This easy Warm Spring Salad has crispy pan-fried butter beans, asparagus, and spinach. It's topped with radishes, mint and toasted seeds, plus a dash of lemon and chili. This hearty salad is not only refreshing but packs in a good amount of protein, fiber, and nutrients.
Recipe commissioned by GreenPan
When the weather warms up and the blossoms appear on the trees, it's nice to move from winter's comfort food to lighter, spring dishes.
But sometimes we need to ease in slowly. Instead of a cold salad, why not make the most of spring's bounty of pretty, colourful vegetables with a warm salad.
The key to a good salad is lots of layers of tastes and textures.
This spring salad definitely ticks all the texture boxes.
Soft, rich spinach is piled with crispy butter beans, sauteed asparagus, sliced radishes, spring onions, toasted seeds, a touch of chili, and a squeeze of lemon.
It's packed with tastes, textures, and goodness. Plus, it's ready in just 15 minutes!
Pan-frying butter beans turns them into something far more special with a new texture dimension. The delicate crust is perfect against the soft potato-y centre of the beans.
This salad also has toasted seeds. Toasting them first isn't necessary, but I love the flavour that it gives to the mixed seeds. It only takes two minutes, so it's worth this step.
To give the salad a bit of extra 'oomph' I've added some chilli and fresh lemon juice.
This warm spring salad is vegan, gluten-free, and doesn't take long to prepare. However, taking the time to sautee the beans and toast the seeds makes it extra special.
The best salads are ones that have a good amount of texture throughout.
I love creamy, crunchy, and everything in between all in one bite!
This recipe for sauteed butter bean salad is the perfect combination of textures and flavors that hit all the notes of a perfect salad.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
It’s quick and simple, but also heathy and delicious!
Pan-fried butter beans are a simple way to make this warm salad extra special.
The salad's nutrient density is high coming from the beans and fresh spinach.
Serve it as a side dish or healthy main meal.
Customise the spices and seasonings by adding your favourites.
I used this incredible GreenPan Barcelona Shallow Lidded Casserole pan to cook this warm salad.
I've been a huge fan of GreenPan's top quality, healthy ceramic non-stick cookware for years. I must have had my GreenPan wok for 10 years now and it's still going strong!
So I was thrilled when they got in touch and asked me to create a healthy recipe, using one of their pans, to share with you.
The results are this warm salad. I hope you'll love the recipe!
Ingredients & Tools
- Mixed Seeds - You’ll toast up some seeds until they are nutty and fragrant making the perfect crunchy addition to this salad.
- Canned Butter beans - You won’t have to cook butterbeans on their own if you use canned beans that are properly drained, rinsed, and patted dry.
- Butter & oil - Used to saute the beans and gives them a buttery taste and slight crust on the outside. Use dairy-free butter to make this dish vegan.
- Garlic, Chili Flakes & Spring Onion - Infuses the salad with an aromatic garlic and onion flavor, plus a little touch of heat.
- Raw Spinach - This green is a nutritional powerhouse and pairs well in this warm, pan-fried bean salad.
- Lemon Juice - Gives a splash of acidity and bright fresh flavor.
- Radishes - Adds a pretty colour and a crunchy texture to the warm salad.
- Asparagus - for a lovely spring flavor and texture.
- Mint Leaves - Gives the salad a bright fresh flavor and a pop of green color.
Shallow pan - I love the GreenPan Barcelona Shallow Lidded Casserole.
Step By Step Tutorial
Follow this step-by-step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat, then add the seeds and toast, shaking frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set the seeds aside and return the empty pan to the heat.
Heat the butter and oil, then add the butter beans and asparagus.Fry for a few minutes until the beans begin to turn crispy.Add the garlic and chili flakes and cook for a further minute. Pour onto a plate and set aside.
Add the spinach to the pan and allow to wilt slightly.
Add the beans and asparagus and toss to warm through. Top with the sliced radishes, toasted seeds, spring onions, mint and lemon juice, then season with a little salt and pepper.
It’s important to make sure the butter beans are fully rinsed, drained, and dried before adding them to the pan to saute. If moisture is present, they could break down too much changing the texture of the salad.
When toasting seeds, be VERY careful on the time as they cook very quickly and can go from hot to burned in seconds.
Tear the spinach leaves into smaller pieces so they wilt quicker in the heat of the salad.
Add a serving of this warm butter bean salad on top of a fresh scoop of Greek Spinach Rice.
Toss this salad into your favorite Simple Pasta Dish.
Serve some on top of beautifully Grilled Lettuce.
Toss with Dill Ranch Dressing for a vibrant flavor and color.
Change up the flavors by using lime juice and cilantro as citrus and herbs.
Sweeten it up naturally by adding chopped grape tomatoes to saute in with the beans.
Add roasted peppers for great color and charred flavor.
Top with crumbled feta or goat cheese for a salty bite that pairs well with the lemon and garlic flavors.
Feel free to use kale, collard greens, or fresh arugula instead of spinach.
Give this salad an Asian-inspired twist by using sesame oil and topping with sesame seeds and soy sauce.
Storing: Store the warm salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through.
Freezing: Once cooked, the texture of the spinach and beans will change their texture, therefore freezing is not recommended.
Butter beans, also known as lima beans, are a type of waxy bean that is large and usually a shade of white or beige. The inside of a butterbean is creamy and buttery with a resemblance to a cooked potato.
You can as they are fully cooked, however the liquid inside the can may taste salty and unpleasant so it’s best to drain and rinse them.
Absolutely! They are full of fiber and protein along with minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
If you cant find butterbeans in the store, try using white kidney beans or cannellini beans in their place.
I hope you'll love this warm crispy butter bean salad. Be sure to check out these other salad recipes too!
More Recipes Using Beans
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GreenPan. All opinions are my own.
Warm Salad with Crispy Butter Beans
- 1 tablespoon mixed seeds
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 can butter beans (400g/15oz can) lima beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
- 8 asparagus
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- 2 spring onions chopped
- 250 g about 5 large handfuls raw spinach roughly chopped
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 teaspoon mint leaves finely chopped
- 3 radishes sliced
- salt and pepper
- Heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat, then add the seeds and toast, shaking frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set the seeds aside and return the empty pan to the heat.
- Heat the butter and oil, then add the butter beans and asparagus and fry for a few minutes until the beans begin to turn crispy. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute. Transfer it all to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the spinach to the pan and allow to wilt slightly. Return the beans and asparagus to the pan with the spinach and heat through for a minute or so.
- Serve topped with the spring onions, radishes, toasted seeds, chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with a little salt and pepper.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.