Bringing great southwest flavours to classic 3-bean salad, this Southwest 3-Bean Salad is great twist on a classic and perfect for your Summer BBQs!
This Southwest 3 Bean Salad brings the flavours of the southwest with a bit of cumin and lime to the bean salad marinade and adds black beans and cilantro to the mix, as well. It’s absolutely delicious and a nice change from the usual.
This salad is also great for those of you who have a garden full of yellow wax beans to use up! That said, if you aren’t a gardener or you’re not feeling boiling fresh beans, go right ahead and use a can of drained, chopped yellow beans here instead.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Beans – this recipe uses 3 cans of canned beans – kidney beans, black beans and yellow beans. You could certainly use canned green beans, if you like, or swap up any of the canned beans to your taste.
- As written, this recipe uses just enough marinating liquid to flavour the beans. If you are used to a bean salad with a lot of marinade, go ahead and double the dressing.
- Cooked and cooled corn kernels would be a nice addition to this salad (though we are often having corn on the cob with a lot of meals this time of year, so I usually leave it out of this bean salad for that reason.)
- Be sure to rinse your canned beans well, in a colander under cold running water. It not only removes all that slimy stuff, but it rinses away some of the salt as well. Drain well to avoid watering down your dressing.
Get the Recipe: Southwest 3 Bean Salad
- 15 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 15 oz. canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
- 15 oz. canned yellow wax beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1/3-1/2 small red onion, sliced in to 2-inch pieces
- Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 6 Tablespoons white sugar
- 4 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, or canola or other neutral tasting oil
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon lime zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Drain the canned beans and rinse well in a colander under running cold water. Drain well and add to a large bowl. Add chopped red onion.
- Prepare dressing by combining all ingredients and whisking well to combine. Pour over beans and onion and toss to combine well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or longer. Keeps well in the fridge if made ahead. To serve, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley.
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
Delicious salad! No fresh wax beans available, used fresh green beans & added 2 ears of sweet corn slightly cooked along with the red onion, kidney & black beans….beautiful salad & the dressing is SO GOOD! Well received by family & guests……thanks so much, love your website!
So glad to hear, Mary :) Thanks so much!
Enjoyed your version of a 3-bean salad. Since fresh beans aren’t in season, I used canned beans (not my preference). I’m okay with canned beans as they’re less work! Thinking of using frozen beans for my next batch. Will be great as a bbqd side.
Thanks Irene :) While I’m usually prefer fresh, I have a nostalgic spot for bean salad with canned beans. It’s how my Mom made it. And yes, it is a lot less work than cutting and boiling beans, too, which is good in the Summer!
We love beans salads! Love all Southwest ingredients in this one, I bet it’s fabulous! YUM!
Thanks Anna :) We live on bean salads in the Summer here, too!
I love using beans any way I can and this salad is such a lovely twist with the green beans! So fresh and healthy! Hubby would love this one too! I could see myself making a huge batch and eating for lunch throughout the week :)
Thanks Dawn and yes, that’s what I do. I love having it in the fridge to snack on. Delicious and pretty healthy-ish :)
This is the perfect summery salad! I love the addition of cumin, lime, and cilantro for a twist!
Thanks so much, Laura! It was a nice change :)
I love the idea of combining beans and pasta for a super satisfying salad, and this makes a great meatless meal alternative, which I’m always looking for, thanks Jennifer!
Great idea Sue! Thanks :)
So very vibrant! I actually like wax beans and would indulge in this salad, especially with the cumin and lime in the dressing! Pinned!
I like wax beans too, Milena :) Thanks!
This is the kind of salad I can eat my weight in. I love the pretty combination of the dark red kidney beans, beautiful red onion and the yellow wax beans. I’ve never seen this combo before
Thanks Chris and yes, the combination of flavours (and colours :) was so nice!
Thanks for this recipe Jennifer! I was just thinking about this type of bean salad. Quite a few years ago, Presidents Choice came out with a Tex-Mex Bean salad and I loved it. Then they stopped making it, I guess. I will have to check my pantry and see what I have in there to make it!
Hi Colleen! I never stopped eating bean salad. I love it and it’s such a nice and delicious way to get all that bean fibre goodness :). This Southwest version was such a refreshing change from the usual. I loved the flavours and so nice to have in the fridge for easy Summer meals.
Well that’s a fun twist on an old favorite! My family will love it! Pretty pictures, my friend! :)
Thanks Annie and yes, I love classic bean salad, but this was such a nice change!
My husband adores this kind of salad so it’s a must make for me! Thanks for the lovely recipe. Your photos are gorgeous and love that beautiful wooden bowl :)
Thanks so much Tricia and yes, that is my favourite old bowl. It has served me well :)