Teach Eat Love

South of the Border Black Bean & Veggie Salad

make ahead lunch ideas

Want to know a great way to have delicious lunches? Make a monster huge batch of salad at the beginning of the week. I love making chilled pasta salads with whatever vegetables we have, but this week I wanted to try something different. This chilled salad is full of rainbow colored vegetables, and it’s packed with flavor from honey, lime, cilantro, cumin, and garlic.

I put it in a Bento lunch with some leftover quesadilla and pineapple, but you could eat it over greens, brown rice, quinoa – whatever floats your boat.

make ahead lunch

So, grab your ingredients, and let’s get started!

black bean salad

We’ll need some cumin, lime, garlic, cilantro, and honey for flavor.

easy bento

black bean vegetable salad

And a rainbow of vegetables: red tomatoes, orange bell pepper, yellow corn, and green onions.

easy lunch

And this salad doesn’t have to be just for lunch – add avocado slices and grilled shrimp or chicken for a great summertime dinner!

healthy lunch ideas

Yield: about 5 cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: about 20 minutes

South of the Border Black Bean & Rainbow Veggie Salad

This make-ahead lunch salad is hearty and full of refreshing summer flavors.


1 orange bell pepper

1/2 c. finely sliced green onion

1 small tomato, cored and diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, pith and seeds removed, minced (add more or less, depending on your spice preference)

1 c. raw corn (frozen or fresh, which is about 1 cob)

3 cups of beans (or 2 cans, rinsed)

1/4 t. ground cumin

1 1/2 T. lime juice (about 1 lime)

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 t. honey

salt and pepper, as desired


1. In a large bowl, smash about 1/4 of the beans with the back of a fork or a potato masher. This is optional but helps the salad stick together better, which is nice for little eaters.

2. Add the remaining ingredients (including remaining beans) to the smashed beans. Stir well to incorporate the liquids. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Cover and refrigerate. This will keep for several days.


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