This easy Bean Salad recipe is famous in our house, and for good reason! Quick to make, packed with flavor, and perfect for bringing to potlucks! Our community loves serving this dish at church potlucks and barbecues – see comments for serving inspiration!)
Ever since I can remember, my mom has always made this Mexican Bean Salad recipe for any sort of neighborhood party or cookout. Which is to say, this three bean salad defines my childhood about as much as this Taco Soup does.
Clearly my family has a thing with beans.
We always eat this bean salad as a dip with tortilla chips, but after making the recipe for myself for the first time, I was left with way more than little ole me could finish off alone.
And not being one to ever waste food, I experimented and found that this bean salad can be a great side dish, or can go in salads, tacos, quesadillas, omelets…you name it! So without further ado, Mama’s Famous Bean Salad!
Ingredients for Mexican Bean Salad
The ingredients for this dish are easy to find and contain many pantry staples!
- Beans: All the beans! We’ll use a combination of red beans (either pinto beans or red kidney beans) and black beans. You could also use cannellini beans or chickpeas here!
- Pepper: All the peppers! Jalapeno brings zing while red bell pepper adds crunch. Feel free to add your favorite type of pepper for extra spice!
- Corn: Fresh, from a can, or even frozen. Anything goes!
- Onion: We’ll use red onions, but you could also use shallots. Chop the onion up finely for best results!
- Cilantro: Negotiably the most important ingredient. Don’t skimp on this one! I don’t recommend using parsley in its place, but if you despise cilantro and want a fresh herbs element, that’s your best bet!
- Bean Salad Dressing: Tying everything together with a quick spiced vinegar dressing.
How to make this bean salad
Making this bean salad is ridiculously easy, with minimal prep time and just a few short steps. It goes something like this:
- Mix dressing ingredients
- Mix salad ingredients
- Mix everything together
This is one of those recipes that gets better with time. The beans marinate in the vinegar dressing, making for the most flavorful bowl of yum for days to come (and it makes this salad great for meal prepping – try this Stuffed Pepper and Bean Salad Meal Prep!)
What to pair with this bean salad
I love eating it as a chip dip, but you could also serve this Mexican-inspired bean salad with these Enchilada Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (meal prep-able!), spooned over these vegan “Pulled Pork” Nachos, or to add more flavor to Huevos Rancheros! Or serve this bean salad as a side with our Vegan Pozole Verde.
“OMG! I made this as a side dish with burgers and hotdogs, needless to say it went real fast! Made this with pinto beans. It was so good and very easy. I’ll be making this again!” —Samantha
- ½ cup white vinegar 120 mL
- ¼ cup vegetable oil 60 mL
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 15-oz cans pinto or kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15-oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 15-oz can corn drained
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- ½ medium red onion seeded and diced
- 2 jalapenos seeded and finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- Dressing: Whisk together the Dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- Salad: Toss together the Salad ingredients.
- Combine: Mix the dressing into the salad mixture. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to allow flavors to mix (can skip this step if necessary). Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.