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Mama’s Famous Bean Salad

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!

bean salad recipe in a bowl with dressing being poured in

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 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 stuff can go in salads, tacos, quesadillas, omelets…you name it!  So without further ado, Mama’s Famous Bean Salad!

Bean salad in a bowl on an orange background

Ingredients for Mexican Bean Salad

  • Beans: All the beans! We’ll use a combination of red beans (either pinto or kidney) and black beans.
  • Pepper: All the peppers! Jalapeno brings zing while red bell pepper adds crunch.
  • Corn: Fresh, from a can, or even frozen. Anything goes!
  • Onion: We’ll use red onions, but you could also use shallots.
  • Cilantro: Negotiably the most important ingredient. Don’t skimp on this one!
  • Vinegar dressing: Tying everything together with a quick spiced vinegar dressing.
Bean salad in a bowl on an orange background

How to make this bean salad

Making this bean salad is ridiculously easy and has just a few short steps. It goes something like this:

  1. Mix dressing ingredients
  2. Mix salad ingredients
  3. Mix everything together
Bean salad in a bowl on an orange background

And the best part about this bean salad is it somehow gets better over time. The beans marinate in the vinegar dressing, making for the most flavorful bowl of yum!

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!

Bean salad in a glass bowl on orange background - 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!
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!

Mama’s Famous Bean Salad

Ever since I can remember, my mom has always made this bean salad for any sort of neighborhood party or cookout. It’s simple, healthy, and so delicious!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers, Dips, Sauces, and Salsas, Side Dishes
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: bean salad, cowboy caviar, texas bean salad, texas caviar
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Cinco de Mayo
Time: 15 minutes or less, 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 10 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
4.2 from 15 votes

INGREDIENTS

Dressing
  • 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
Salad
  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

NUTRITION

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.2g | Protein: 2.8g | Fat: 5.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.9g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 2.6g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.3mg
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  1. Faith says:

    Hi Sarah. First I have to tell you how much I enjoy you and your recipes. You are a ray of sunshine !!! My question is , do you know if there is alcohol in our kombucha? I have been making it for many years and have never really thought of it but my granddaughter does not drink , and really wants to make it and asked the question. Thank you Sarah and keep up your beautiful work.

    1. Sarah says:

      Aw thanks so much, Faith! There are trace amounts of alcohol in kombucha (anywhere from 0.5% to 1% – depending on how long you brew it for).

  2. david jacob says:

    Salad looking owsum to have and it really contains healthy ingredients that helps everyone to improve and maintain health.

  3. Tracy says:

    Love MAMA’S FAMOUS BEAN SALAD! Made it yesterday and even better today. Can some if it be frozen for later and still be tasty? Or will freezing ruin it?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Tracy! While I haven’t tried freezing, I don’t think it would work well with these ingredients. If you do try it out, maybe just try freezing half a cup to see how it goes before you freeze the whole batch.

  4. Greg says:

    If you were using dried beans; after they are cooked, would you let them cool first and then rinse or rinse after cooking?

    I do not use canned beans very much, prefer to cook my own, seem to be much better!

    1. Sarah says:

      I would think you could rinse them right after cooking without a problem 🙂

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