I will be the first to admit that pinto beans are a bit underutilized in my kitchen. One of my favorite lunch spots that serves up vegetarian tacos overflowing with vegetables and pinto beans has encouraged me to branch out more. This zucchini salad is my start and I feel the perfect companion for these tacos (and as you might already know, I’m a fan of the cumin and zucchini combination). This salad works well as a summer side dish, picnic salad, or packed in a lunch with a few tortilla chips.
A perfect summer salad featuring cumin roasted zucchini tossed with pinto beans.
- 2 cups medium zucchini see note, roughly 3 diced
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 roasted red pepper see note
- 1 can pinto beans about 1 1/2 cups, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup minced cilantro
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1 lime
- Salt as needed
- Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Cut zucchini into 1/4" cubes and place on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper. Add onions and drizzle with olive oil, cumin, and salt. Toss until everything is well combined. Roast for 25 minutes or until the zucchini and onion start to brown.
- In a bowl, combine pinto beans, red pepper, cilantro, and pepitas. Once the zucchini is done, add to the bowl and toss to combine. Squeeze lime juice over the top, taste, and add salt as needed.
Tips & Tricks: While it's not necessary, I recommend salting the zucchini (like this method) before cubing and roasting. It helps draw out the moisture and leaves the zucchini less soggy.
I love the flavor of the roasted red peppers but if you're a texture person, I would recommend using raw red peppers in place of the roasted to add a bit more crunch to the salad.
Nutrition: see the information.
In addition to the suggestions below, you could potentially make this a raw salad. I would recommend cutting into a smaller dice, using scallions in place of the onions, and using the fresh red peppers.
Grains: You can easily bulk up this salad by adding a cup or so of cooked grains. A few of a my favorite include sorghum, spelt, or quinoa.
Summer Squash: While I opted to stick with just zucchini, any summer squash would work.
Spice: If you’re in to spicier foods, add a pinch or so of chipotle or cayenne pepper to the zucchini. I love the extra bit of heat either spice brings to the overall dish.
In terms of gatherings, I will always show up for a taco party and the recipes below are some of my favorites, especially the halloumi tacos. If you missed any of the other recipes besides this zucchini salad, be sure to check them out: