This deliciously simple Red Kidney Bean Salad is perfect for a quick lunch, side dish for dinner, picnic in the park, or backyard BBQ. Easily doubled or tripled for a crowd. And it only gets better as it sits, so it’s the perfect make-ahead dish. Ready in just 15 minutes!
This kidney bean salad has been my go-to lunch for the past several weeks. I just love the all of the fresh simple ingredients together. As the salad sits, the cucumbers release some of their juice which then become part of the dressing flavors. It’s delicious eaten immediately, but leftovers are even better!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Kidney beans ~ Kidney beans are one of my favorite legumes. They’re a staple on my plant based grocery list and I use them to make burgers, soup, chili mac, and dip.
They are quite mild in flavor and easily absorb the tastes of the ingredients they are paired with. They hold their shape well, which makes them a great choice for both cold and hot dishes.
They’re inexpensive, versatile, and nutritious!
I use canned for convenience, but you can cook your own from scratch if you like. Be sure to drain and rinse canned beans well before adding them to the salad.
If you aren’t keen on kidney beans, you can use chickpeas, black beans, or white beans, like cannellini or navy beans.
Radishes ~ Raw radishes have a peppery, spicy bite and are a nice contrast to the creamy beans and cool cucumber.
Diced bell peppers or carrots would be a nice substitute if you don’t like radishes.
Cucumber ~ Cucumbers are fresh, cool, and hydrating. I prefer English cucumbers for their thin skin and minimal seeds.
If you have a regular cucumber, be sure to wash the waxy surface of the skin well, or peel it. I also suggest halving the cucumber lengthwise and scraping out the seeds with a spoon.
Parsley ~ Fresh parsley brings a lovely herby lemon flavor. It adds a lot of flavor to this dish. Do not sub with dried parsley!
Cilantro may be used instead if you prefer.
How to make the recipe
To a large mixing bowl, add the red kidney beans (1), diced cucumbers (2), sliced radishes (3), and diced red onion (4).
To the same bowl, add the fresh parsley (5) and salt and pepper (6).
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small jar (7) or bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss well to combine (8).
Storage and freezing
Fridge: Store this kidney bean salad in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
Freezer: I do not recommend freezing this salad.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Drain and rinse the canned kidney beans well. Or try chickpeas, black beans, cannellini beans or navy beans instead.
~ Chop the cucumbers and radishes into bite size pieces about the same size as the kidney beans.
~ Use fresh parsley, not dried! Or try cilantro for a different spin.
~ This kidney bean salad gets better as it sits, making it the perfect make-ahead meal prep dish.
~ For an oil-free option, skip the dressing and use a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Kidney beans, like most other beans, are incredibly healthy. They boast high amounts of fiber, folate, protein, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and so much more!
They can help stabilize blood sugar, increase energy levels, lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and possibly even help in treating/preventing cancers. [source]
Bonus: kidney beans are basically fat-free – so eat up this easy bean salad guilt free!
Cooked properly, red kidney beans can be part of a healthy diet. However, they should never been eaten raw or only partially cooked. They contain a naturally occurring toxin called Phytohaemagglutinin. Boiling the beans for 10 minutes deactivates the toxin. It is also recommended to soak them overnight before cooking. [source]
Never cook kidney beans in a slow cooker, as they are only simmered at low temperatures and not boiled.
This salad is great on it’s own for a light lunch or eat it as a side dish as a part of a heartier meal. Toss it with leafy greens, quinoa, or leftover rice for a different spin. It’s even great as an appetizer served with crusty slices of baguette.
More easy vegan bean salads
- Cucumber Chickpea Salad
- Healthy Vegan Taco Salad
- Easy White Bean Salad
- Black Eyed Peas Salad
- Vegan Chickpea Salad
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Kidney Bean Salad
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans drained and rinsed (or 3.5 cups cooked kidney beans)
- 1 English cucumber diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 4 radishes diced (about ¾ cup)
- ¼ – ½ of a medium red onion diced (about ¾ cup)
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup use 2 teaspoons if you like it sweeter
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- Add kidney beans, cucumber, radishes, red onion, parsley, salt and pepper to a medium mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, pure maple syrup and oil.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss well to combine.
- Eat immediately or cover and refrigerate. It only gets better as it sits!
Storage/Freezing Store this kidney bean salad in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.
I made this last night for supper; it is simple, but tasty. With the weather cooling down, radishes are good again, and I always love beans 🙂 I only remove cucumber seeds when making dishes like tabouli where I want to emphasize the crunch factor.
Jenn Sebestyen says
Glad you enjoyed it, Lynne!
Kathy Moore W5052 Clearwater Lane says
I use to remove the cucumber seeds – then one day I read how nutritious they are.
Jenn Sebestyen says
I’m sure that’s true and, like I said, with an English cucumber I never remove them. But the thicker, tougher seeds of a regular cucumber aren’t that pleasant. To each their own.
David B. Pratt says
easy and great changed some ingrediants to on hand but is great..
Jenn Sebestyen says
Thank you, David! Happy to hear you enjoyed it!
Jessica Levinson says
This kidney bean salad is perfect for summer gatherings! So easy and sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Jenn S. says
Thanks, Jessica! I think so too!
This salad looks so refreshing and nutritious and perfect for warm weather! What if I left the oil out? I’m trying to cook with no oil. Can you think of any substitutions?
Jenn S. says
Hi, Julie! I think you could definitely swap out the oil. Try a little dijon mustard instead. Start with a tbsp and add more if needed. You might need a little more sweetener to balance the tang, too. Let me know how it turns out!
Whitney E, R.D. says
I love kidney beans + this salad looks absolutely amazing! I can taste all that deliciousness from here. The incorporation of cucumbers is my favorite part. This is so colorful and refreshing 🙂
Jenn S. says
The cucumbers are key! They really lighten up the flavors! Thanks, Whitney!