I am always playing around with ways to add more beans to my diet. And one of my favorite ways to eat beans is in a big chilled salad. Chilled salads, like today’s recipe, allow all the flavors to marinate into the beans, creating so much flavor and loveliness.
Today’s Two-Bean Pasta Salad actually includes two of my favorite ingredients: beans and pasta. Fluffy pasta spirals all cozy and warm, tucked in between layers of purple beans, ruffles of spinach, lemon juice, balsamic, pepper and salty olives.
This bean-loaded pasta salad reminds me of a dish you would find in a fancy deli or bakery shop. The kind with loads of picnic-approved pasta salads and such. So if you are looking for a flavorful, healthy way to serve beans – or if you just love a good make-ahead approved, chilled pasta salad – give this a try.
Once all the goodies are in a big bowl – you toss! The warm pasta will help to mix around all those flavors – wilting the spinach and bringing out the flavors of everything…
And though I love this salad warmed up or even served right away after that initial toss – when you serve this salad chilled, the flavors and textures are taken to a new level.
Other bean-y salads here on HHL. Back in 2010 I posted a simple lemon two-bean salad. Then last year I did a simple kidney bean salad. But this time, I added fluffy pasta – bringing the flavor and texture level to a new, lovely level..
I also love the complexity. Textured veggies and nutty chickpeas. Some saltiness from those olives. Some sweetness in there too. Cheeziness. A hint of spiciness. Fluffy pasta. And loads of bright acid from lemon and vinegar.
Planning a picnic? Here are a few of my favorite recipes for a picnic lunch:
– Salad in a Jar
– Fresh Ginger Tea
– Fave seven-layer hummus sandwich
– BBQ Chickpea Salad Wraps
– Avocado Toast – squeeze plenty of lemon over top to keep it fresh and green
– side of beet hummus + veggie sticks
– Arugula + Avo + Fruit Salad
– pineapple lemonade
– peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars
– kale chips
– Candy-Topped Peanut Butter Cookies
– PBJ (plus a few things I bring on a hike!)
I shared some picnic tips in this post!
Beachy picnics are probably my fave..
*those are vegan fonuts in there, fyi
This cravable pasta salad can be made ahead and served chilled – or eaten right away, served warmish.
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