Fiery Mexican Bean Salad

A bean salad with attitude…

As a barbecue side, Mexican bean salad is top of the line. Not only is it tasty, it also brings colorful life to the table. It’s an explosion of yellows, reds, and greens that looks fresh and fun.

And then there’s the other “f” in this recipe: fire. Jalapeño pepper provides a fresh bright pop while cayenne pepper powder layers a heat undertone through the entire spicy side dish. This most definitely is a bean salad with attitude – which works real well with bolder meat rubs and sweet BBQ sauces.

Mexican Bean Salad

Fiery Mexican Bean Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 can kidney beans 15 ounces
  • 1 can black beans 15 ounces
  • 1 can cannellini beans 15 ounces
  • 1 package frozen corn kernels
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeds removed, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder


  • Rinse the kidney, black, and cannellini beans, then place them in a mixing bowl.
  • Add to the bowl the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, corn, and red onion. Stir to combine. 
  • In a separate bowl, make the dressing by combining the olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar, cilantro, sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, cayenne pepper powder, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir well. 
  • Pour the dressing over the beans mix, then stir to fully coat the salad with the dressing.
  • Serve immediately, or for best flavor chill the Mexican bean salad for 1 to 2 hours prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld.
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See more of our spicy recipes…

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 20, 2021 to include new content.
5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)
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5 stars
I love this recipe and have made it probably 15 times in the last few years. It makes a huge bowl and is so satisfying!