Ah, St. Patrick’s Day: green food, Lucky Charms everything, and over-the-top rainbow-colored treats that are typically an artificially colored, sugary food extravaganza. But this St. Patrick’s Day, I’m celebrating with a rainbow-themed food that delights as a healthy snack, lunch, or dinner, no food dyes or added sugar neccessary. And the kids will like it too.

That’s right, this year I’m making Rainbow Salsa for St. Patrick’s Day. And, yes, I know salsa is not Irish, but that’s what your beer is for, right?

Related: How to make rainbow pasta!


This no-cook, vegan salsa is so easy and fresh that you’ll be making it way beyond St. Patrick’s Day. It’s also super adaptable. Love tomatoes or radishes? Toss them in! The exact amount of veggies is up to you, but the recipe below is a good place to start to make this as a snack for a family of four.

For an easy dinner, double this recipe and serve it with your favorite simple chicken dinner. It’s an easy shortcut to liven up any simply grilled, sautéed, even slow cooked chicken. And when in doubt, call dinner taco bowls — that’s what my kids do! It’s a sure win.

For a vegan dinner alternative, toss peeled and sliced sweet potatoes with olive oil, cumin, and salt, and roast at 400 degrees until golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Double the salsa recipe and use it to top the roasted sweet potatoes. Finish the whole thing with an extra drizzle of dressing on top.

Related: DIY Oreo Shamrock Shake for a treat that goes beyond St. Patrick’s Day.


How to make rainbow salsa for St. Patrick's Day, or any day you need a colorful lift. | © Jane Sweeney Cool Mom Eats

Rainbow Salsa

¼ cup olive oil or other neutral oil, such as grapeseed
2 tablespoons freshly squeeze lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, stems included
½ cup chopped red bell pepper *
½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
¼ cup chopped red onion
1 avocado, peeled and diced

1. Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin, and ground black pepper directly in your serving bowl.

2. Add the black beans, cilantro, and vegetables to the bowl and mix careful. Serve immediately or cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

*Note: This amount is typically 1/3 of an average-sized bell pepper. I either slice the rest of the peppers to store in the refrigerator for packed lunches or weeknight stir-fry dinners.