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! Jump to the Bean Salad Recipe

Bean Salad with Cucumbers, Parsley, and Onion

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:

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


    Add 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.

    Meanwhile, 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.

    Add 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.

    The 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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46 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Piper February 16, 2022, 7:09 pm

    Thank you! Am making your tomato soup now for lunch with a friend tomorrow!

  • Mary February 12, 2022, 10:24 am

    Made this for the second time and added a red pepper. It looks like I spent hours making it! The first time I made it, it was a big hit and I know it will be gone soon now too! Thank you for the great new option. It’s great to have something new, different and healthy! I may sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese on top!

  • Stacey January 31, 2022, 4:54 am

    I love this salad, and extremely easy to make. I used butter beans, and some maple syrup in the dressing. Thanks for your recipe.

  • yves l. December 16, 2021, 5:35 pm

    this recipe is a keeper. very very delicious. I used fresh parsley and fresh basil for my herbs and added the juice of one lime. thank you so much for posting. You now have a new subscriber.

  • Rodericka Freeman September 26, 2021, 10:33 am

    Wow, happened to stumble on your cite and your food looks so delicious and super easy to prepare. I immediately looked for where I can purchase the cookbook until I saw that you offer a free eCookbook. Well, Thank You!!!!!!

  • Cherry Jackson September 24, 2021, 2:33 pm

    Love recipe

  • Jade17 September 9, 2021, 4:42 pm

    great recipe and so easy and nutritious. I included a chopped stalk of celery, the honey, and 1/2 a minced serrano pepper for a little heat. This recipe is a keeper!

  • Jade231 September 7, 2021, 11:36 pm

    This tasted fabulous! I used a can each of black, pinto, and navy beans, plus added 1 stalk of chopped celery for more crunch, and a tablespoon of finely minced serrano pepper for some heat. I added about a tablespoon of honey. This recipe is a keeper – so easy, yummy, and nutritious.

  • Violet August 24, 2021, 6:49 pm

    Made this to accompany some bratwursts. It was rather bland probably becasue I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand and increased the chopped veggie ratio. I used cucumbers and a medium yellow pepper, plus a canned no-sodium 6 bean mix. Also I increased the dried herbs (Herbes de Provence, plus some basil and oregano) plus I added minced garlic to the dressing, to compensate for the lack of fresh herbs. The only wine vinegar I had on hand was tarragon wine vinegar, so I used that plus a few grinds of sea salt. I used chopped cucumber and Because my brother has an onion allergy, I left the onion out – and still it tasted bland – but I ended up adding chopped pickled pearl onions on top of the individual servings of this on every one else’s salad. I chopped my bratwurst up and stirred it in – and it was great! Would definitely make it again.

  • Nkhensani August 9, 2021, 7:07 am


  • Tracey July 12, 2021, 12:32 am

    Deliciosa! Wow, tried you bean salad and roasted cauliflower and tahini dressing, all the same night; really yummy, definitely keepers, thanks so much, t

  • Linea June 21, 2021, 7:40 am

    Made this for Father’s Day. I always make bean salad but wanted to shake it up-loved the capers & dressing, great flavor, very easy & we all loved it. Thank you!

  • Cindy June 12, 2021, 4:06 pm

    We loved this salad! Perfect for summer as a side for most anything. Didn’t change a thing and was happy to get the advice about soaking the onion to minimize its harshness. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Bobbi Preston June 6, 2021, 3:44 pm

    I recently made your Easy Bean Salad and liked it so much (husband did too). I used fresh dill and a Vidalia onion which was so mild that I didn’t have to soak it in cold water. This salad was really tasty and refreshing. Plan on making it in the future. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Christina June 13, 2021, 11:20 am

      I made this last night to accompany your Turkey burgers. It was great, and I suspect if we eat the balance tonight it will be even more flavorful. I used chic peas, black beans and a can of lima beans, and lots of fresh parsley. I had fresh oregano and cilantro growing and added a bit of both. This was much tastier than the 3 bean salad I grew up with. I used green onion (a lot!) and soaked it because my husband has indigestion from raw onion, and mostly white wine vinegar, because that’s what I had. I’ve been using canned beans for decades, and your multiple rinse instruction improved them. Thanks again!

  • Shery Sullivan June 1, 2021, 9:55 am

    I’ll be making this salad to go with your ribs slow cooked in my oven, the coolness will go well with the spicy ribs.


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