Kale Arugula Butter Bean Salad with Mustard Tahini & Garlicky Bread Crumbs

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 13 votes

This kale arugula butter bean salad is nourishing, hearty, flavourful, and ready in about 30 minutes with basic cooking methods. Grainy mustard tahini is creamy and delicious with peppery greens, and garlicky bread crumbs add crunch.

An overhead shot of a kale, arugula and butter bean salad with pickled red onions and crunchy garlicky bread crumbs on top. The salad is in a large, organically shaped bowl with wooden serving tons sticking out.
An overhead shot of a kale arugula butter bean salad topped with crispy garlic bread crumbs. The salad is served in a wide serving bowl on top of a linen checkered napkin.
An overhead shot of ingredients for a salad, including: red kale, arugula, radicchio, pickled red onions, lemon, tahini, grainy mustard, and cooked butter beans. All ingredients are on a rustic wood background.
An up close, overhead shot of ingredients in a bowl for a grainy mustard tahini dressing.

This kale arugula butter bean salad is our current go-to salad! It’s creamy from the tahini dressing and soft butter beans, punchy and peppery from the arugula and radicchio, sharp from the grainy mustard and lemon, has a chopped kale salad vibe, and those crunchy bread crumbs finish it off just right. We’ve made a version of this at least 4 times in the last week alone. Big fans!

This is also the first time that I’ve posted a butter bean recipe here, which is shocking to me. I love how big they are and that super soft “buttery” texture. Perfect in salads like this one, vegan soup recipes, or for topping bowls. I always have a couple cans on hand.

Some tips for this Kale Arugula Butter Bean Salad:

  • Normally I recommend massaging kale ahead of time to soften it up, but I don’t do that here! I like the salad dressed simply all at once. If you’re particular about your kale texture though, you can massage it ahead of time with a drizzle of olive oil, some lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • If you’re allergic to sesame seeds, I recommend replacing the tahini with either raw cashew butter or sunflower seed butter.
  • Plenty of gluten free bread options work great for the fresh bread crumbs here!
  • Chickpeas are delicious here in place of the butter beans.
  • A local shop sells amazing pickled red onions that I pick up often! They are super easy to make though. Great recipe here.
  • I used red kale from my garden for these photos, but Lacinato kale is ideal in this salad.
  • Soom tahini is my favourite.

You really do have to love the bitter flavour of radicchio and the peppery quality of arugula to get on board with this salad. I know that using fresh basil in this salad seems a bit random, but I think the subtle anise/peppery flavour is quite complimentary here.

What to serve with this salad:

Hope that you give this hearty 30 minute salad a go! I’ve been turning to it when I’m in a hurry but still want something that feels healthy-ish and nourishing. To make it easier, you can mix up the dressing and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. It may need a little loosening with water straight out of the fridge though.

An overhead, up close shot of crunchy bread crumbs being fried in a sauté pan.
An overhead shot of all components of a kale arugula butter bean salad in a large bowl, prior to being tossed with dressing.
A 3/4 angle shot of a large bowl filled with butter beans, red kale, arugula, pickled red onions, chopped basil, radicchio, and drizzled with a creamy tahini-based dressing.
An overhead shot of a kale, arugula and butter bean salad with pickled red onions and crunchy garlicky bread crumbs on top. The salad is in a large, organically shaped bowl with wooden serving tons sticking out.

Kale Arugula Butter Bean Salad with Mustard Tahini & Garlicky Bread Crumbs

This kale arugula butter bean salad is nourishing, hearty, flavourful, and ready in about 30 minutes. Grainy mustard tahini is creamy and delicious with peppery greens, and garlicky bread crumbs add crunch.
5 from 13 votes
An overhead shot of a kale, arugula and butter bean salad with pickled red onions and crunchy garlicky bread crumbs on top. The salad is in a large, organically shaped bowl with wooden serving tons sticking out.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

Garlicky Bread Crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Grainy Mustard Tahini

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic finely grated with a Microplane
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ cup ice water, plus extra if needed

Kale Arugula Butter Bean Salad

  • 4 cups baby arugula, lightly packed and chopped
  • 4 cups kale, lightly packed and chopped
  • 1 small head radicchio, chopped
  • ½ cup basil leaves, finely sliced
  • cup pickled red onions, chopped
  • 13.5 oz (398 ml) can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Notes

  • Normally I recommend massaging kale ahead of time to soften it up, but I don’t do that here! I like the salad dressed simply all at once. If you’re particular about your kale texture though, you can massage it ahead of time with a drizzle of olive oil, some lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • If you’re allergic to sesame seeds, I recommend replacing the tahini with either raw cashew butter or sunflower seed butter.
  • Plenty of gluten free bread options work great for the fresh bread crumbs here!
  • Chickpeas are delicious here in place of the butter beans.
  • A local shop sells amazing pickled red onions that I pick up often! They are super easy to make though. Great recipe here.
  • I used red kale from my garden for these photos, but Lacinato kale is ideal in this salad.

Instructions

  • Make the garlicky bread crumbs. Set a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, pour in the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir often, until bread crumbs are golden brown and crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Make the grainy mustard tahini. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, salt, pepper, garlic, grainy mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, and maple syrup. Then, while whisking, slowly pour in the ice water. Once you have a homogenous, creamy, and fluid/pourable texture, you're good! You may have to add a bit more water to get it to this point. Once the dressing is to your liking, set aside.
  • Assemble the salad! In a large bowl, combine the arugula, kale, radicchio, basil, pickled red onions, butter beans, salt, and pepper. Pour all of the grainy mustard tahini dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Top the salad with the garlicky bread crumbs.
A head on shot of a kale arugula butter bean salad in a wide serving bowl on top of a checkered linen napkin.
02/11/2022
Posted in: autumn, bitter, creamy, gluten free option, holidays, kale, main course, nut free, quick, salad, side dish, spring, summer, sweet, tahini, vegan, winter

7 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Sandee Childs

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely fantastic! Love that food so good for us can be so delicious! The lemon tahini dressing is so good that I have to force my Self to occasionally make something different. Sometimes I use soy curls rather than the butter beans and bread crumbs, sometimes play with the greens if I don’t have what’s called for. So good no matter what I do with it, we love it. Blessings for sharing this great recipe. (Love your cookbook, too.)

  • AMC

    This was quite tasty, even to my somewhat bitter-averse palate! And it’s held up well in the fridge after 4 or 5 days (I store the breadcrumbs separately and add those when serving). I added extra beans. I’m always looking to add a bit of sweetness to dishes, so I settled on adding a few chopped-up sesame-coated almonds to each bowl.

  • Sabrina

    5 stars
    a great salad, love these ingredients, even if only for the different textures, but flavors too, and different from any of my regular salad recipes so thank you!

  • Claudia "the amateur vegan chef"

    5 stars
    Absolutely delish & oh so easy to pull this salad together. My daughter and S-i-L had this for dinner last night and asked if this would be included in my regular recipe rotation since I’m their weekday personal vegan chef. I don’t know what I would do without you, Laura, and your never fail deliciously delightful vegan recipes.

    Laura, happy that the print function now works on your new website. The older print format always included your name so I would know the recipe was yours. The format has no indication of Laura Wright or The First Mess.

  • Dilara

    5 stars
    Beyond yummy. Substituted pickled onions with pickled cauli and fennel, added a handful of goji berry and pecans, super delicious! I will pickle some red onions and try with them as well. As always, thanks so much Laura!

    • Laura Wright

      Pickled cauliflower and fennel sounds absolutely perfect for this salad! Love your additions and am glad that you enjoyed :)
      -L

  • Elizabeth

    Wow, what a beautiful salad. I’ve actually never had butter beans before! I’ll have to see if I can find them near me and give this recipe a try.