I had highfalutin plans for this Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice. Layers of multi-dimensional grains! Beans of different textures! Crunchy veggies! Vibrant color! It was to be an approachable, yet sophisticated side for your end-of-summer soirees, Labor Day get-togethers, and upcoming tailgates. I stirred the ingredients together, stepped back to admire my handiwork, and realized…I had made fancy rice and beans.

Mexican Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice

Despite its lack of originality (rice and beans Erin, really?), I stand by my prior intentions for this recipe. You see, these aren’t just any old rice and beans—these are sexy rice and beans with jalapenos, red peppers, and a sassy honey lime dressing. They belong at every one of your potlucks from now until October, beside your Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burger at dinner, and warmed with an egg on top for lunch (so good). I’ll even go so far as to recommend that you nibble this Three Bean Salad cold out of the refrigerator when what you should be doing is brushing your teeth and going to bed like a grown up. Yes, this Three Bean Salad recipe is that tasty.

Three Bean Wild Rice Salad. The ultimate potluck recipe!

Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice and Confetti Veggies

OK, now that we’ve established that you are about to experience rice and beans as never before, let’s discuss specifics. For the beans, we have three: black, garbanzo, and kidney. I like this combination because each bean brings its unique texture and color to the salad shindig, but you can feel free to use any beans you prefer or have in your pantry.

Easy Three Bean Salad

For the rice, I left the tame white stuff behind and opted for a whole grain brown and wild rice medley, which makes the three bean salad more filling (thank you fiber) and more dynamically flavored too.

Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice

Finally, for the pizzazz, I added a confetti of colorful veggies: diced red peppers, fiery jalapenos, and cutie green peas. Yes, I put peas in the rice and beans. My logic was that they are often found in fried rice, so why not cross cultures and add them to rice and beans too? They add a nice sweetness without which this bean salad recipe would not feel complete. Plus, more veggies equals more good vibes following that third helping I know you are going to want.

Southwest Three Bean Salad

Rice and beans fit for a queen—or a college football crowd. This is an equal opportunity meal.

Mexican Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice
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Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice

Yield: 8 -10 servings
Total Time:
20 mins
Three bean salad with wild rice that can be made ahead and tastes great at room temperature. Perfect for picnics, potlucks and leftovers!


  • 3 cups cooked wild rice blend — cooled
  • 1 can kidney beans — (14 ounces) dark or light, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans — (14 ounces) rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans — (14 ounces) rinsed and drained
  • 1 package frozen peas — (10 ounces) thawed
  • 1 red bell pepper — diced
  • 1-2 jalapenos — diced (if sensistive to spice, remove seeds and membrane and just add 1)
  • 1/2 red onion — diced
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey — sub agave to make vegan
  • 2 limes — zest and juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, peas, bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, and cilantro.
  2. In a small bowl, large measuring cup, or mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, honey, lime zest, lime juice, and salt. Pour over the salad, then toss gently to combine. If time allows, refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Salad will taste best eaten within two days but can last three or four tightly covered in the refrigerator. Freeze, tightly covered, for up to 1 month. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Salad Recipe, Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice

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