Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice

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.

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Three Bean Salad with Wild Rice

Three bean salad with wild rice that can be made ahead and tastes great at room temperature. Perfect for picnics, potlucks and leftovers!


Yield: Serves 8-10

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:


  • 3 cups cooked wild rice blend, cooled

  • 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans (dark or light), rinsed and drained

  • 1 (14-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas, 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


Directions:


  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.


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.


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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

24 comments

  1. Hey girl – This looks really good!

  2. I am a HUGE beans and rice fan, and am absolutely LOVING this dish, Erin! BEAUTIFUL!

  3. Yum! love the wild rice here – delicious!

  4. “Sassy dressing” made me laugh. This is my kind of salad!

  5. Being an Arizona native, I LOVE all things rice and beans. But you certainly kicked it up a notch with this one! When you use jalapenos in recipes, do you taste each one before you use it? I know the spiciness varies greatly from pepper to pepper. Just curious how you control the heat. 

    • Great question Heather! That would be a wise move, but I tend to play fast and loose and just add them, since we like spicy food. Pre-tasting is definitely something you could do to be on the safe side though!

  6. Rice and beans is a true favourite of mine, but this version sounds even better! I’m in love with the jalapeño addition! 

  7. Thanks for this recipe Erin. I also wanted to say thank you for your other great recipes and the print option. They print out beautifully and with a picture. :)

  8. Kentucky Lady 717 Reply

    Looks so delicious….never had bean salad with rice, but will try it….thanks for a great recipe…..love your recipes Erin…..you are one of the nicest bloggers :) I was drawn to you by the name of your blog, since I worked for attorneys ….you had me from day one :) …..

  9. Hey! There’s nothing wrong with beans and rice…nothing at all. Plus, this is a fresh new take on beans and rice…done healthy and seriously beautiful! 

  10. I made this for my husband last night and he absolutely loved it. The spice of the jalapeno with the slightly sweet taste of the honey mixture was perfect. Thanks for posting!

  11. Thank you Erin for the lovely salads.

  12. Can you sub the limes for lemons? The delivery subbed me limes for lemons 😪

    • Hi Amy! I do think limes are best for the recipe because they pair well with the other southwestern flavors and ingredients. That said, if you absolutely can’t get limes, lemons will do in a pinch—the final flavor will just be different.

      • Thankyou Erin :) I’ll try and get some limes…but getting out and about is awkward for me so I tend to do all my grocery shopping online!

  13. Looks great! I am thinking of making this for a camping trip, but will need to make it 2-3 days in advance. Do you think it would still be edible if I mixed the beans, rice and veggies separate from the dressing mix, and then waited to pour the dressing on when we are ready to eat? I’m afraid the dressing might solidify or the beans might get soggy. Any suggestions?

  14. I love this recipe.  For a diabetic trying to eat good carbs, this makes a perfect meal!!!

    Rating: 5

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