marisa mariella

easy mouthwatering recipes that unite your family and friends

Black Turtle Bean Surprise

Hands up if you're trying to eat better after all the indulging from the holidays! This is one of my go-to recipes when I need to feel healthy and happy! I call it a surprise because I never really know how I will serve it. Is it a salad? A meal? A salsa? A topping on grilled chicken?
Boasting a nutrient-dense explosion of flavours and textures, this recipe is more than just "full of beans"! I use my Instant pot to cook turtle beans but you can use canned if you like. Can I suggest that you try buying dried beans and cooking them up yourself? The flavour, texture, and colour are so much better...and cheaper! I cook up a large batch and freeze several portions.
The dressing is unusual but once you try this recipe, you’ll not want to use those chemical concoctions called salad dressings. Adding the Mango Habanero from @thatguyssauces adds the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and flavour. It's so versatile that it works with so many combinations of dried and fresh herbs.
Hope you try this! It's sunshine in a bowl.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Assembling 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine Tex Mex
Servings 10 servings



  • 4 cups cooked black beans rinsed and well-drained
  • 2 colourful bell peppers chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 5 ribs celery stalks chopped
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped red onion let soak in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinse and drain well
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley or combination of both


  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp Mango Habanero Sauce from That Guys Sauces


  • Combine and mix in a jar. Set aside.
  • In large bowl, toss salad ingredients to combine. Dress and refrigerate to marinate. Serve.


Serving Options:
Omit oil and serve as a salsa with corn chips or on top of cheese quesadillas
With grilled chicken as a side
On top of seared salmon or other fish fillets
Garnish a bowl of chili or warm cheese dip
And of course, as a salad all by itself!
Add crumbled feta cheese, cubed grilled chicken, corn, chopped jalapeno peppers.