Quick & Easy Mexican Bean Salad

This Mexican Bean Salad is a great side dish to make ahead for the week or to bring to any potluck or picnic. A filling side that is packed full of fresh veggies, protein-rich beans and a little optional heat to give it a bright Mexican flavor.

A large bowl of 4-bean salad and lime wedges

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My love for Mexican food runs deep with tacos, fajitas, quesotacos, nachos and this Mexican Bean Salad being one of my favorite make-ahead recipes.

I am a huge fan of making a big salad as part of a weekend meal prep so that I always have a quick side to add to dinner or lunch during the week.

This 5 bean salad recipe is not only a great side dish but the protein content from the beans makes it a lunch all in itself!

What Makes This Mexican Bean Salad Recipe So Great?

  • Flavor-Packed Ingredients: The combination of bell peppers, red onion, corn, cilantro, and a zesty dressing made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, citrus, honey, and spices creates a bright, flavorful, and well-balanced 5 bean salad.
  • Nutritious and Filling: Loaded with protein, fiber, and complex carbs from the variety of beans, this salad is a nutritious and satisfying side or main dish.
  • Make-Ahead Convenience: This salad actually gets better as it marinates, making it an ideal make-ahead option for busy weeknight meals or potlucks.
Ingredients for a Mexican-inspired 4-bean salad

Ingredients For Mexican Bean Salad

  • Canned Mixed Beans – I like to use a 5-bean medley with chickpeas, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black eyed peas and black beans but you can use any type of bean blend you prefer. Just be sure to fully rinse the beans when you empty the can to wash away all that goopy starch
  • Red & Green Bell Peppers – Add a little sweetness and flavor. Be sure to trim to remove the seeds and ribs from inside before chopping. Yellow and orange peppers are also a great addition or substitution
  • Red Onion – Trimmed and diced. Red onions are a little spicier than a regular yellow onion so if you prefer the sweeter onion varieties go ahead and swap them in!
  • Corn – Frozen or fresh corn kernels work just the same and add a burst of sweetness to elevate this healthy bean salad. If you are feeling really ambitious you can also grill a cob or two of corn on the barbecue to get a nice smoky char and then cut the kernels from the cob to put in this salad.
  • Cilantro – If you aren’t a fan and fall into the camp that thinks cilantro tastes like soap, you can leave it out.
  • Garlic – Because everything I make pretty much has garlic in it outside of dessert.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – Adds a light and zingy flavor without being overpowering.
  • Olive oil – The base for every good vinaigrette.
  • Lemon & Lime Juice – Adds a great zesty flavor to the five bean salad.
  • Honey – Adds balance to the acidic citrus and vinegar and levels out any spiciness added. If you are vegan or can’t eat honey, maple syrup or agave nectar are great substitutes.
  • Spices – Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Chili powder and the optional hot sauce – all the things to make the dressing zing with Mexican-inspired flavor!

See the recipe card below for exact quantities.

Add-ins

There are lots of ways to customize this recipe to your tastes. You could add diced jalapeño or serrano chili for extra heat, swap in different types of beans, or mix in chopped avocado just before serving. The possibilities are endless!

How to make mexican Bean Salad

  1. Chop the red onion and red and yellow bell peppers removing the stems and seeds. Rinse the mixed beans well to remove any starch. I like to use a 4-bean blend which has kidney beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans and pinto beans but any bean blend will work.
  2. Add all of these ingredients as well as the corn kernels and cilantro to a large bowl.
A bowl filled with bean salad ingredients
  1. In a smaller bowl add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, honey, lemon juice, lime juice and spices. Mix well to blend.
Bean salad dressing in a small bowl
  1. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and stir to make sure the salad is evenly dressed. Then just before serving I like to give a squeeze of lime over top to add a little pop!
A bowl of beans and veggies for a salad with dressing being added.

Tips

  • Mix in the honey well. The honey tends to fall to the bottom and gets stuck so make sure to give it a few extra mixes to ensure the honey has time to melt and mix into the dressing.
  • Adjust the quantity. This is a very large salad so which will leave lots of leftovers for the week.  Make smaller by simply cutting the number of ingredients used by half.
  • Let it sit. This salad is best when it has had time to sit and absorb some of the flavors.  I like to make it ahead of time and let sit covered in the fridge for 4 hours or serve the next day.
A large wooden bowl filled with a bean salad recipe

Storage

Store: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freeze: You might be surprised to know that this recipe for bean salad freezes beautifully! You can store it in the freezer when tightly sealed for up to 3 months

Mexican bean salad on a large wooden bowl with lime wedges

Mexican Bean Salad Recipe FAQs

Are beans good for you?

Absolutely! Beans are incredibly nutritious and offer numerous health benefits. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Beans also contain important vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and magnesium. Research shows that regularly incorporating beans into your diet can help regulate blood sugar levels, promote heart health, and support digestive function. This five bean salad is a delicious way to easily add more of these nutritional powerhouses to your meals.

Can I add meat to this salad?

Absolutely! This bean salad would be delicious with the addition of cooked chicken, shrimp, or even crumbled chorizo. The protein-rich beans combined with a lean meat would make it an even more filling and satisfying main dish.

What’s the best way to meal prep this salad?

This salad is perfect for meal prepping! You can make a big batch on the weekend and portion it out into individual servings to enjoy throughout the week. The flavors continue to develop, so it’s great to have on hand for quick lunches or dinners. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

More Great Salad Recipes

Mexican bean salad on a large wooden bowl with lime wedges

Mexican Bean Salad Recipe

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
This Mexican Bean Salad is loaded with chopped fresh veggies, spices, cilantro, and a little honey and heat to add a punch of flavour to this hearty side dish.
4.84 from 12 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest
Servings 16 servings
Calories 249 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Bow
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Strainer
  • Spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 2 19 oz cans mixed beans well rinsed and drained
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped, seeds and stems removed
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped, seeds and stems removed
  • 1 red onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and diced
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernals
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 dashes hot pepper sauce optional

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl add beans, peppers, onion, corn, cilantro and garlic.
  • In a small bowl add olive oil, red, wine vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, honey, salt, cumin, black pepper, chili powder and hot pepper sauce (optional).  Whisk together until mixed well.
  • Pour dressing over bean and vegetable mixture.  Mix well and chill.  Serve cold.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 249kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.3gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 449mgPotassium: 399mgFiber: 8gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 350IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2.3mg

Notes

This is a very large salad so which will leave lots of leftovers for the week.  Make smaller by simply cutting the number of ingredients used by half.
This salad is best when it has had time to sit and absorb some of the flavours.  I like to make it ahead of time and let sit covered in the fridge for 4 hours or serve the next day.
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So Delicious, My guests raved! I made the day ahead & used maple syrup (authentic) because that is what I had on hand. So pleased with results. Dinner consisted of BBQ ribs, yellow rice, and this salad. Everyone went back for seconds which is a “cook’s” greatest compliment.
    Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    Good afternoon! I just wanted to let you know I found your recipe via Facebook and decided to make it! I had some of the stuff on hand and went to the store right away and got the rest of what I needed. Excellent instructions and tips! The recipe turned out perfect.

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for such an easy and well-explained recipe! I am heading into the supermarket to get my ingredients!

  4. 5 stars
    This is my new favorite bean salad recipe. It’s too easy and soooo delicious! Thanks for sharing another winner!

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