Mexican Bean Salad is an easy healthy deli salad made with canned beans, bell peppers, red onions and a zesty chili lime dressing. A light summer side dish!
MEXICAN BEAN SALAD
There are some summer side “salads” that push the boundaries, with mayo heavy dressing and no lettuce in sight, in the name of being delicious (looking at you Mac Salad). This Mexican Bean Salad is just as deliciously “not a true salad”, but healthy enough for you to feel good about the lack of leafy greens. The zesty chili lime dressing is packed with flavor, while being refreshing and light, you won’t miss the mayo in this tasty deli side!
Mexican Three Bean Salad is one of the easiest deli salads you can make! There’s no cooking or boiling pasta, just a few veggies to chop and few cans of beans to drain and rinse. You want to make sure you rinse the beans since the liquid is very starchy and full of sodium, and it won’t taste very good.
If you want to make this Mexican Three Bean Salad even easier, pick up pre-chopped veggies in your grocery case next to the green salads. It’s a little more expensive but a huge time saver. Another way to save time making this salad for parties is to make it ahead of time. You can make Mexican Bean Salad up to 4 days before you plan on serving it and the flavors get even better as they sit.
This crowd-pleasing Mexican Bean Salad is great for parties, barbecues, and potlucks. Serve it with healthy grilled favorites like Grilled Pork, or as an easy, lighter Mexican side dish for Beef Tacos and Enchiladas. If you want to make it a heartier dish to serve as a light lunch, add leftover cooked chicken or pork to your Mexican Bean Salad. You can serve this bean salad like a dip with a side of Pita Chips.
Mexican Bean Salad is a budget friendly side dish! Cans of beans are usually very inexpensive, you can use whatever bell peppers or onions are on sale, and the dressing is made with common pantry ingredients. If you are out of an ingredient, check out the variations below before heading to the store, chances are there is an easy substitution you have on hand.
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VARIATIONS ON MEXICAN BEAN SALAD
- Beans: You can use any canned beans that you like or switch it up from traditional beans and add green beans, garbanzo beans, or black eyed peas!
- Chicken: Add 2 cups cooked chopped Chicken Breasts to give your Mexican Bean Salad more protein. Throw in some baby spinach leaves and you have a hearty healthy lunch!
- Corn: Make a spicy Mexican Bean Salad with canned corn and diced jalapeños. Drain and rinse the canned corn, you can even use Mexicorn with peppers. Use fresh diced jalapeños for an extra spicy kick.
- Cheese: Top your Mexican Bean Salad with cotija cheese, or fold in a cup of cubed Monterey jack, cheddar cheese, or pepper jack cheese.
- Creamy: Replace the olive oil with sour cream or mayonnaise and reduce the vinegar to 2 tablespoons to make a Creamy Mexican Bean Salad. You could also add avocado for creamy bites.
- Dressing: Add Taco Seasoning instead of the spices for an easy Mexican flavor, or swap out the sugar for honey. You can use any vinegar or oil you have on hand too.
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HOW TO STORE MEXICAN BEAN SALAD
- Serve: Chill your Mexican Bean Salad for at least 1 hour before serving and only keep it at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Store: Refrigerate Mexican Bean Salad in an airtight container for up to 1 week. If you add meat or cheese to your Bean Salad, it can be kept for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: This Mexican Bean Salad isn’t a good recipe to freeze. The vinaigrette will separate and you won’t be able to whisk it back together.
- 15 ounces black beans , drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces kidney beans , drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 green bell pepper , chopped
- 1 red bell pepper , chopped
- 1 red onion , chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro , chopped
- To a large bowl add the black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, red onion and cilantro.
- In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and black pepper until well combined.
- Pour dressing over the salad and toss well.
- Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.