Protein Bean Salad with Tuna and Onions

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Beans are rich in protein and fiber, excellent for kidney function, and are packed with minerals. Borlotti beans are typically found in Italy, and if you can’t locate them in your area, try pinto beans, their closest cousins.

Since it’s summer, we tried these beans in a cold salad mixed with barley, a nutritious whole grain. Don’t have time to cook beans? Try the canned or pre-cooked version, cook up your barley, and mix with the rest of your ingredients for a delicious seasonal plate.

Protein Bean Salad with Tuna and Onions

4 servings

Protein Bean Salad with Tuna and Onions

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Calories: 150 | Total Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 9 mg | Sodium: 334 mg | Carbohydrates: 16 g | Dietary Fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 1 g | Protein: 10 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 4


  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley (equivalent to about 4 cups of cooked barley)
  • 2 cups pre-cooked bottled or canned borlotti beans (can be replaces with pinto beans)
  • 1 cup canned tuna preserved in oil (preferably olive oil), drained
  • 1 big red onion, sliced
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Over medium heat, bring a medium pot of 6 cups of water to a boil. When the water boils, add 1 teaspoon salt and the barley. Let it boil again then simmer on low-medium heat for 20 minutes or until tender. When the barley is cooked, rinse them with cold water, drain then set aside.
  2. Rinse and drain the borlotti beans.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the barley, beans, tuna, onion, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and parsley.

If you liked this recipe, you will love our other recipes with beans too:

Black Bean Burritos with Fresh Salsa & Berry Salad with Herbs

Mediterranean Three Bean and Corn Salad

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Tacos

Fava Beans with Garlic and Lemon

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

Green Bean and Zucchini Salad

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