Protein Bean Salad with Tuna and Onions

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Make beans a part of your diet for increased protein, fiber, and nutrients!

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.

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Protein Bean Salad with Tuna and Onions

Here is a seasonal dish with wholesome ingredients that will be perfect for the busy family.
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 0.75 cup
Course Dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine Universal


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


  • 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.
  • Rinse and drain the borlotti beans.
  • In a large bowl, mix the barley, beans, tuna, onion, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and parsley.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 334mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 4
Keywords Diabetic-Friendly, Low-Carb, Quick and Easy

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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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Rowena Dumlao-Giardina

Rowena is a recipe developer and food & travel writer/photographer from Italy with Asian roots. Creating healthy dishes in her own kitchen is priority. She believes there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that her family is eating natural & nutritious meals.

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