Ensalada de Pallares ~ Lima Beans Salad for Food of the World

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Lima beans salad is a simple and easy salad prepared with dry lima beans. Pairs well with grilled food and a wonderful picnic salad.

A bowl of Peruvian lima beans salad.  It is a simple salad tossed in a lime vinaigrette and great side dish.

What is Food of the World

Food of the world is an event started by Diane. It is an virtual party and every month we explore the cuisines of different countries. Starting this month, I will be co-hosting the event. It starts every second Tuesday of the month and every month it is a different country.

This month Food of World is in Peru to taste some Peruvian cuisine. Peruvian cuisine is influenced by natives and the also by the immigrants from Europe, Asia and West Africa. Corn, potatoes & tubers, and legumes are staple food and the vast coastline provides abundant seafood. Today’s featured recipe is Peruvian lima beans salad.

A bowl of Peruvian lima beans salad.  It is a simple salad tossed in a lime vinaigrette and great side dish.

Lima Beans in Peruvian Cuisine

Pallares or lima beans are one of the most common legumes in Peruvian cuisine. These beans were originally cultivated around Lima, Peru. Peru exports lima beans and one of the stories is that the boxes exported were labeled Lima, Peru. Since the boxes are from Lima, people started calling the beans Lima beans or beans from Lima, and the name caught on.

When searching for pallares recipes, I was surprised to see the variety of food prepared with lima beans; stews, salads and even desserts! This indicates how popular the beans is in Peru. Another ingredient very common in Peruvian cuisine is aji amarillo, a yellow pepper with a mild taste. Aji in Spanish is chili pepper and amarillo means yellow. In today’s Peruvian lima beans salad, I substituted aji amarillo with green chilies.

I use frozen lima beans a lot and seldom use dry lima beans. I was a bit hesitant to try the salad but still went ahead as I like lima beans. And I am glad I did! It is a simple preparation but requires some preplanning. Soak dry lima beans overnight and then cook until tender. Toss the beans with salad dressing and let rest for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.

An interesting observation on how the legumes are used in Peruvian cuisine is that legumes/beans are skinned after cooking. Though it is time consuming, it is worth the effort! Today for this salad, I skinned only half the beans as some of the beans got mushy when I tried to remove the skin. Hindsight, wished I had skinned all the beans! Here is another Peruvian recipe in which chickpeas are skinned and added to stew.

How to serve ensalade de pallares ~ Lima beans salad

Ensalade de pallares or lima beans salad pairs well with grilled meats, chicken and even fish! It makes an awesome summer salad or a side dish for a bbq party. It is easy to pack and hence great for picnics as well.

A plate of Peruvian lima beans salad served with salmon.  It is a simple salad tossed in a lime vinaigrette and great side dish.

Ensalada de Pallares ~ Peruvian Lima Beans Salad Recipe

Adapted from: Peruvian Food

Peruvian Lima Beans Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Soaking Time
8 hrs
Total Time
35 mins
Lima beans salad is an easy, simple salad with lime vinaigrette
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Peruvian
Servings: 2
Author: MySpicyKitchen
  • ½ cup Dry Lima Beans
  • ¼ – ½ tsp. Olive Oil this is my addition
  • ¼ tsp White Vinegar I used rice vinegar
  • ½ Lime juiced
  • ¼ tsp Dry Oregano
  • tsp Black Pepper Powder
  • 1 small Green Chili seeded and chopped ¼ Aji Amarillo Fresco
  • ⅓ - ½ cup sliced Red Onion
  • 4-5 or ⅓ cup sliced Grape Tomato
  • ½ tsp I think Salt double than what I used last time
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro chopped
  1. Wash and soak Lima Beans overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.
  2. Discard water and wash the beans again.
Cooking Beans on Stovetop
  1. Cook Lima beans for 30-40 minutes until tender. 

  2. First bring water to boil and then cook on medium high flame.

  3. Allow lima beans to cool and  discard water.  

Cooking Beans in Instant Pot
  1. Take 1 ½ cups water, soaked beans, ¼ tsp Salt, ½ tsp oil (opt) in instant pot inner vessel.  

  2. Cook on heigh pressure; pressure cook or manual option,  for 6 minutes and natural pressure release.

  3. Once the instant pot is ready to open, discard water and run beans under running water and leave in a colander.
How to Remove Skin of Lima Beans
  1.  Peeling the skin of the beans is  optional but I highly recommend.

  2. Skip this step for beans cooked in Instant pot, as it could be a challenge.  

  3. Take beans between fingers and press. Beans will pop out.  

  4. If it does not, using other hand, pinch the bean to tear the skin and then press.

Preparing Salad
  1. Meantime, prepare vinaigrette by whisking together Oil, lime juice, vinegar, salt, oregano, green chili.
  2. Add onions and tomatoes and toss. Add Lima beans, toss and sprinkle cilantro or parsley.

  3. Chill at least an hour for the flavors to blend and soak in to beans.
  4. Serve with grilled meats or fish. This also make a nice side dish.

Like the recipe? Pin It for later!

Please add your Peruvian recipes to the linky below and visit my co-host to see what they are cooking.


Please visit the co-host blogs and follow their sites!

Diane: http://www.simplelivingeating.com
Adelina: http://www.homemaidsimple.com
Shey: http://justnotthecakes.blogspot.com
Lisa: http://cookingwithcurls.com
Mireille: http://www.eastwestrealm.com
Pavani: http://www.cookshideout.com/

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