Orange sesame 3-bean salad, a flavorful blend of sweet oranges, citrus-soy dressing, and nutty sesame seeds, is a healthy twist on an old favorite.
There is a kind of magic about bean salads. Perhaps that’s why there are so many variations out there. Or maybe it’s because hearty helpings of different types of beans with their unique flavors and textures are so satisfying.
This 3-bean salad takes full advantage of our love of beans combining them with three different flavors and textures as the supporting cast as follows.
Oranges, and more oranges! There are 4 oranges – 3 for peeling and dicing and 1 for juicing for the dressing.
The easiest method I’ve discovered for segmenting oranges is to start by cutting off the ends so that they are blunt. Then use your knife to peel away the skin. Hold the orange in one hand or balance it on your cutting board and cut away the segments from the membrane. If you cut each of the segments into bite-sized pieces, it makes them easier to eat.
Not just seeds. Toasted seeds. Sesame seeds and oranges are buddies. The subtle nutty sesame flavor is even better if you take a few minutes and toast them.
It’s as easy as it sounds. Grab a skillet, heat it up, add the seeds and toss them around until they start to brown. It will take 1-2 minutes depending on how brown you want them.
Toasted sesame seeds smell fantastic because the natural, essential oils are released. You will likely find toasted seeds a bit more tender.
This is precisely the same reason we toast sesame seeds before making tahini. Flavor and pliability. And me? I like ingredients that bend more to my will.
Citrus-soy dressing. The dressing is a quick combination of orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, and turmeric. Add a few turns of black pepper for good measure, and you're ready to dress your salad.
It's easiest to first mix the dressing in a small bowl, measuring cup, or one of the hundreds of jars I keep collecting 'because I might need one'.
The dressing here is meant to be mixed in, then scooped out with each helping of salad. It will accumulate at the bottom of the bowl. But you might be surprised at how much will merge with the oranges.
When you first begin dreaming about this salad, the most difficult decision about this salad is what kinds of beans to use. The combination of black beans, red kidney beans, and cannellini presents a pleasing mixture of textures and colors. But there are so many kinds of beans to choose from. Just think -
You most certainly aren’t limited to those three kinds of beans. This is a ‘whatever, whenever’ salad experience. A combination of chickpeas, white kidney beans, and adzuki is a welcome change. But seriously, any mix will do.
Frequently asked questions
This salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The sesame seeds will get slightly softer with time, but time will allow the flavors to combine (a bonus). Be sure to mix it up before serving leftovers.
Although it isn’t advisable to freeze the salad in its entirety. If you want to make half a batch, the beans can be frozen together for up to 3 months. Thaw them before mixing them in your next 3-bean salad.
Yep. Draining, then rinsing the beans under running water will clean off all the canning liquid and any salt. This keeps the beans fresh.
Dried beans are easy to cook! Find our guidance for cooking black beans and apply it to all the beans you make. You don't even need to add any spices. You'll need a total of 4 ½ cups of cooked beans for this salad.
As much as I love to cook, I get slightly enthralled when I make this quick salad. The fresh citrus flavor, crunchy sesame seeds, and beans create a toothsome salad. It’s satisfying, healthy, and yes, please, I'll have another helping.Print
orange sesame 3-bean salad
Orange sesame 3-bean salad, a flavorful blend of oranges, citrus-soy dressing, and toasted sesame seeds, is a healthy twist on an old favorite.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Salads & Bowls
- Cuisine: Asian
- ½ cup (125 ml.) sesame seeds
- 1 – 15 oz. (400 gm.) can cannellini beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 – 15 oz. (400 gm.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 – 15 oz. (400 gm.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 medium oranges
- 1 lemon, juiced (or 3 Tbsp. lemon juice)
- 3-4 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. soy sauce or Tamari
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- To toast the sesame seeds, place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ½ a cup of sesame seeds. Stir the seeds for 1-2 minutes until they start to brown and get fragrant. Remove them from the heat until you are ready to use them.
- In a medium salad bowl, combine the beans and scallions. Set aside.
- Next, segment the oranges. Start by cutting off the top and bottom from 3 of the oranges. Set them upright on the cutting board, and cut off the rest of the peeling. Hold an orange in one and carefully separate the segment from the membrane using a small knife. Cut the segments into bite-sized pieces. Add to the salad bowl.
- Cut and juice the remaining orange and juice the lemon and add the juices to a small bowl or jar. Add 1 tsp. of soy sauce, ½ tsp. of turmeric, and ½ tsp. of ground black pepper. Mix well and add to the salad.
- Add the toasted sesame seeds and mix everything.
- Serve it up!
- 3-bean salad keeps for 2-4 days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Be sure to mix it before serving.
- Be sure to drain and rinse the beans before adding them to the salad bowl. This will remove the canning juices and any added salt. It helps the beans to stay firmer and fresher.
- Although it is not advisable to freeze the salad in its entirety, if you want to make half this recipe and have beans leftover, the beans can be frozen. Use them within 3 months.
- If you want to make your own beans from scratch (dried), follow our instructions on how to make black beans. You can omit the spices and just add a little salt if you like.
Keywords: orange-sesame 3-bean salad