Flanboyant Eats with Bren: The Secret to a Simple Kidney Bean Salad

Beans are a huge staple in Latin American cuisine. In guizado, potaje, or even refried in traditional Mexican dishes—they're tasty, healthy and a great source of protein.

For a soiree I hosted some time ago, I had a good Latina friend make a red bean salad. I wasn't expecting much—after all you can use canned beans! But, between the crunch of the green pepper, the aromatic flavors of the cilantro and the olive oil and the tang of the vinegar, it was divine.For those of us that don’t like traditional green leaf salads (like myself), this is a killer option!

Canned beans are useful because they are already cooked, have some flavor and are ready to eat. If I’m using canned black beans, I’ll always add sofrito and some spices. In this salad’s case, none of that is required. Drain the beans, chop up your vegetables, add your oils, flavoring agents and combine!

This salad is simple, super fast and it’s healthy. It’s bold, baby. Just the way I like it.  Make it for your next dinner or party and I promise no one will be disappointed.

Below is my version of her recipe.


◦    2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed & drained

◦    1/4 cup red onion, diced

◦    1/4 green or red bell pepper, diced

◦    1 large tomato, diced

◦    1 cup cilantro, rough chop

◦    2-3 garlic cloves, minced

◦    4 tbsp. olive oil

◦    2 tsp. red wine vinegar

◦    salt and fresh black pepper to taste

◦    1 lemon or lime


In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with crostini or as a side dish.

Serves 6-8.

For more cooking advice from Bren Herrera, visit flanboyanteats.com.