44 Recipes From Black Food Bloggers to Celebrate Juneteenth

This year marks the 156th commemoration of Juneteenth. The holiday has largely been celebrated in Texas and certain pockets throughout the American South, but in recent years, people across America and even around the world have taken an interest in wh…

This year marks the 156th commemoration of Juneteenth. The holiday has largely been celebrated in Texas and certain pockets throughout the American South, but in recent years, people across America and even around the world have taken an interest in what Juneteenth, shorthand for June 19th, is all about.

On that day in 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, news reached enslaved African Americans in Texas, finally ending legalized slavery. The day represents freedom, hope, and new beginnings for the Black community, and it is celebrated with parades, educational events, and communing around special foods.

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Three Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s? The anatomy of a bean salad! Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks.

Bean Salad

OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s?

The anatomy of a bean salad!

Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this source). Either way: Alex and I have been enjoying it for our entire lives.

Bean salad recipes vary and most cooks have their own regional spin. The most common ingredients are kidney beans, green beans, and garbanzo beans (it’s often called three bean salad). Other ingredients you’ll often see are pinto beans, wax beans, and onions. It’s almost always marinated in a dressing of vinegar, oil, sugar and salt.

Bean salad recipe

How to make this three bean salad recipe

Our spin on Grandma’s three bean salad is just as easy to make as the 1950’s style classic. That means the main steps are “dump and stir:” open the bean cans and stir everything together! At the same time, we wanted to freshen up the classic by cutting back on the sugar and adding a little freshness. Here are the elements we added to this three bean salad to make a modern spin:

  • Kidney beans and pinto beans: Why no chickpeas? They can have a tough texture and don’t soak up the marinade as quickly. We prefer pinto beans in a bean salad.
  • Green and yellow beans: Use just green beans for a classic three bean salad. But we like the color contrast of adding yellow wax beans to the mix.
  • White onion and red onion: White onion is standard and has the most classic flavor. Red onion adds brightness with the lovely purple! It’s optional but makes a nice visual statement.
  • Curly parsley: The green confetti adds a fresh flavor and visual flair. Use curly parsley if you have it, but Italian also works.
  • White vinegar and olive oil: The salad where it’s appropriate to use white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar? Bean salad. (And German cucumber salad, of course.) It adds just the right astringent punch, balanced by the salt and sugar.
  • Dill and garlic powder: These spices aren’t standard, but they amp the flavors just enough.
Three bean salad

Eat immediately, or marinate at least 1 hour

You can eat your bean salad recipe right away and it’s very tasty. Or pop it in the refrigerator to let it marinate for at least 1 hour, and it’s even better. The refrigeration time really lets the flavors soak in.

The end result? This recipe has half the sugar as the standard, but it’s just as delicious! It’s got all the classic elements so you feel like you’re eating Grandma’s. We’ll be eating this for years to come.

Tip: how to slice the onions

One area where home cooks can be tripped up: how to cut the onions into slivers! The cut that looks best in this bean salad recipe is different from the standard half-moon shape. Some people call it French cut: it’s a way of making the onion slivers look attractive instead of long and floppy.

  • How to do it? It’s easiest to explain by showing you. Go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video!
  • The basic explanation? Cut slices from the tip to the root (instead of through the middle).

Storage info

How long does homemade bean salad last? Store it refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Like a pickle, the flavor intensifies over time! It’s great for lunches throughout the week. Beans don’t last indefinitely refrigerated, so make sure not to leave it longer than the storage recommendation.

Three bean salad recipe

When to serve bean salad (really anytime!)

Last but not least: how to serve bean salad! We’re huge fans of this easy salad and we think it works anytime: picnics, potlucks, and meals any time of the year. It’s a great protein-packed vegan side dish, and it helps to make any vegetarian or plant-based meal more filling. It also is great for summer grilled meals. Here are a few other salads you could pair with it for a stellar summer salad spread:

This bean salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Bean Salad

Classic Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. 


Ingredients

  • 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 15-ounce can white beans or pinto beans
  • 15-ounce can green beans
  • 15-ounce can wax beans (or another 15-ounce can green beans)
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1/4 medium red onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped curly parsley (or Italian parsley)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried dill and garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans. 
  2. Thinly slice the onions into slivers (go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video to see how!). Finely chop the parsley. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the white vinegar, olive oil, sugar, dill, garlic, powder, and kosher salt. Add the beans, onions and parsley and stir until coated. You can eat immediately, but for best results refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the salad to marinate. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Notes

*Use standard white vinegar, not white wine vinegar! 

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Bean salad, bean salad recipe, three bean salad, three bean salad recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Costco’s Recalling Canned Black Beans—Here’s Why

If you’ve recently bought a can of beans from Costco, you may want to keep reading. Faribault Foods, Inc., who sell many of their foods at the chain, have issued a voluntary recall on some of their canned goods due to a potential compromise of their he…

If you’ve recently bought a can of beans from Costco, you may want to keep reading. Faribault Foods, Inc., who sell many of their foods at the chain, have issued a voluntary recall on some of their canned goods due to a potential compromise of their hermetic seals.

A compromised hermetic seal may cause a can to bloat, leak or even support the growth of certain bacterias like Clostridium botulinum, which can lead to botulism. According to the FDA, botulism “poisoning in humans can begin from six hours to two weeks after eating food that contains the toxin. Symptoms may include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness.”

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27 Black Bean Recipes For Every Kind of Dinner Craving

Beans, beans, the magical fruit (or technically, legume). The more you eat, the more…protein, iron, and fiber in your system (so, yes, maybe also more toots.) We love beans indiscriminately—for their nutritious benefits, sure, but mostly for their vers…

Beans, beans, the magical fruit (or technically, legume). The more you eat, the more…protein, iron, and fiber in your system (so, yes, maybe also more toots.) We love beans indiscriminately—for their nutritious benefits, sure, but mostly for their versatility and adaptability when it comes to cooking.

But let’s focus on black beans, given they’re arguably one of the most multifaceted in bean-genre. These little guys span dishes in cultures from East Asia to South America. Black beans are found in various forms, from dried, to canned whole beans, to refried, and, one of our favorites, fermented paste used in comforting stir-fried noodles, that simply can’t be replicated or replaced.

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5-Minute Bean Dip

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite! This recipe happened by accident. That’s where many great recipes come from, right? Happy accidents. From this most recent accident came our famous 5-Minute Bean Dip recipe! It’s not superlative when I say it might be the very easiest recipe we’ve ever created. Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine. But to really understand the magic here: you’ve got to taste it. Ingredients in the fastest, easiest bean dip recipe Alex whipped this up on a whim one night to go with some tacos, and it was so unexpectedly delicious that we decided it needed to go public. We’ve made this so many times, we’ve lost count. The greatness is in its simplicity, because all you need is 3 ingredients (plus salt): Canned borlotti or pinto beans Salsa Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese Pinto beans vs borlotti beans Oddly enough, we first […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite!

Bean dip

This recipe happened by accident. That’s where many great recipes come from, right? Happy accidents. From this most recent accident came our famous 5-Minute Bean Dip recipe! It’s not superlative when I say it might be the very easiest recipe we’ve ever created. Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine. But to really understand the magic here: you’ve got to taste it.

Ingredients in the fastest, easiest bean dip recipe

Alex whipped this up on a whim one night to go with some tacos, and it was so unexpectedly delicious that we decided it needed to go public. We’ve made this so many times, we’ve lost count. The greatness is in its simplicity, because all you need is 3 ingredients (plus salt):

  • Canned borlotti or pinto beans
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
Borlotti beans recipe

Pinto beans vs borlotti beans

Oddly enough, we first made this bean dip recipe with a unique variety of beans: borlotti beans! Alex found them on a whim at our local grocery and we accidentally loved them. This bean dip tastes amazing with the creamy, meaty texture of borlotti beans, but they can be hard to find. Pinto beans work just as well as a substitute! Here’s some info about both:

  • What are borlotti beans? Borlotti beans are a bean related to kidney and pinto beans. They’re common in Italy and Mexico, and also referred to as cranberry beans or cacahuate beans (in Mexico). In their dried state they’re a beautiful dappled white and pink color, but when cooked they look the same color as pinto beans, a sort of pinkish brown. We found them in 13-ounce jars in our local grocery.
  • Pinto beans are the best substitute for borlotti beans! You can easily make this dip with pinto beans and it tastes just as good!
Bean dip recipe

How to make bean dip: the fast way

This dip couldn’t be easier or faster. (Have we emphasized that enough yet?) In fact, you don’t even need to drain or rinse those beans. Yep, just use them right from the can! Here’s the brief overview of how this bean dip recipe comes together:

  • Dump beans, salsa & cheese into a saucepan. Don’t drain or rinse the beans: the can liquid is important to getting just the right texture.
  • Heat until the cheese melts. You’ll see it go from mostly melted to becoming a sort of liquid cheese. That’s when it’s ready! Serve when it’s piping hot.

Can you substitute cooked dry beans?

Usually we’re all about cooking dried beans. But in this bean dip recipe, we do not recommend substituting cooked dry beans. Why? Canning beans makes their membranes very tender, almost mushy. Canned beans also have thickened can liquid, which is impossible to obtain at home when you cook from dry. You need both of these things in order for this bean dip to come together so quickly with just the right texture. Save those beans for one of these bean recipes!

Bean dip

Add a garnish for some flair

Typically we serve this bean dip without a garnish. But if you want to take it over the top for parties, add a garnish! Throw a few chopped veggies in the center of the dip, and the color contrast looks lovely. Here are a few ideas for the garnish:

  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Red onion or green onion, finely chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Hot sauce (like Cholula)

Vegan variation (and healthy option!)

Wait, you don’t want a gooey cheesy bean dip? We’ve got an option for you too. This Easy Refried Bean Dip is vegan and full of flavor! You’ll use storebought canned refried beans instead of whole beans, and mix it with green chiles and seasonings. It’s terrifically delicious and a smidge healthier than this bean dip recipe, if you’re looking for something lighter.

How to make bean dip

What to pair with bean dip

That’s it! You’ve got your bean dip faster than the time it takes you to read this article. Lastly, here are a few things we’d pair with bean dip. You can likely think of these yourself, but we wanted to point to a few specific recipes:

This bean dip recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the substitutes above.

Print
Bean dip

5-Minute Bean Dip


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite! 


Ingredients

  • 2 13 or 15-ounce jars borlotti beans or cans pinto beans
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • 8 ounces mild or medium salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan: no need to drain or rinse the beans (add the can liquid too)! Warm it over medium heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Mash beans gently with a masher if you’d like a smoother texture. Taste and add another pinch of salt if necessary.
  2. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. If desired, you can garnish with chopped veggies: we used a bit of finely chopped tomato, red onion and green onion with a drizzle of Cholula hot sauce.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Bean dip, bean dip recipe

More great dip recipes

We love to dip, over here! Here are some of our top favorite dip recipes if you’re looking for more inspiration:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

How Long Do Dried Beans Last? (Not Forever, Sorry)

Dried beans: When the world ends, they will still be in your pantry, ready to become soup at a moment’s notice. Right?
Sadly, it is not so.
Just because you can keep dried beans forever does not necessarily mean it will be helpful. Old beans will take…

Dried beans: When the world ends, they will still be in your pantry, ready to become soup at a moment's notice. Right?

Sadly, it is not so. Just because you can keep dried beans forever does not necessarily mean it will be helpful. Old beans will take longer to cook, and the oldest beans will stay tough and chewy no matter how long (within reason), they simmer. If you find yourself cooking soaked beans for more than two hours, and they just will not soften, it may be your beans...not you.

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28 Versatile Ways to Celebrate Chickpeas (Even if You Think You’re Tired of Them)

If you’re anything like me (read: a vegetarian; a lover of good food; a sorta impatient person), chickpeas are in heavy rotation in your cooking—especially now. As of this writing, a pound of the dried stuff and seven cans of cooked chickpeas are hangi…

If you're anything like me (read: a vegetarian; a lover of good food; a sorta impatient person), chickpeas are in heavy rotation in your cooking—especially now. As of this writing, a pound of the dried stuff and seven cans of cooked chickpeas are hanging out in my pantry, just waiting to be used. (The dried ones are calling for a long Sunday simmer as I putter around the house.)

You need no telling how flexible, satiating, and flat-out delicious chickpeas can be, so I won't tell you. I'll just show off 28 ways these little legumes strut their stuff, in crunchy-roasted snacks, slurpable stews, and sweets (yes!) alike.

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10 Hearty Recipes That Prove Dried Beans Are Here for You

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make th…

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.


A confession: When a recipe calls for soaking dried beans overnight, I nearly never do it. I would normally just go to the store, buy a can of beans, open it, and proceed from there. I’ve just saved myself 12 hours, I think.

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Fideo loco

A few years ago, I was enjoying breakfast tacos at Pete’s in San Antonio and I spotted a sign advertising fideo loco. In…
Source

A few years ago, I was enjoying breakfast tacos at Pete’s in San Antonio and I spotted a sign advertising fideo loco. In…

Source

Stovetop Baked Beans

Use canned beans to cut down on time, while still making party-worthy baked beans on the stovetop. Richly flavored with molasses and brown sugar, these beans won’t disappoint. Continue reading “Stovetop Baked Beans” »

Use canned beans to cut down on time, while still making party-worthy baked beans on the stovetop. Richly flavored with molasses and brown sugar, these beans won’t disappoint.

Continue reading "Stovetop Baked Beans" »