This quick and easy kidney bean salad is the perfect side dish! It’s packed with flavor and is a crowd-pleasing side dish salad everyone will love!
Kidney Bean Salad Recipe
Over the past few weeks, we have been sharing a ton of southern salads that my husband's nephew Nathan shared with us while he was here this summer.
Nathan lives in Alabama most of the year but spent a month with us this summer working on recipes with me and exploring national parks.
This Kidney Bean Salad is known in my sister-in-law's family as grandma's kidney red bean salad. My sister-in-law said it is a family favorite at family potlucks, holidays, and family barbecues.
I am pretty sure this is a salad we will be making all the time. My husband inhaled this salad! He went back for thirds I think and skipped everything else we had made.
John kept telling me it was so flavorful and delicious and he couldn't believe it was the first time he had tried it.
While there was still half a bowl on the counter my husband was asking me when I would be making this salad again so he could look forward to it. LOL.
Here is a quick overview of the simple ingredients needed to make an epic Kidney Bean Salad! The printable recipe card at the bottom of the post includes specific measurements and step-by-step instructions.
- Red Kidney Beans
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Green Pepper
- Pickle Juice
- Salt and Pepper - optional but recommended for flavor
Kidney Beans: We used canned kidney beans.
Hard-Boiled Eggs: We use air fryer hard-boiled eggs for quick and easy eggs for this salad recipe.
Pickle Juice: I take this right out of the jar of pickles in our refrigerator.
Optional - Top with fresh herbs, fresh parsley, red onions, add in cooked rice or another grain
- Large Bowl: We are big fans of this glass batter bowl with a handle, as this feature makes it easy to mix ingredients and keep the mixing bowl steady on the counter.
- Small Bowl
- Wooden Spoons
- Spider Strainer: I love using a spider strainer to rinse and drain the kidney beans.
How to make Kidney Bean Salad
I've included complete instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, but here's a quick version.
Step 1 - Drain and rinse kidney beans. Add them to a bowl and set to the side
Step 2 - Dice all of the veggies. Add the chopped celery, onion, and green bell pepper to a mixing bowl.
Step 3 - Combine mayonnaise, sugar, and pickle juice together in a bowl.
Combine the kidney beans, diced vegetables, and mayo sauce in a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine and make sure everything is coated.
Garnish with hard boiled eggs and green peppers.
Preparation and Storage
Make Ahead: This Kidney Bean Salad is make-ahead-friendly; as with many marinated salads, its flavor improves as it sits in your fridge. We recommend letting it chill for at least half an hour before serving.
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container and enjoy them within three days.
Freezing/How to Freeze: Transfer freezer-bound portions to an airtight, freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag and enjoy them within three months.
How to Reheat: Always serve this side dish salad cold and defrost any frozen leftovers overnight in your fridge to bring them to the proper chilled temperature.
Feel free to use any color of kidney bean you have available. Black beans also work in this dish!
You can substitute Miracle Whip for the mayonnaise if you prefer this ingredient’s flavor.
This recipe can be adapted to use different types of beans including chickpeas, black beans, white cannellini beans, red beans, pinto beans
Vegetarian Option: This Kidney Bean Salad is vegetarian-friendly!
Vegan Option: Vegans can replace the hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise with plant-based alternatives.
Gluten-Free: The ingredients in this Southern side dish salad are naturally gluten-free, making it safe for a gluten-free diet.
Smaller Serving Size + Larger Group/More Servings: The written recipe makes eight servings. Scale it up or down to your desired yield.
Make It Spicy: Use the juice of a spicy pickle variety, red pepper flakes, chili powder, or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce to add heat to this Kidney Bean Salad!
Sugar-Free: The written recipe contains 3 grams of sugar per serving. Use a sugar-free alternative to white sugar to make it sugar-free.
Tips for the Best Kidney Bean Salad
- Dice ¼ cup of sweet pickles and add them to the salad for more pickle flavor.
What to Serve with Kidney Bean Salad
Make this filling potluck-friendly Kidney Bean Salad the beginning of a fabulous Southern feast. Here are some menu planning suggestions.
Sides: Southern Fried Cabbage with Bacon, Southern Style Green Beans, CrockPot Cheese Grits, Cracker Barrel Carrots, Pear Salad, Funeral Potatoes, Kool-Aid Pickles, Jiffy Cornbread with Sour Cream, 7-Up Biscuits, CrockPot Mac & Cheese, Black Eyed Pea Salad, Bacon Gravy
Main Dishes: CrockPot Shrimp & Grits, CrockPot Hoppin' John, CrockPot Gumbo, Sausage Biscuit and Gravy Casserole, Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplings, CrockPot Cajun Smoked Sausage Po'Boys, CrockPot Kielbasa & Shrimp Stew, Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole
Drinks: Bama Breeze Cocktail, Lavender Lemonade Cocktail, Boozy Hurricane Popsicle, Tennessee Whiskey Mule, Kentucky Mule, Dill Pickle Martini, Lynchburg Lemonade, Carnival Guy's Pig & Anchor Bloody Mary, Rainbow Cocktail, Pat O'Brien's Hurricane Cocktail
When to Serve
- Holiday Gatherings
Great Salad Recipes
Kidney Bean Salad Recipe
- Wash and drain kidney beans. Dice hard boiled eggs, pepper, celery and onion and place in a bowl.
- Add in kidney beans and stir together.
- In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sugar, and pickle juice. Pour over kidney bean mix and toss together.
- Garnish with cut up hard boiled eggs and peppers