Mexican Bean Salad is a vibrant, hearty salad made up of three different types of beans and a flavorful combo of fresh vegetables coated in a zingy cilantro-lime dressing.
It is a straight-forward recipe that comes together quickly and easily. Drain the beans and the beans, chop some veggies, whisk together dressing ingredients, and toss it all together!
This salad is best made in advance and absolutely perfect for entertaining. Serve it as a side dish for taco night or even as a breakfast side alongside Huevos Motuleños!
You can also serve it as a dip with tortilla chips at your next potluck party, or warm it up and roll it in a tortilla as the main event for a healthy taco dinner!
- Black Beans
- Red Kidney Beans
- White Cannellini Beans
- Red Bell Pepper
- Green Onions
- Cilantro-Lime Dressing
The beans for Mexican Bean Salad are a colorful mix of black beans, red kidney beans, and white cannellini beans. This combination makes for a beautiful and eye-catching salad, however, if you have another bean you thoroughly enjoy (or one you just can’t stomach), feel free to swap out one for another. This recipe takes well to substitutions.
Do not skip rinsing the beans. Canned beans are extremely convenient and wonderful for quick-fix recipes, but you’ll need to rinse them before adding them to the bowl. Otherwise, they will add a gritty texture to the dish.
WHY YOU NEED TO RINSE CANNED BEANS
Most canned beans come in a solution of water and salt, otherwise known as a brine. This solution causes starches, proteins and such to seep out of the beans. It’s completely normal but results in an unappetizing gritty coating on the beans.
If you were to heat the canned beans on the stovetop, you would likely not notice any issue at all. But, because there is no heating involved before the beans are added to this salad, the starches must be rinsed away.
Similar to the beans, the vegetables for Mexican Bean Salad are interchangeable. For example, if you don’t have green onions, feel free to substitute 1/4 cup of minced red onion in its place, or leave them out altogether.
If you’re making this salad in advance, wait to add the avocado until just before serving. And, if you love avocado, be sure to bookmark our savory Shrimp and Avocado Salad for next time!
The dressing for this salad is quick and simple to make and enhances every bit of flavor from the vegetables and beans. It is a tangy mix of fresh lime juice, red wine vinegar, cilantro, and oil. You can use either avocado or canola oil. If you do not care for cilantro, you can substitute parsley or omit it from the recipe.
The seasoning consists of a few spices you likely already have in your spice cabinet: Chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. You’ll also need a little salt and some granulated sugar to balance out the flavors.
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN BEAN SALAD
- Drain and rinse the beans.
- Prepare the vegetables.
- Make the dressing in a large bowl. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl and stir to coat.
- Serve or (preferably) marinate.
HOW TO STORE IT
As mentioned earlier, Mexican Bean Salad is especially wonderful for parties and potlucks. In fact, this salad is actually at its best after an overnight stay, marinating in the refrigerator.
You can make it up to two days in advance, but if you’d like your avocados to stay green and vibrant looking, add them until just before serving.
This salad will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed storage container. Freezing this salad is not recommended.
5 MORE POTLUCK DISHES YOU’LL LOVE
- Texas Caviar is a colorful and zesty make-ahead party dip loaded with fresh summer vegetables and hearty black-eyed peas. This light and healthy appetizer is perfect for any spring or summer gathering, and can be served with tortilla chips or as a topper for grilled protein!
- Canned Black Beans can be so much more! Transform them into a Mexican masterpiece with just a few extra ingredients and just one pot.
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is a family-friendly side dish Ranch lovers will swoon for. Colorful pasta coated in a quick and easy Ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought), crispy bacon, and more!
- Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is one serious party-pleasing appetizer! Featuring quick cooking pan-seared shrimp, dressed in a vibrant cocktail sauce, with creamy avocado, and the perfect blend of crunchy vegetables.
- Black-Eyed Pea Salad Black-Eyed Peas are bursting out of their comfort food tradition in a gorgeous, healthy salad loaded with light and refreshing ingredients like cucumber, corn, and fresh diced tomatoes.
A Three-Bean Mexican Bean Salad with Avocado that's both easy and healthy! Serve it as a make-ahead side dish to for feed a crowd or a dip for tortilla chips!
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can white cannellini beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can sweet corn
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely diced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon minced Cilantro
- 1/4 cup avocado or canola oil
Strain all of the beans and the corn over a colander in the sink and rinse under cool water until the grit has been washed away. Set aside to drain while you prepare the vegetables and make the dressing.
To make the dressing, in a large mixing bowl, combine lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and cilantro. Very slowly, drizzle the oil, whisking constantly.
Add all of the salad ingredients to the bowl and toss to combine. You can serve right away, but preferably, transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.