This Mexican Three Bean Salad is quick, easy and the perfect make-ahead salad to serve at dinner parties and potlucks. This protein-rich bean salad is loaded with Mexican flavors and always a favorite!
This 3 Bean Salad is insanely delicious and very easy to make. It is one of my go-to recipes every time I have company or need to bring a dish to a potluck or event. This bean salad is the ultimate stress-free, make-ahead, vegetarian, crowd-pleasing side dish you must have in your repertoire.
Packed with vegetables and protein-rich beans, this Three Bean Salad is also perfect served as a light lunch. Add a couple of warm tortillas and you are set! This Mexican salad can also be served as an appetizer or party dip with crispy tortilla chips. Just like the popular Texas Caviar, this flavor packed dish will be a hit at any party!
I have updated this post to give you more insights, information and to answer some questions I get asked often. Same photos and same delicious recipe!
Mexican Three Bean Salad Ingredients
- Beans – I use canned beans. I used black beans, light red kidney beans and great northern beans. Feel free to use any canned bean you may have at home.
- Bell Peppers – Diced. I used red bell peppers but any color works.
- Onions – Diced. I use red onions, you can use brown or white onions as well.
- Roasted Corn – Below I give you instructions on how to easily roast/char corn at home.
- Avocado – Chopped. Only add the avocado when ready to serve.
- Cilantro – Chopped. If you don’t like cilantro, use parsley instead.
- Jalapeno – Seeded and diced.
- The Citrus Vinaigrette – Fresh lemon and lime juice, cilantro, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, oil, cumin, chili powder and a bit of honey to balance all the flavors!
How To Make This Three Bean Salad
- Mix all the bean salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk the citrus vinaigrette ingredients. You can also put all the ingredients in a jar and give it a shake. Done!
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix.
Frequently Asked Questions about this Mexican Bean Salad
- I’m short on time, do I have to use roasted corn for this recipe?
No. Frozen corn (thawed) can be used also, just keep in mind that roasting the corn adds a nutty toasted flavor to the dish. Canned corn is another option. Of course, canned roasted corn is now readily available at supermarkets.
- How long will this 3 Bean Salad keep?
Refrigerated in an air tight container, without the avocado, this salad will keep for about 3-4 days.
- Can you tell me how to easily roast/charred corn?
How To Roast Corn
- In a Cast Iron Skillet: Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium hot heat. When hot, add the corn kernels in a single layer and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir and cook until the corn is charred.
- On the Grill: Shuck and clean the corn. You don’t have to worry about removing every piece of silk as it will burn on the grill. Heat your grill to medium hot. Place the corn directly on the grill. Grill turning occasionally for about 10 minutes or until charred and cooked through.
Notes and Tips About Making This Mexican Bean Salad Recipe
- Add the chopped avocado when you are ready to serve the salad to prevent discoloration. Although the dressing has citrus, the avocado tends to look a bit mush when added in advanced.
- You can serve the salad immediately, (I couldn’t wait and had to have a serving right away) but know that the flavors will develop and intensify the longer the salad sits in the refrigerator. 2 hours is perfect but more time won’t hurt it either!
- Serve this delicious salad with these tasty and easy main dishes:
Tequila Lime Chicken
Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken
Bourbon and Peach BBQ Ribs in the Oven
Slow Cooker Carnitas
- Here are other Salad recipes you may like:
Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad
Creamy Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
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Mexican Three Bean Salad
- 1 12 ounces bag frozen corn or 2 to 3 ears of fresh corn
- 1 (15 ounces) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounces) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used light red)
- 1 (15 ounces) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed (you can use canellini beans as well)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, seeded and diced (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 avocado, chopped
For the Citrus Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (or any other chili powder)
- extra chopped cilantro (optional)
TO PREPARE THE CORN
METHOD #1: On a Cast Iron Skillet or Regular Skillet (frozen corn)
- Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium hot heat. When hot, add the corn kernels in a single layer and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir and cook until the corn is charred. You may have to repeat this process until all the corn is nicely charred.
METHOD #2: On a grill (on the cob)
- Shuck and clean the corn. You don't have to worry about removing every piece of silk as it will burn on the grill.
Heat your grill to medium hot. Place the corn directly on the grill. Grill turning occasionally for about 10 minutes or until charred and cooked through.
- Defrost the corn and use it as is.
To Make the Citrus Vinaigrette
- In a small bowl whisk together the oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, minced garlic, ground cumin, salt, pepper and chili powder and cilantro.
You can also put all the ingredients in a lidded jar and shake!
Assemble the Salad
- In a large bowl combine the corn, beans, bell pepper, onions and jalapeño (if using).
- Pour the Vinaigrette over the beans and vegetables. Mix well to combine.
At this point, you can serve it (just fold in the chopped avocado gently), or you can refrigerate for a few hours. The flavors will develop as the salad sits. Just add the avocado before serving.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with extra chopped cilantro, if desired.
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