beans in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the red onion, cilantro, lime juice and zest, oil, seasonings, and optional ingredients of choice. (Note: When making the salad ahead, I like to add avocado, seeds, and cheese, if using, just prior to serving.)
  4. Toss well, and then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The salad may be eaten right away, although the flavors will meld and improve after several hours.)
  5. Toss again before serving. Taste for seasoning, adding a little more salt and pepper, if desired.
Notes

Variations: You may use lima beans in place of the shelled edamame.

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Quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor, this colorful salad can be served as a versatile side dish or as an appetizer with tortilla chips. (We love it with Scoops!) Filling and fiber rich, leftovers make a great lunch.

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Comments

  1. Judy Nichols

    Made this for a neighborhood get together and it was a huge hit! Recommended people get on your web site for other great recipes!
    Where are you purchasing the cans of wild for salmon?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Judy, I’m so happy this was a hit and appreciate your recommending my recipes to your friends. I have been getting that brand of canned salmon at Lemon Street Market. It’s delish!

      Reply
  2. Marcia Greenberg

    This looks so good. How long will it last in the refrigerator? I’d be the only one eating it. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you, Marcia! I’ve kept leftovers in the refrigerator for five days and the salad still tasted great. If you make, I hope you enjoy as much as we do.

      Reply