Mexican 3 Bean Salad for a #Picnic #SundaySupper

Are you ready for a twist on your classic 3 bean salad? Give this Mexican 3 Bean Salad a try and your family will say "Muy bueno!"

I was so excited when I found out the theme for this week's Sunday Supper was "Picnic". 

Living in Washington picnic weather is fleeting, so squeezing in as much picnic time as possible is a huge goal for my family. Sunshine, good food, and family? That is a trifecta in my mind

We all love the typical picnic fare like Red Skin Potato Salad, and Spicy Coleslaw. But we also love to change it up with dishes like Deviled Potato Salad, Ultimate Potato Salad, Kitchen Sink Macaroni Salad, and, Spicy Tropical Slaw. However, for this week, I wanted to take another family favorite and switch it up a bit. 

3 bean salad is a classic picnic dish. But I am obsessed with Mexican flavors, so I knew I wanted to come up with a dish that celebrated them. Cilantro and lime are ever present in Mexican dishes and we love things a bit spicy, so the addition of serrano peppers were a must in my mind. This gives the salad a wonderful flavor, with a little zip, but doesn't require a ton of time or money to achieve. That makes it one perfect dish! 

Mexican 3 Bean Salad                                                                    
Serves 8 

1 bunch cilantro
2 to 3 Serrano peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced

Place the cilantro, the Serrano, garlic, white wine vinegar, lime zest, and cumin in a food processor and blend well, adding the olive oil as it mixes.

In a large bowl combine the sauce with the beans, stir to combine well.


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  1. Muy bueno! Cilantro always adds zip to a salad and I bet the peppers do, too. Muchos gracias for sharing this super-healthy recipe...BTW Do you ever picnic beneath the cherry blossom trees in Washington?

    1. We don't have any cherry blossom trees close by, but I would love to they are so beautiful!

  2. I love this version. My mom makes an Italian version, but now it's time to switch countries.

  3. What a beautiful salad, Bobbi! I could eat this whole bowl. Best part of bean salad is that it just keeps getting better the longer it sits around.

  4. My daughter would be fighting me for the spoon to get at this first, great salad!!

  5. I LOVE 3 bean salad! This looks fantastic, I love the Serrano peppers!

  6. Bean salads always remind me of my dad! I need to treat him to yours!

  7. oooo yum! I love Mexican flavors too and this sounds like great a yummy side dish! I bet it'd be good to use as a "dip" for some Tortilla scoops!

  8. I love the twist of Mexican flavors!

  9. I wish I had this recipe in college, it would have made the best non-cafeteria lunch!

  10. I love all the Mexican flavors in this salad! yummmm

  11. I haven't had three bean salad in years. I love your twist and addition of cilantro and peppers.

  12. This is a perfect picnic dish and I LOVE the little zip you added! What a bonus that it is so easy to put together.

  13. I just got really in to beans. They are so tasty! Along with the pepper and cilantro, I'd have to stop myself from devouring the whole bowl!

    1. Oh you and me both! I will eat beans straight out of the can. My bf thinks I am completely nuts!!

  14. You sold me with the black beans!

  15. Yum, it has been way too long since I had a Mexican 3 bean salad. I use to make one when we lived in Texas but for some reason I haven't thought about making it since. Need to change that soon.

  16. Such a perfect type of salad for a picnic, because I'm sure it can sit out for a little while without getting weird. Great recipe!

  17. This salad is "right up my alley." Love the variety of ingredients.


  18. Oh my!! This is perfect for picnics! Simple, cool and delicious :)