Kidney Bean Salad

// This Kidney Bean Salad recipe is a wholesome and flavorful and nutritious dish that can be served as a side dish or a main course.



This Kidney Bean Salad recipe is a wholesome and flavorful and nutritious dish that can be served as a side dish or a main course.

It is the perfect recipe for lunch, dinner, or on-the-go. This simple yet exotic salad is an amazing way to incorporate wholesome and nutritious beans into your diet, which are a reliable source of protein, fiber, and other important nutrients.

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photo of a bowl of kidney bean salad with bread and a plant in the background

If you are looking for an easy-to-make, indulging and satisfying filler salad that can be packed in your lunch box or for a picnic, then this classic kidney bean salad is the great solution.

This vegetarian and gluten-free bean salad is mayonnaise-free, grain-free, and nut-free. Another wonderful thing about this salad is that this protein-rich salad can be made in a variety of ways to suit your taste preferences.

On this page, you will get the step-by-step picture and video recipe on how to make kidney beans salad with tips, tricks, and variations.

overhead closeup photo of a bowl of kidney bean salad

About Kidney Bean Salad

Kidney Bean Salad is a delicious and healthy Mediterranean style salad recipe made using canned/cooked red kidney beans, red onions, cucumber, cilantro, feta cheese, and olive oil vinaigrette. You can enjoy this easy to make, versatile and nutritious dish throughout the year.

This customizable Kidney bean salad that can be served in numerous ways. You can serve it as a side dish for grilled meats or roasted vegetables or a main course when you want a refreshing and light meal by itself.

It is also a fabulous choice for lunch boxes, picnics, and potlucks.

Since the kidney bean is the star ingredient of this recipe, it is a major source of plant-based protein and fiber. It is also rich in iron, magnesium, folate, and other essential nutrients.

Other salad ingredients like red onions, cucumber, cilantro, and feta cheese add texture, color, flavor, taste, and nourishment to the dish.

Kidney bean salad can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. For example, you can use several types of beans such as chickpeas, black eyed peas, pinto beans, soya beans, or black beans instead of kidney beans.  

I have added only vegetables, cucumber and onions, but you can also add other fresh vegetables like sweet corn kernels, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, or carrots to this salad.

I have made a classic lemon and olive oil dressing, but you may try different dressings such as a balsamic vinaigrette or a tahini dressing.

If you have leftover salad, then you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just remember to keep the dressing separate until you are ready to serve.

It is because the dressing will make the salad soggy and mushy if you store it for a long time. Adding dressing at the time of serving will prevent this bean salad from becoming too soggy.

Love a healthy and wholesome salad? Then here are some more refreshing salads you might love: Orange Salad, Strawberry Salad, Roasted Beet Salad, Watermelon Cucumber Feta Salad, and Honeydew Melon Radish Salad Bowls.

This Kidney Bean Salad

✓ makes a wholesome and nutritious dish

✓ is easy-to-make and can be prepared quickly

✓ is ideal for lunch, dinner, or lunch box,  

✓ can be taken for a picnic or potluck

✓ is a satisfying salad that will keep you fuller for longer

✓ is jam packed with protein, fiber, and other nutrients

✓ makes a high-protein and high-fiber meal

✓ can also be served as a main course

✓ is easily customizable to suit your taste glands

✓ can also be made with different types of legumes

✓ is vegetarian, and gluten-free

✓ can also be made vegan with a slight modification

✓ can be made with canned or cooked kidney beans

photo of a bowl of kidney bean salad with a slice of bread on a cutting board

How to make Kidney Bean Salad

Making this kidney bean salad is super easy and simple. It is a complete no-cook recipe using canned/cooked beans and can be made in just 10 minutes. Here is how to make this kidney bean salad at home:

To make a basic kidney bean salad, add kidney beans, diced onions, diced cucumbers, cilantro, olives, and crumbled feta cheese in a bowl. Make a dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, honey, dried oregano, ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Drizzle with olive oil lemon juice dressing. Toss to combine. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

You can get the full recipe in the recipe card on this page.

Ingredients

This tasty, refreshing and inviting salad is great for any occasion. The ingredients used in this salad recipe are simple and easily available. Here is some detailed information about the ingredients in this salad:

  • Kidney beans: These beans are the main ingredient of this salad recipe. I have cooked kidney beans here, but you can also use canned or frozen beans in this recipe. They work simply fine.

  • Red onions: They add a lovely color, sharp flavor, nice crunch, and pungent kick to the salad.

  • Cucumber: Chilled cucumber pieces add a refreshingly juicy texture, crisp, and vibrant color to this salad.

  • Olives: I have added sliced black olives to add some texture, healthy fat, and depth of flavors to this to the salad. In this recipe, you can also use green olives or kalamata olives.

  • Cilantro: Fresh coriander leaves or cilantro is a lovely herb that adds a fresh and bright flavor to the salad.  

  • Feta cheese: This salty and tangy feta cheese adds a lovely taste, and texture to this salad which complements the other ingredients. It also adds calcium and protein to this salad.

  • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic is used in the dressing. You can also add garlic powder to the dressing.

  • Olive oil: It is the main ingredient of this salad dressing. Olive oil adds richness to this salad.  

  • Lemon juice: It is added for acidity. Fresh lemon juice also helps to brighten and balance the flavors of the salad. You can also use lime juice instead of lemon juice. Bottled juice can also be used here.

  • Honey: Adding honey provides some natural sweetener to this salad that balances the tang of the lemon juice, and feta cheese.

  • Black pepper: Some ground black pepper is added for a subtle heat. I did not add any salt because feta is super salty, but you can add some salt if you prefer.

  • Dried oregano: This herb adds a Mediterranean flair to the salad. Here instead of oregano, you can also add dried basil or dried thyme.

  • Red pepper flakes: This is an optional spice added for a heat and a pop of color to the salad. Adding red pepper flakes is optional.

overhead photo of a bowl of kidney bean salad with bread and a lemon

Variations

Like any bean salad this kidney bean salad is also a versatile dish that can be made using different ingredients. Here are some salad recipe variations you may want to try:

Mexican-style kidney bean salad

If you like Mexican dishes, then you can try making a zesty Mexican Bean Salad. This style of salad is loaded with exotic flavors. It makes a perfect lunch or dinner.

To make this salad, mix canned kidney beans, black beans, avocado, corn, diced tomatoes, diced bell peppers, chopped red onions, jalapeño peppers, and chopped cilantro. Dress the salad with a mixture of olive oil, lime juice, and cumin.

Three bean salad  

You can turn this salad into a three bean salad by adding other beans such as black beans and chickpeas aka garbanzo beans. Also add some diced red onions and sliced celery. You can make the dressing by whisking together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and sugar/honey.

Classic three-bean salad is ready, you can take it to picnics and potlucks.

Broccoli Kidney Bean Salad

This type of salad is a wonderful way to add fresh greens to your kidney bean salad. To make this salad, steam, or blanch broccoli florets. Mix it with canned kidney beans, diced tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, diced red onions, and chopped parsley.

Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Drizzle with the dressing and serve. You can also sprinkle it with grated parmesan.

Green Salad with Kidney Beans

You can add a variety of greens to this refreshing kidney bean salad. To make this salad, just add a variety of greens such as mixed salad greens, or spinach along with other ingredients to a bowl. Drizzle with the dressing. Toss and serve!

Chickpea and Kidney Bean Salad

To add more protein and texture to this salad, you can add chickpea. Just like this chickpea salad you can use both cooked or canned.

To make this salad, mix together canned chickpeas, canned kidney beans, diced red onions, diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and lemon juice/vinegar. You can season this salad with salt and pepper.

Kidney Bean Salad with Tuna

This type of salad is a fantastic way to add protein to your salad. To make this salad, mix together canned kidney beans, canned tuna, diced red onions, diced bell peppers, and chopped parsley. Dress the salad with olive oil dressing and enjoy!  

Warm Kidney Bean Salad

To make the warm kidney bean salad, sauté the kidney beans with chopped garlic, ground black pepper, cumin powder and red pepper flakes. Mix the hot kidney beans with other vegetables such as diced onions, cucumbers, and bell peppers.

Drizzle with lemon juice and serve it warm for a comforting and flavorful meal.

Rajma salad

It is an Indian style kidney bean salad. Rajma is the Indian name for kidney beans.

To make this salad, mix cooked kidney beans, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped green chilies, chopped coriander leaves, cumin powder, red chili powder, chaat masala powder, cumin powder, mustard oil, black pepper powder, and salt.

Pour the fresh lemon or lime juice, toss and serve.

How to Prepare Kidney Beans for Salad  

To prepare kidney beans for this salad, you need to soak dried kidney beans overnight in water. In the morning, drain and rinse the beans. Pressure cook soaked kidney beans with water for 5-6 whistles or add them to a pot along with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the beans for 1-2 hours, or until tender. Once cooked, drain the cooked beans and allow them to cool completely before using in the salad.

photo of a woman holding a bowl of kidney bean salad

Serving suggestions

This kidney bean salad can be served chilled or at room temperature, depending on your preference. It is an excellent side dish for any meal. You can serve it as a meal itself or pair it with other salads, or side dishes such as garlic bread, carrot potato soup, chilli cheese toast, grilled chicken, or fish for a complete meal.

Storage suggestions

This salad tastes best when served fresh. But if you have leftover kidney bean salad then store it in an airtight container for 4-5 hours. If you want to store it for up to 3-4 days, then it is recommended to store salad and dressing separately.

When you want to serve, drizzle salad with the dressing, toss and serve.

Pro tips and tricks to make best Kidney Bean Salad

  1. Use fresh ingredients: To get the best taste and texture, it is advised to use fresh and high-quality ingredients. So, make sure that the kidney beans you are using are well cooked and tender. If you are using canned kidney beans, then rinse them with water before using. Also use vegetables that are fresh and crisp.

  2. Adjust the dressing: To make it suitable to your taste buds, feel free to adjust the seasoning according to your liking. If you prefer a less spicy salad, then avoid adding red pepper flakes. If you prefer sweeter dressing, then feel free to add a little more honey.

  3. Add dressing gradually: Add the dressing gradually to the salad, and taste as you go. This tip will ensure that you get the right balance of flavors and textures.

  4. Serving: This salad tastes great at both chilled and room temperatures. So, the temperature depends on your preference. If you want a chilled salad, then refrigerate it for 1 hour before serving. If you want to serve it at room temperature, then serve it immediately.

  5. Customize: If you like to experiment with different ingredients then feel free to add your favorite salad ingredients to make it your own. Such as adding chopped tomatoes, black beans, or some corn.

  6. Storing: Store the leftover salad properly. This salad can be stored for 4-5 hours in the refrigerator. You can also store this salad without the dressing for up to 3-4 days. Add the dressing at the time of serving.

photo of a person is holding a golden fork over a bowl of kidney bean salad on a cutting board

FAQ

Can I use canned kidney beans for the salad?

Yes, you can absolutely use canned kidney beans for making this salad. Make sure that you drain and rinse them well before adding to the salad.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, making this salad in advance is possible. Combine all the salad ingredients. Make the salad dressing and store them separately. Add the dressing to salad when you want to serve, stir well, and enjoy!

Can I add other vegetables to this salad?

Yes, you can add any other vegetables of your choice to make this salad more colorful, nutritious, and filling. The vegetables that go well in this salad are bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, pickled peppers, corn, or diced avocado.

Is kidney bean salad healthy?

Yes, this salad is absolutely healthy as it is crammed with nutrients such as protein and fiber. If you are into a vegetarian and gluten-free diet, this salad is a lovely option for you.

Can I serve this salad as a main dish?

You can certainly serve this salad as a main dish. To make it more protein-rich, you can add grilled chicken, grilled halloumi, grilled paneer, or grilled tofu.

Can I use a different dressing for this salad?

You can use any of your favorite dressing here. Other dressings that taste well in this salad are balsamic vinaigrette or tahini dressing. Leave out the feta cheese when using balsamic vinaigrette or tahini dressing.

Can I freeze this salad?

Freezing this salad is not recommended as freezing it would change the texture and flavor.

Can I make this salad without cheese?

Yes, surely you can make it without cheese. Just skip the crumbled feta and season the salad with salt.

Can I use other types of beans for this salad?

Surely you can add other beans to this salad. The beans that taste well in this salad are pinto beans, chickpeas, black eyed beans, black beans, or white beans.


Kidney Bean Salad (Step-by-step photo instructions)

Preparation

  1. Dice the cucumber and red onion and finely chop the parsley/coriander leaves. Set them aside. If using canned kidney beans, rinse and drain them in a colander before adding them to the salad.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-1 for Kidney Bean Salad

Make dressing

  1. To make the dressing, add olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, honey, dried oregano, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (and salt if needed) to a small bowl or jar. Shake well until combined. Set it aside.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-1 for Kidney Bean Salad

How to make Kidney Bean Salad

  1. To make the kidney bean salad, mix together the cooked kidney beans, diced cucumber, and diced red onion in a large bowl. Add chopped cilantro or parsley, sliced black olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) as needed.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-3-1 for Kidney Bean Salad
  3. Your delicious kidney bean salad is ready. Enjoy immediately with a side of bread. Alternatively, cover and chill the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-3-2 for Kidney Bean Salad

Recipe Card


Kidney Bean Salad [Recipe]

Recipe Image
This Kidney Bean Salad recipe is a wholesome and flavorful and nutritious dish that can be served as a side dish or a main course.
★★★★★
(Rating: 5 from 7 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
5 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Salads European 2
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
178 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

For Kidney Bean Salad
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked or canned kidney beans
  • 1 medium cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and diced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
For the dressing:
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Salt, if needed

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preparation
  1. Dice the cucumber and red onion and finely chop the parsley/coriander leaves. Set them aside. If using canned kidney beans, rinse and drain them in a colander before adding them to the salad.
Make dressing
  1. To make the dressing, add olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, honey, dried oregano, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (and salt if needed) to a small bowl or jar. Shake well until combined. Set it aside.
How to make Kidney Bean Salad
  1. To make the kidney bean salad, mix together the cooked kidney beans, diced cucumber, and diced red onion in a large bowl. Add chopped cilantro or parsley, sliced black olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) as needed.
  2. Your delicious kidney bean salad is ready. Enjoy immediately with a side of bread. Alternatively, cover and chill the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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NOTES:

  1. To get the best taste and texture, it is advised to use fresh and high-quality ingredients. So, make sure that the kidney beans you are using are well cooked and tender. If you are using canned kidney beans, then rinse them with water before using. Also use vegetables that are fresh and crisp.
  2. If you like to experiment with different ingredients then feel free to add your favorite salad ingredients to make it your own. Such as adding chopped tomatoes, black beans, or some corn.


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