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Student Recipes

Simple bean salad recipe

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For a quick, healthy and really tasty meal, it's definitely worth giving this bean salad recipe a go. You can whip up this nutritious meal in no time.

bean salad on plate

Credit: Timolina – Shutterstock

Introducing: our quick and easy bean salad recipe.

This simple, yet incredibly delicious, bean salad can not only be prepared and ready to eat in just 10 minutes, but it's also super cheap too. Costing £1.79 and serving four, it works out at 45p per serving, meaning you can impress your friends with this lovely (and surprisingly easy) dish.

Or, if you don't fancy sharing, there's also the option to freeze your bean salad. As long as it's been stored in an airtight container, you'll be able to store your leftovers in the freezer for up to three months.

The days of student meals consisting of days-old takeaways and instant noodles are over.

Tempted by a takeaway? Check out these cheap fakeaway recipes that all cost around £2.30 per portion.

Easy cannellini bean salad recipe


Serves: 4 | Costs: £1.79* (£0.45 per serving) | Time taken: 10 mins

  • 2 tins of cannellini beans (£1.30)
  • 1 red onion (£0.08)
  • 1 pepper (£0.24)
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil (£0.06)
  • 1 teaspoon of curry paste (£0.05)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil (£0.05)
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar (£0.01).
This recipe is part of our student meal plan, which shows you how to plan your meals for a month for well under £3 a day.


  1. First, you'll need to wash and drain your cannellini beans. Doing this over the sink with a sieve is fine.
  2. Using a sharp knife, finely chop your pepper and red onion. It's really up to you how finely you chop your veg, but we'd recommend slicing it so that it's chunky enough to add plenty of flavour to your bean salad.
  3. Grab your pepper, onion and beans and mix them together in a large dish. Stir thoroughly.
  4. Splash a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan and heat over the hob until the oil is nice and hot. You can usually tell when your oil is hot enough as it'll start to sizzle. Top tip: in the trusty words of Gordon Ramsay, remember to "lay away" your pan as it begins to warm up. This means cooking with the pan facing away from you, reducing the risk of injury from the hot oil.
  5. Add a teaspoon of curry paste to the hot pan and stir the ingredients for around 30 seconds. If you're a lover of seasoning, then you may also want to add in a dash of salt and pepper here too. Then, allow it to cool and stir in a teaspoon of sugar. The curry paste and sugar add extra texture and taste to your bean salad.
  6. Next, pour the cooled mixture of curry paste and sugar into your dish of already-mixed beans, chopped pepper and onion.
  7. Stir the whole lot in a bowl with a big spoon until the salad is completely mixed together (and looks dead tasty).
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if you wish.
  9. Pour into a nicer looking bowl (or tuck in right away, whatever you fancy) and enjoy!

This cheap bean salad recipe is so simple that it works well with any situation. Whether you're looking for a snack in between lectures, a quick meal before a night out or just fancy treating yourself and your flatmates to a nutritious and healthy dinner, this is a dish that won't disappoint.

And if you're not planning on eating the whole meal in one sitting, then this salad can be frozen too. Just pop it in a sealed container and it can stay in the freezer for up to three months.

Any dish that's time-friendly, budget-friendly and above all, freezer-friendly, gets a big thumbs up from us.

Looking to use up some leftovers? Try our tasty and simple soup recipes.

* Prices were correct at the time of writing (using and prices as guidelines).

Jessica Pardoe

WRITTEN BY Jessica Pardoe

Jessica Pardoe's excellent and cost-effective recipes help university students eat healthy meals on a budget.
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