Feed your guests something truly special and delicious with this Mexican bean salad! It’s perfect for any party or gathering.
It’s a colorful, flavorful dish that everyone will love.
It combines the flavors of Mexico with nutrient-rich beans for a healthy, yummy experience.
It’s ideal for having friends over for dinner, hosting a potluck, or looking for a fresh picnic side salad.
Mexican bean salad will certainly awaken all the senses, and it will deliver lots of robust flavor in every bite.
So grab the beans and veggies, and let’s dig in!
Mexican Bean Salad
Light, fresh, zingy, and filling. Those are the four words that best describe this fantastic recipe.
And the best part about it? It doesn’t require any actual cooking.
If you can chop veggies, open cans, and mix things, you’re all set.
There isn’t so much as a microwave involved in this recipe.
Of course, that also means you can whip it up in no time.
It requires several ingredients, but they aren’t challenging to find. Many of them are probably in your spice rack right now.
It’s perfect for anyone looking for something cool, quick, and easy that the whole family will love.
And don’t worry about the kiddos who try it.
If you go easy on the hot sauce and chili powder, it won’t be too hot or spicy for them.
Despite all its fiesta flavor, heat-wise, it’s really pretty mild.
The ingredients list for this recipe is a little long. Fortunately, though, everything is inexpensive and easy to find.
The handful of simple steps also makes up for the lengthy ingredients list.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- The beans. Beans are a staple of any bean salad, whether it’s Mexican bean salad or three-bean salad. You just can’t have a bean salad without the beans. You use black beans, kidney beans, and cannellini beans for this recipe. They add plenty of protein, fiber, and flavor.
- The veggies. Extra veggies include red and green bell peppers, red onions, and frozen corn kernels. The veggies give the dressing the perfect balance of sweetness and savoriness. They’re also where most of the color comes from: yellow, green, red, and purple. Finally, the onions and peppers add the perfect amount of crunch.
- The liquid ingredients for the dressing. You need several liquid ingredients for the dressing. These include red wine vinegar, olive oil, and lemon and lime juices. Use freshly squeezed juices for the brightest and best flavor. As you can guess, this part of the dressing is tart and tangy. Don’t worry, though; the seasonings will help tame it.
- The fresh flavor. No Mexican recipe is complete without cilantro. That’s where all the fresh, earthy flavor comes from, and this recipe isn’t the same without it. I typically use a little more than the recipe requires just because I love it.
- The seasonings. For seasonings, you use salt and black pepper, of course. But you won’t stop there! You also need some crushed garlic, sugar, and cumin. Don’t leave out the sugar, either! It works with the corn to add a bit more sweetness to the overall dish.
- The heat. Finally, you end with a dash of hot sauce and a bit of chili powder. You can go heavier or lighter on these ingredients to suit your tastes. Remember, though, that hot sauce adds more than heat. It’s also pretty tangy, so keep that in mind if you add extra.
See? It doesn’t look so bad when you put it like that, does it?
How to Make the Best Bean Salad
Making this salad is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do in the kitchen. Here are the steps:
1. Gather the ingredients and prepare the veggies. Before you get started, take out everything you’ll need.
Then, drain and rinse the beans and chop the peppers and onions.
If you use frozen corn, you won’t need to cook it. Instead, simply ensure it’s fully thawed before making the salad.
2. Make the salad. Once everything is prepped and ready, make the salad.
You do this by combining the beans, peppers, corn, and onions.
3. Make the dressing. You need a separate bowl for this step. Start by adding all the liquid dressing ingredients first.
Then, mix in the cilantro and all of the seasonings. Combine everything well.
4. Combine the two. Pour the dressing over the bean salad. Toss and stir everything, and be sure it’s all well-coated.
More is better than less here. You can’t over-mix these ingredients.
5. Refrigerate. Pop it in the fridge for about an hour.
6. Serve and enjoy! Remove the salad from the fridge and serve it cold.
You can enjoy it by itself as a side salad or as a chunky dip.
Don’t forget the tortillas and other dippers if you go that route.
How to Make Ahead, Store and Reheat
Mexican bean salad is the perfect make-ahead recipe. After all, the colder it is, the better it tastes.
Plus, the longer it sits (up to a point), the more time the flavors have to meld.
Your best bet is to leave the salad and dressing separate. Don’t combine them if you’re making it ahead of time.
Instead, place both in the refrigerator in different containers.
Then, mix them when you’re ready to serve the salad.
If the dressing mixture looks strange or solidified, don’t worry. It’s just the olive oil.
Leave the dressing in its sealed container. Then, place it in a bowl of hot water, and it’ll soon return to normal.
Afterward, you can mix the dressing with the salad.
It’ll keep well for 3 to 5 days if you stick to the ingredients in the recipe. Leftovers will last about as long in the fridge.
However, the salad may soak up much of the dressing once you’ve mixed them.
How to Serve Black Bean Salad
I’ve already mentioned a couple of ways to serve this up above. Here’s a longer list.
- Serve it by itself as a cold side salad.
- Serve it with tortillas as a dip.
- Add it to your tacos, burritos, or other Mexican staples.
- Mix it in with or add it to the top of quesadillas.
- Serve it with or on top of lean proteins like chicken and fish.
- Spoon it on toasted baguettes or crostinis.
- Tweak the recipe to add more veggies and lean protein. That way, you can make it an entire meal.
- Add it to your sandwiches or BBQ for more fiesta flavor.
Want to know my absolute favorite way to enjoy it?
I grill chicken breasts and top them with pepper jack cheese and this salad. It’s unbelievably tasty.
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