Mexican Bean Salad

8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

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!

A Three Bean Salad is a great alternative to Pasta Salad on hot summery days when you want a light, easy homemade Deli Salad to feed a crowd for cheap!

Mexican Bean Salad in bowl


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.

Mexican Bean Salad ingredients in bowl

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.


Mexican Bean Salad in mixing bowl


  • 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.



  • 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.

Mexican Bean Salad in bowl

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Mexican Bean Salad

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!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, American/Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  • 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.


Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1045mg | Potassium: 409mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 669IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3mg

Mexican Bean Salad collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Bean salad sounds quite good. Got me to thinking, maybe add bacon bits, avocado even some shrimp:) Actually made me hungry for a good taco salad! Will have to try this recipe.