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 flavour.

A large bowl of 4-bean salad and lime wedges

This recipe was originally published in September 2018 and has since been updated to include new photos, more information and a few tweaks to the dressing.

My love for Mexican food runs deep with tacos, fajitas, nachos and this Mexican Bean Salad being one of my favourite 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!

Ingredients for a Mexican-inspired 4-bean salad

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Canned Mixed Beans – I like to use a 5-bean medly 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 flavour. Be sure to trim to remove the seeds and ribs from inside before chopping. Yellow and orange peppers are also a great edition or subsitution
  • 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 kernals work just the same and add a burst of sweetness to elevate this 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 kernals from the cob to put in this salad.
  • Cilantro – because it is amazing! But 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 – is light and zingy but not overpowering.
  • Olive oil – the base for every good vinaigrette.
  • Lemon & Lime Juice – add great flavour and add to the zestyness of this 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 flavour!

How to make make Mexcian Bean Salad

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.

Add all of these ingredients as well as the corn kernels and cilantro to a large bowl.

A bowl filled with bean salad ingredients

In a smaller bowl add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, honey, lemon juice, lime juice and spices. Mix well to blend. 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.

Bean salad dressing in a small bowl

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.

This Mexican mixed bean salad recipe is great right away but the real magic happens when it has a chance to sit for a few hours and marinate in the dressing. If you can make this the night before even better!

One of the reasons I love this salad so much is because it gets better with a little time and is great to use as a side dish or lunch for up to 5 days. Perfect for meal prepping!

And this 4-bean salad makes a great dish to bring to parties because it makes a lot! By yourself or with a smaller family, just cut the recipe in half!

A large wooden bowl filled with a bean salad recipe


  1. They are an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians or anyone looking to reduce their meat consumption.
  2. They are lower and calories and saturated fat than most other protein sources such as meat and dairy
  3. Beans are high in fibre helping you feel fuller for longer throughout your day
  4. Beans are high in folate which is a vital nutrient important especially for new moms while pregnant.  Folate helps to prevent neural tube defects in the fetus during pregnancy and can help alleviate symptoms of weakness, fatigue, heart palpitations and irritability.  Signs your body is not getting enough folate.
  5. Beans help regulate blood sugar levels.  Because beans have a high fibre and protein content they tend to take longer to digest and are absorbed into your blood stream at a slower rate.  This keeps blood sugar levels steady and is why beans are often recommended as part of a diabetic diet.
Mexican bean salad on a large wooden bowl with lime wedges

How Long will Bean salad last?

If you have leftovers store them in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can this mixed bean salad be frozen?

Yes! You can store it in the freezer when tightly sealed for up to 3 months in fact!

What can you in this salad instead of honey if you are vegan?

Maple syrup or agave nectar are excellent substitutions for the honey in this recipe.

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


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


  • 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
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 dashes hot pepper sauce optional


  • 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.


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


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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  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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