Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

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This black bean pasta is perfect for packing lunches!

I came across the most peculiar pasta I’ve seen yet. The only thing in the ingredient list is non-gmo black beans! So I thought I’d give it a whirl.

This post sponsored by Bentology. All opinions are my own.

Clean Eating Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

Mini Chef has recently decided that black beans are the best thing on earth, especially when heated with a little bit of butter. So when I saw this pasta, I knew I had a winner. And it was actually tasty!

Clean Eating Black Bean Pasta Salad

I bring this up because, as he gets closer to first grade, I get closer to having to come up with something for lunch every day. Up until now, he has been out of school early enough to come home for lunch, so I haven’t had to worry about it. But this summer, he went to day camp for 2 weeks, and I had to pack him a lunch.

Every. Single. Day.

Well let me tell you, that two weeks was an eye opener in the lunch packing department! Talk about a mad scramble for food in the morning, and I don’t mean scrambled eggs!! Figuring out what to pack for him every day was a HUGE deal for me! I couldn’t even imagine what I’ll do this coming fall!

Clean Eating Black Bean Pasta Salad

But then I remembered I have that snazzy little Bentology lunch box. And let me tell you why I love it.

  1. It FORCES me to keep variety in Mini Chef’s lunch.
  2. It FORCES me to pack something other than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day.
  3. It FORCES me to look at the balance in nutrition while preparing his lunch. So the chances of repetition in what I pack, and the chances of him getting bored with what I pack are greatly reduced. In fact, I’m pretty sure he would be eating those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every single day if I didn’t have this little lunch box to inspire my creativity. It really is amazing what the right lunchbox can do!

My best tip for packing healthy and balanced lunches is to make sure that when you do your grocery shopping, you make sure that a good portion of what you buy comes from the produce section. Nothing else will give you the variety and healthy balance that fruits and veggies will give you. Add a little veggie dip, and the kids are sure to scarf them down. (Mini Chef LOVES dipping his veggies in ranch dressing!)


The specific contents of the lunch box above are:

  • Clean Eating Black Bean Pasta Salad
  • Raw Broccoli with dip (not pictured)
  • Salad with Italian Dressing
  • Apple slices

I even have a shnazzy little carrying case with a strap and room for a water bottle!

If you’re interested in giving one of these lunch boxes a try, check out the LaptopLunches web site here. The specific lunchbox pictured above is called “Primary”.



Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


Clean Eating Black Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

Black Bean Pasta Salad

A deliciously different option for pasta night!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 142kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 2 cups dry black bean penne pasta
  • 2 medium garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro (loosely packed)
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish


  • Cook the pasta to package directions.
  • While the pasta cooks, sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent and the garlic just begins to brown slightly.
  • Strain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  • Stir the cumin into the pasta.
  • Once the garlic and onions are done, quickly add the pasta and cherry tomatoes to the pan, keeping the heat at a medium level, and stir briefly to combine and coat the pasta in garlic and onions. (do this for no longer than 1 minute at most. You don't want to cook the tomatoes.)
  • Return the pasta to the mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, avocado, and season to taste with parmesan, salt and pepper.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 152mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 6.8mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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  1. My first grader loves his Laptop lunch box too! I agree, it makes me keep variety in his lunch everyday. And it keeps his food separate and organized. My son is a picky eater!
    Question for you, what lunch tote do you use? By the time I pack his lunch with a Thermos of water and an ice pack, it’s a bit bulky. Just curious what you found that works. Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Stacy – I have one of their carrying cases. The flat rectangular one that holds a water bottle. I love it and it’s easy for Mini Chef to carry.

  2. I have a laptop lunch box for myself, I bought one for my granddaughter when she started school, then my teenage daughter decided it looked pretty cool and asked for one on her 16th Birthday, I’m an Early Childhood Educator as well as a child development support worker and see first hand at the centres where I do my work how much parents could bennefit from using these systems for their children ( and them selves) . Another bennefit along with so many others, is that for many children and specifically with children who have sensory issues kids often don’t like theirfood items,to touch other food items. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while ( and little chef) and always enjo your interesting and tasty recipes, thanx, Val

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Val – Thanks so much! These are definitely something that would benefit many.

  3. Here is my clean eating pinterest board with your recipes and many others:

    My favorite clean lunch to pack is organic cheese with clean whole wheat crackers, grapes & apple slices with organic almond butter. We also like to do organic plain greek yogurt with some clean strawberry jam mixed in to flavor it up with less sugar.

  4. My favorite clean eating lunch is a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread.

  5. Find my clean eats board here with tons of your other recipes:

    My favorite clean lunch is a good ol’ salad. I make a salad every day for lunch to bring to work. In the past month there was only one day I didn’t pack one! I like to mix up my veggies depending on what I get delivered that week (I use a produce delivery company) but I always include unsalted sunflower seeds! They are my favorite add in, perfect crunch and flavor to any salad.

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