Ridiculously Easy Bean Salad

This classic bean salad is perfect for picnics, barbecues and make ahead meals. To make it, we combine beans (canned or home cooked), onion, crisp cucumber, capers, parsley, and a tangy dressing. Easy and delicious!

Watch the Video

Easy Bean Salad Recipe Video

Related: We love these black bean burgers!

Our Favorite Bean Salad

Bean salads are my go to when entertaining (especially during the summer). I also find myself making them for make ahead meals throughout the week. This simple bean salad is versatile and can be made with whatever beans you have in your pantry. Use canned or home cooked — see our recipes for how to cook black beans and how to cook chickpeas.

Ingredients for bean salad (beans, onion, cucumbers and parsley)

In our photos, we’ve used chickpeas, pinto beans and black beans. For a more traditional three bean salad, you could swap in kidney beans and canned or blanched green beans for the black beans and pinto beans. Or make it a five bean salad and just add them! As I said, this salad is very versatile. Simply use what you have in your kitchen.

I love keeping the flavors in this salad light and so the dressing only requires a quick whisk of red wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and a bit of dried herbs. I use dried oregano, but a blend like Italian seasoning or Herbes de Provence would work nicely, too.

Serving the Bean Salad

More bean salads: Try our Kale and Bean Salad with Tahini Dressing or this Black Bean and Quinoa Salad.

Our tips for making the best bean salad

  1. When using canned beans, drain them and rinse under cold water before tossing with the other salad ingredients. The liquid in the can can taste a bit salty and since it has starch from the beans, it can make the salad’s dressing look murky.
  2. Add fresh herbs to the salad. I love fresh parsley and add a lot. Other herbs will work, too. Try basil, mint, tarragon, dill and cilantro. When adding tarragon, add to taste since it is a bit more pungent than other fine herbs.
  3. Add some crunch to balance the texture of the beans. We add cucumber, but celery, fennel, jicama and bell peppers are all excellent crunchy veggies to add.
  4. Chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to allow the beans to marinate in the dressing.
  5. Store the salad in the refrigerator up to 4 days (maybe longer).
Salad with beans, cucumbers, onion, and parsley

More easy bean salads

For more bean salads, take a look at these:

Bean Salad with Cucumbers, Parsley, and Onion

Ridiculously Easy Bean Salad

  • PREP

The beans you choose to use for this simple bean salad is up to you. Both canned or home cooked beans will work. When using canned, drain and rinse the beans first before adding to the salad.

Makes about 6 cups

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

For the Salad

3 (15-ounce) cans beans, drained and rinsed or use 4 ½ cups cooked beans

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1 medium cucumber, finely chopped (about 2 cups)

3 tablespoons drained capers

1/2 cup (60 grams) finely chopped fresh parsley, see notes

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, see notes

For the Dressing

1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar

1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 to 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup, optional

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


    1Add chopped onions to a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes, drain, and then rinse. This step helps to remove some of the “raw” flavor of the onion so that it does not overpower the salad.

    2Meanwhile, in the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Taste the dressing and then adjust with more salt/pepper. If the dressing tastes too abrasive, whisk in 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup to balance out the vinegar.

    3Add the beans, drained onion, cucumber, parsley, capers and dried oregano. Toss well, cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour to allow the beans to marinate in the dressing.

    4The salad will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • In our photos, we have used chickpeas, black beans and pinto beans. You can use these or other cooked or canned beans for the salad.
  • Honey/Maple Syrup: Depending on the vinegar you use, you might find the dressing a little too vinegary. To balance this out, simply whisk in a little sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
  • Fresh herbs: Parsley is classic in this salad, but other fine herbs work nicely, too. Try basil, mint, dill, cilantro or tarragon. When using tarragon, use a bit less than what is called for in the recipe above since it has a stronger flavor.
  • Dried herbs: I enjoy dried oregano in this salad, but other herb blends will work nicely. Try an Italian, Mediterranean or French dried spice blend (like Herbes de Provence).
  • Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size about 1/2 cup / Calories 135 / Total Fat 6.3g / Saturated Fat 0.8g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 343.5mg / Carbohydrate 16g / Dietary Fiber 4.3g / Total Sugars 3.2g / Protein 4.7g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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82 comments… Leave a Review
  • Robin A April 8, 2024, 1:48 pm

    This bean salad rocks! I made it as directed but added half a block of feta at the end. Seriously so easy and good!

    • Joanne April 8, 2024, 2:35 pm

      I love that you added the feta. Such a great idea, Robin! Thank you for coming back and letting us know!

  • Anna K. February 21, 2024, 5:34 pm

    This is probably the best tasting & looking bean salad I’ve ever had! Excellent flavor and I love the cucumber CRUNCH.

    • Joanne February 21, 2024, 6:41 pm

      That’s fantastic! I’m so happy it turned out to be your favorite bean salad – I adore the cucumber crunch too!

  • Janet February 12, 2024, 1:21 pm

    This was delicious! I pretty much made this as directed. I used a little more cucumber than it called for because it just would have gone to waste and I added 1 red and 1 orange pepper because they would have gone to waste. I don’t really think any of that changed the flavor of this recipe, it just gave it a little more color. I did 1 and half times the dressing because of that but I probably didn’t need to. I would say you can probably use any variety of of veggies you like. If you like the dressing… which I love… just keep the veggies portions and you should be good. I’m making this again soon because I want to try it with some corrots and celery.

  • barb January 10, 2024, 2:20 pm

    This was delicious! Just had the beans, red onion, and celery on hand and used yellow mustard in the dressing. Fabulous. It’s a keep reicpe.

  • Patty Sciandra January 7, 2024, 3:25 pm

    This recipe is unbelievably good. The capers are a game changer. The only change I made was I added grape tomoatoes. 2 of us ate the entire bowl. Made this twice in one week. This is now a go to recipe! Thank you!

  • Lila Clements November 17, 2023, 6:20 pm

    This recipe is delicious! The dressing was especially good and the onion tip really worked!

  • Kay September 2, 2023, 3:40 pm

    Would you suggest adding arugula to the salad?

    • Joanne September 2, 2023, 7:01 pm

      If you plan on eating it the same day, yes! Arugula doesn’t hold up well once it is in dressing.

  • Dana August 15, 2023, 11:28 pm

    Can I omit the mustard?

    • Joanne August 23, 2023, 3:35 pm



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