Black Bean Salad


Last week on the blog I cooked a pound of dried beans to show how easy and inexpensive it is to prepare beans. But I also wanted to show what you can do with a pot of beans, such as use the beans in other dishes.

It’s easy to use the beans in soups and stews and even pastas. I love the idea of stretching dishes, especially those heavy with protein, in order to make them healthier. But there are also so many other ways to use cooked beans.

Today I’m going to make a bean salad. This is not an exceptional or “gourmet” recipe; in fact, you can really change it up to make it your own. But it’s a hearty, healthy, satisfying salad. I must say that whenever I’ve taken a bean salad to parties, people go nuts over them. And they’re so simple!

So hopefully this is a dish that you’ve never thought of making before, and are willing to try it out! It’s definitely wonderful to take to a pot luck, and it can be made ahead of time.


Plus, you can use many different kinds of vinaigrettes or citrus-based dressing with bean salads. I even posted a bean salad on the blog a while back using a home-made green goddess dressing. So the options are endless!


Black Bean Salad

Black beans, no liquid included
Raw zucchini, chopped
Fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
Onion, finely chopped
Chile peppers, finely chopped
Fresh cilantro leaves
Dressing (see below)

Begin by placing cooked beans in a medium-sized bowl. Then begin adding what you want to the beans. I’ve listed what I used, but the fun thing about these bean salads, is that you can use what you like.


Continue to add the ingredients, then pour in the dressing and give everything a toss.


I served my salad with some pickled jalapenos on the side, but you can offer anything you’d like.


And that’s it! Think about how you can make this salad your own with your favorite ingredients, like including avocado, corn, and bell peppers, for example. It all works, and it’s all wonderful!

Lemon Garlic Dressing

Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil, about 1/3 cup
1 clove fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Salt, to taste

Place everything in a blender jar and puree until smooth. If you don’t want a Southwestern-flavored dressing, omit the cumin and oregano.

39 thoughts on “Black Bean Salad

  1. Mimi, black bean salad is one of my all time faves and I haven’t made it in awhile, so thanks for the reminder! This looks great! Happy Monday!

  2. This is one of my “go-to” dishes when I am in my “getting healthy going to lose weight” mode :) Great with diced cucumbers and garbanzo beans as well.

    You could bring this to a party at my house any weekend!

    • Thank you! I can proudly say that I’ve never purchased a salad dressing, although there might be some good ones out there. But they’re just s much fun to create!

  3. I just made some delicious refried black beans but they would have been so much better if I had taken the time to cook dried ahead of time instead of opening a can. You are right; it is so much cheaper. I just have to find the time.

  4. I do love black beans too, but I think I already said that. I have a good recipe for black bean salad with a cilantro-lime dressing. I need to make that again soon. Your salad looks lovely and refreshing. Yes, I would add the jalapenos for sure!

    • That’s why I love black bean salads so much – there are so many different ingredients you can use in them, and so many different ways to make the dressings!!!

  5. A bean salad is something I’ve got to get used to making. Take off those jalapeños & this one looks perfect :)
    Are those your own lilacs in the photos? I how I wish mine were in bloom. Our daffodils are just popping their heads up now so we’re running little late on flowers this year.

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