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Make Cool Bean Salads - 3 Quick and Easy Summer Recipes
Black Bean and Corn Salad
There is nothing easier than opening a few cans of ingredients, pouring them into a bowl, adding fresh vegetables for crunch, and tossing with a few splashes of dressing. And there is nothing that cools the summer heat as nicely as a refreshing, cool bean salad made the day before and taken right from the refrigerator to grace your summer table. Cool summer bean salads keep both you and the kitchen free of stress...and heat.
Black bean and corn salad, three bean salad, and kidney bean salad are low in fat, rich in fiber, and packed with nutrition. They are rather filling, too. A little goes a long way. You may want to think of them as side dishes to accompany main courses, rather than salads to serve before or after meals.
These three exceptionally tasty bean salads are among the best of quick and easy summer recipes because they need no cooking, require only a short prep time, and please nearly everyone.
Black Bean and Corn Salad - Tangy and Bright
I was inspired to create this recipe while enjoying a meal at Applebee’s restaurant. A few years ago, their menu included a selection of Tex-Mex dishes accompanied by a corn salad, like hamburgers and sandwiches are accompanied by french fries. Applebee’s corn salad side dish did not have a hot bite to it, as you might think. Instead, it was refreshing and cooling, letting the sweetness of the corn predominate.
The taste of this corn salad haunted me from the first time I ate it, and I didn’t quit trying to duplicate the taste until I came up with this recipe. Although the Applebee’s recipe did not include black beans, I added black beans later and thought the addition to be stellar. Try this super quick and easy, tangy and bright black bean and corn salad at your next summer BBQ.
Grape Tomato Quartered
- 1 15.5-ounce Can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 15-ounce Can “fiesta” style corn, drained (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 Cup sweet or red onion, diced
- 1 Cup grape or cherry tomatoes, ends cut off and quartered (you will get about a cup from a pint of whole grape or cherry tomatoes)
- 1/3 Cup Nakano flavored rice vinegar
- 1/8 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and put in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. That’s it!
Nakano Seasoned Vinegars Online
You don’t have to use the fiesta style corn, which is a canned sweet corn with bits of red and green bell pepper added for flavor and color.
If you choose to use plain canned corn and diced fresh bell peppers instead, use about 1/3 cup of each diced pepper and then adjust the Nakano accordingly. I love fresh vegetables, but when it comes to keeping cool in the summer kitchen, I’ll just use the “fiesta” and avoid any chopping and dicing I can.
If you'd like to try this salad with a sweeter dressing, use Maddie Ruud's Vegetable Salad Marinade.
If you want a black bean and corn salad with some fire, add a finely diced jalapeno pepper to the salad bowl and then a few drops of hot sauce to the Nakano. But remember, the point of this salad is to keep everybody cool!
3 Bean Salad
Cousin Ann's Three Bean Salad - Crunchy and Sweet
Many of us know three bean salad as a sweet affair, with different varieties of beans pickled in a sweet and tangy sauce. The usual combination of beans includes green beans, wax beans, and kidney beans to which are added vinegar, sugar, and salt to make a superb sweet side dish. In the US, you can buy three-bean salad in a jar at your grocer’s. Its overwhelming aspect is sweet, while its texture is usually somewhat flat, flaccid, and dull.
Several years ago at a family reunion, my cousin Ann made her version of three bean salad. This bean salad was not just a sweet treat, rather it had the flavor of summer and a crunch that delighted the teeth. Gifting me with her secret, Ann said, “Sherri, you can serve this salad and people will think you spent all day making it, but it takes only minutes.” She was right. To impress your guests, whip up this crunchy three bean salad in no time at all. Of the three recipes featured here, this one is the quickest--five minutes prep time, tops!
3 Bean Salads Online To Use as the Base for this Recipe
- 1 Quart Jar prepared three bean salad
- 1 15-ounce Can chick peas (garbanzos) packed in water, drained and rinsed
- 1 Large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 Large green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or over night.
You will be amazed at the crunchy and sweet aspect of this simple bean salad. When your guests voice their appreciation for the effort you put into making this cool and cooling summer salad, soak up the praise. My cousin Ann would say, “Well, bless your heart. I had to miss church on Sunday to make this dish for you, but it was worth it!”
Kidney Bean Salad
Kidney Bean Salad - Piquant Yet Mild
Kidney bean salad permeates my childhood, like Russian dressing. It’s something my mother made, and still makes, often. To this day, I recall from years ago the smell of my mother’s refrigerator when I opened the door just after she put this salad in the refrigerator to cool and marinate. The aromas of fresh celery and onions and kidney beans marinating in real mayonnaise are heaven’s scent.
Again, this recipe uses simple ingredients, requires no cooking, and thus you, your kitchen, guests, and family will stay cool. If this recipe isn’t a crowd pleaser and a soon to become family favorite, then I’ve been spilling some wrong beans.
Fresh Celery and Onion
- 1 15-ounce Can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed. Let the kidney beans sit in a strainer or colander for a half hour or so, making sure all the water has drained.
- 1/2 Cup celery, minced
- 1/2 Cup sweet or red onion, minced
- 4 Gherkin pickles, minced
- 1/8 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper (a “pinch” or two)
- 2 Level tablespoons of Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise. It might look as though you should add more than that, but don’t. When this kidney bean salad is mixed and marinating in the refrigerator, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise are enough to bring out the flavor of the beans and enhance the tastes of the other ingredients.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate
for a few hours or over night. The longer the kidney bean salad marinates, the better.
Serve with a slotted spoon if the salad is to be placed among other offerings on a single plate.
Plan Ahead for Your Next BBQ
The next time you plan a summer BBQ, put one of these refreshing bean salads on the menu. These are quick and easy summer recipes that can be done the day before and stashed over night in the refrigerator. They are sure to be instant crowd pleasers and new family favorites.
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Recipes appearing in Sally’s Trove articles are original, having been created and tested in our family kitchens, unless otherwise noted.