Clean Three Bean Salad with Cilantro Salsa Dressing

by Sharon on May 6, 2018

This easy and healthy Clean Three Bean Salad with Cilantro Salsa Dressing is the star of the picnic table! Friendly to vegan and gluten free diets and packed full of flavour.

Bean Salad in a large glass mixing bowl with fresh cilantro and wooden salad utensils in the background


I’ve got a cleanse coming up next week and I’ve been devising my meal plan.

also wanted to use up some pantry items and leftover veggies in the bottom of the crisper! I hate throwing things out. So I threw together what I’m calling Clean Three Bean Salad with Cilantro Salsa Dressing. It turned out so good I had to share. 

The bonus with bean salads is the benefit of protein without having to cook meat!

 Also, in the summer heat there is nothing nicer than a cool meal out of the fridge, ready to go and full of flavour.

Bean Salad in a large glass mixing bowl with fresh cilantro and wooden salad utensils in the background

Clean Three Bean Salad with Cilantro Salsa Dressing

This salad had humble beginnings with the beans. I used kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas, as well as some sliced bell peppers and red onion.

beans and sliced vegetables in a large white mixing bowl

There was a bit of cilantro in the fridge from the chicken soup I made a few days back. Actually, the peppers were leftover from that soup as well!

This is my usual routine to make sure that all the food in my fridge has been eaten before the next grocery shop. I do spend quite bit of money on my food by purchasing organic and local when possible. I do not want to be throwing any of that in the garbage.

So with peppers and cilantro leftover, into this meal they went!

I have to say that a wee bit of magic was created when I made the dressing for this bean salad. I had a jar of salsa in the fridge that needed to be used up so that became the base for this simple dressing.

I’m a fan of making my salad dressings in a small mason jar but since I would be using all the salsa that was left, the salsa jar became my mixing bowl. 🙂 

Into the jar with the salsa went chopped cilantro, minced garlic, and both white and apple cider vinegar. Then I gave it a good shake.

salad dressing in a jar

I poured this over the beans, peppers and onions and tossed everything together thouroughly.

Salad dressing being poured on beans and sliced vegetables

The bowl was covered then stored in the fridge for a couple of hours to let all the flavours marry together.


Bean Salad in a large glass mixing bowl with fresh cilantro and wooden salad utensils in the background

For me, it was love at first bite. This dish had taste, tang, and texture. A perfect salad, not just for my upcoming cleanse but, probably many more times this summer.

Bean Salad in a large glass mixing bowl with fresh cilantro and wooden salad utensils in the background

Serves 4 servings

Clean 3 Bean Salad with Cilantro Salsa Dressing
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  • 3 tins (398ml) of beans, rinsed & drained (I used kidney beans, black beans, & chickpeas)
  • 1 ½ bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup salsa (I love Herdez brand)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Place the beans, peppers, and onion in a large bowl and toss
  2. In a mason jar (or the salsa bottle!) combine the remaining ingredients and shake well
  3. Pour dressing over the bean mixture and toss until well combined
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour
Clean Three Bean Salad with Cilantro Salsa Dressing

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health July 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm
I've never had bean salad but I love beans so I should give this a try! And it's funny, I always think of beans as "eating clean" but people are being told to avoid them now and I don't get it! Mostly Paleo just doesn't make sense to me!
Sharon July 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm
Avoid beans! Gasp! I can only think of one good reason to avoid beans, but it's not because they're unhealthy;)
weight destroyer November 18, 2014 at 10:35 pm
Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!
Dee June 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm
Im not a fan of apple cider vinegar. Any ideas for a substitution. Thanks!
Sharon June 24, 2015 at 10:34 pm
Any vinegar would work! Plain old white vinegar is popular with us. :)
Edlira July 12, 2015 at 12:40 pm
Olive oil and lemon juice work well together.
Sonya January 20, 2016 at 3:22 pm
Finally a bean salad recipe that does NOT contain oil! Thank you for sharing, we will be making this ASAP because we are in the middle of our own version of a juice/raw diet cleanse and I really need to eat something substantial with protein and fibre.
Sharon January 20, 2016 at 3:43 pm
Yay! This is such a winner salad. Hope you enjoy. :) Thanks Sonja!
Susan March 11, 2016 at 8:31 am
Could you make this the night before and keep in the fridge, or is it better freshly made? Thanks
Sharon March 11, 2016 at 10:55 am
It can definitely be made ahead. Thanks Susan! :) We hope you enjoy it.
Cathy May 14, 2018 at 6:39 am
We like to take bean salad with us when we travel with our trailer. I love the simplicity of this one!
Sharon May 14, 2018 at 9:24 am
It's a great traveller! :) Thanks Cathy. Enjoy your week!
Gabby May 14, 2018 at 3:20 pm
hell yeah! What a perfect salad for the summer, and I love the cilantro addition! Pinning this to make!
Sharon May 15, 2018 at 11:25 am
Thanks Gabby! I love cilantro too. I feel for those who get that soap taste. They are missing out!
Nicole | What She Ate May 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm
This would be such a popular dish at BBQ's and picnics this summer. Looks delicious, Sharon!
Sharon May 15, 2018 at 7:26 pm
It is so perfect for summer! Totally portable. :) Thanks Nicole!

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