This colourful Mexican bean salad is full of bright, bold flavours. A festive make-ahead salad that you can take anywhere – fiesta time!
This salad is jam-packed with bright colourful ingredients and fresh flavours – bright red beans, sunny sweet corn, crunchy vegetables. All drizzled with zingy lime, chilli and coriander (cilantro) dressing and topped with avocado salsa.
What makes this salad Mexican?
Mexican flavours are thought to be spicy and heavy, but traditionally it has deep earthy flavours (beans and corn) that are matched with refreshing light flavours (herbs, veggies and citrus).
We have used these Mexican classics for this salad:
- Beans – forms the base for many dishes. Here we have used red kidney beans for their bright colour and protein punch. You could use any beans that take your fancy – black beans, black-eyed peas or any combination.
- Corn – considered a symbol of life and fertility. To make things easy we have used canned sweet corn but you can also use fresh corn or even frozen. cook until tender.
- Chillis – with over 150 varieties in Mexico to choose from and used not only to add heat but also flavour. It is up to you how hot you would like to make it and the chillies you would like to use. We have used long red chillies for their mild heat.
- Avocado – this rich buttery fruit is the epitome of Mexican food and used to partner everything. We have used Hass avocados for their creaminess and firm flesh, but use what you find.
- Coriander (cilantro) – used fresh, and brings brightness and a citrusy note to dishes.
- Limes – a Mexican cook’s most flavourful tool and a must for finishing a dish.
- Cumin – an essential spice used in many Mexican spice blends. It has a strong musty, earthy flavour with some grassy notes.
- Cajun Spice – for a spicy aromatic it.
How to make Mexican Bean Salad
Drain your can of red kidney beans and corn kernels in a colander and rinse well under cold running water. Allow to drain well and place in a large mixing bowl.
Wash your carrot and cucumber, trim their ends, then peel the carrot. Cut them both into small dice and add to bowl.
Rinse your capsicum (pepper), remove the seeds and core then cut into small dice and add to bowl.
Wash coriander (cilantro), shake and pat dry and chop roughly, reserve two tablespoons for salsa and add the rest to your bowl.
2SHAKE UP DRESSING
Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
Pour your dressing over your salad, season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
Wash your chilli, remove the seeds then diagonally slice.
Pit and peel your avocado then dice.
In a small mixing bowl place the chilli, avocado, coriander (cilantro), lime juice then season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Arrange your salad in a salad bowl, place the avocado salsa on top and garnish with the chilli slices. Chill until you are ready to serve and Enjoy!
Can you make it ahead and meal prep?
You can make the salad and the dressing up to a day in advaust keep them covered and chilled in your fridge.
As avocados brown easily you will need to make the salsa on the day of serving. Adding lots of lemon juice to them helps.
A packable salad that you can make for weekday lunches, picnics or pot lucks. Don’t skimp on the citrus for the avocado salsa and keep it well chilled in your fridge in an air-tight container.
A versatile recipe that you can use to jazz up your next barbecue as it pairs well with grilled meats, serve it as part of a Mexican fiesta buffet or with store bought chicken for a stress free dinner. Try it as…
- A great side for Taco Night as it is so easy to prepare.
- A quick dinner with 30 minute Mexican Enchiladas
- A vegan option with vegan quesadillas
- A side to Mexican ribs
What about leftovers?
The leftovers are still good to eat for up to a week in the fridge, again you just have to be careful with the avocado. The carrots and cucumbers will lose their crunch but the trade-off is that they will have absorbed all the citrus flavours and become pickle like.
More bean salad recipes:
(Times are an estimate and will depend on your skill level)
- 1 can red kidney beans (400 grams)
- 1 cup corn kernels (from a can)
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 red banana capsicum (pepper)
- 1 small Lebanese cucumber
- 1 bunch coriander (cilantro)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- ⅓ cup lime juice (approximately 4 heavy limes)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tsps cumin (ground)
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp Cajun spice
- 1 avocado
- 1 red chilli
- 2 tbsps lime juice (approximately 1 lime)
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 red chillies (sliced on the diagonal)
- Drain your can of red kidney beans and corn kernels in a colander and rinse well under cold running water. Allow to drain well and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Wash trim carrots, cucumbers, capsicum (peppers) and cut into small dice, transfer to your bowl.
- Wash coriander (cilantro), shake and pat dry and chop roughly, reserve two tablespoons for salsa and add the rest to your bowl.
- Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Pour your dressing over your salad, season with salt and pepper and toss well until combined.
- Pit and peel your avocado then dice, wash, trim and slice chilli diagonally.
- In a small mixing bowl place the chilli, avocado, coriander leaves, lime juice then season with salt and pepper and mix well.
- Arrange the bean mix in a salad bowl, place the avocado salsa on top and garnish with chilli slices.
- Keep chilled until ready to serve.