This protein-rich Mexican Three Bean Salad is loaded with southwestern flavors. Quick, easy and the perfect make-ahead dish to serve when you have company, at parties or potlucks.
When it comes to salads, this Mexican Three Bean Salad is a winner! Not only is it insanely delicious but also the ideal stress-free, make-ahead, vegetarian, crowd-pleasing dish you can make again and again.
Packed with vegetables and protein-rich beans, it’s the perfect side dish or grab-to-go lunch. Add a couple of warm tortillas and it can also be served as a main vegetarian meal. Versatility and full flavor is what make this delicious salad a favorite!
For this recipe, I used canned beans. Canned beans really make life easier. I used black beans, light red kidney beans and great northern beans. The idea is to have beans that look a bit different in color (because we eat with our eyes first and you want good contrast). Feel free to use any other bean you like such as canellini, garbanzo or navy beans.
Now comes the corn! I’m giving you a few “corn options” depending on how much time you have and what type of corn you are using.
If you want to use fresh corn, I suggest you quickly grill it (outdoor grill or grill pan works). It will take you about 10 minutes and the flavor is amazing!
If you are using frozen corn (that’s what I had handy), roast it in a dry cast iron skillet to develop more flavor and get those charred bits that make roasted corn so delicious. It takes about 6-8 minutes and the results are so worth it!
The other option is to use thawed out corn as-is. If you are pressed for time, this is the way to go!
I am not a big fan of canned corn (unless it is from a store I used to go to in Southern California). Unfortunately, we don’t have that store in my area (no matter how many times I call corporate, it seems they won’t open here any time soon). Their store brand canned corn was excellent! Hint*hint – starts with a T and ends with an s….. it has a J in there somewhere too… can you guess?
The vinaigrette has amazing flavors and is easy to make. I put all the ingredients in a jar and gave it a shake. Done!
The fresh lime, lemon and cilantro combined with some spices create a wonderful southwestern vinaigrette you can use on any salad.
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 to 3 hours is perfect but more time won’t hurt it either! Add the chopped avocado when you are ready to serve.
- Serve this delicious salad with these amazing dishes:
Tequila Lime Chicken
Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken
Bourbon and Peach BBQ Ribs in the Oven
WANT TO TRY THIS CHILE COLORADO BEEF STEW?
PIN IT TO YOUR SALAD OR SIDE DISH BOARD!!
FIND ME ON PINTEREST FOR MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES!
- 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, diced (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 avocado, chopped
- 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)
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.
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.
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!
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.
Things You May Need