Cajun Salad with Red Beans

This zesty Cajun salad is a grain salad with an unexpected spin: bulgur wheat, corn, and kidney beans are flavored with fresh oregano and Cajun seasoning.

Cajun salad with red beans

Looking for something a little different with your salad? We’ve been hooked on veggie and grain salads, a wonderful way to enjoy raw veggies with a whole lot of flavor. Most of our salads have Mediterranean or Latin flavors, but what about Cajun? This Cajun salad recipe has a unique twist by using Cajun seasoning to ramp up your favorite summer veggies! It also features one of our favorite grains: bulgur wheat. Keep reading for this Cajun salad recipe.

How to cook bulgur wheat

Ever eaten bulgur wheat? It’s a whole grain that originates in Middle Eastern cuisine. Bulgur is commonly used in tabbouleh, which you may have had at Greek restaurants, a Mediterranean bulgur salad. Not only does bulgur wheat have a delicious chewy texture, nutty flavor, and a high nutritional content, but it cooks in just 15 minutes! Bulgur wheat comes in different grind sizes, which changes the cooking time significantly. As in this Cajun salad, we like to cook with fine-grind and medium-grind bulgur wheat since they are the quickest cooking. Generally we avoid coarse-ground or extra-coarse bulgur as they takes longer to cook.

How to make bulgur wheat? Just heat up water to boiling, then pour it over the bulgur wheat and let it stand for 7 minutes for fine-grind bulgur or 15 minutes for medium-grind bulgur. As it sits, the grains absorb all the water and the grains become large and tender. It “cooks” without having to cook on the stovetop! Which seems like it’s not cooking at all.

Cajun salad with red beans

How to make Cajun salad

Aside from cooking the bulgur wheat (see the instructions above), this salad is as breeze. Simply slice up the raw veggies while the bulgur cooks, and when it’s done mix it all together with the Cajun seasoning, oil, and vinegar. I loved the mix of textures and flavors in this salad, with the spicy kick of the Cajun spices punctuated by the sweet corn kernels, juicy tomatoes, and the bite of the fresh oregano. While this was a great combination, it would be easy to get creative with the bulgur base and add your own favorite veggies, herbs, and seasonings!

And that’s it: how to make Cajun salad! Let us know if you make it in the comments below.

Looking for salad recipes?

Outside of this Cajun salad recipe, here are a few favorite salad recipes:

This Cajun salad recipe is…

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

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Cajun Salad with Red Beans

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.56 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This zesty Cajun salad is a grain salad with an unexpected spin: bulgur wheat, corn, and kidney beans are flavored with fresh oregano and Cajun seasoning.


  • 1 1/2 cups fine-grind or medium-grind bulgur wheat*
  • 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes
  • 3 ears corn
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 handful fresh oregano
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice blend
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Kosher salt


  1. Heat 1 1/2 cups water in a teapot. Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl or lidded container. When the water boils, pour the water over the bulgur and seal the container (or place plastic wrap over the top of the bowl). Allow to sit until tender: about 7 minutes for fine-grind and 15 minutes for medium-grind bulgur.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into bite sized chunks (cut cherry tomatoes in half). Slice the corn off the cob. Dice the green pepper. Finely dice the shallot. Chop the oregano. Drain the kidney beans and rinse them.
  3. When the bulgur is done, place it in a large bowl with the tomatoes, corn, green pepper, shallot, and beans. Then add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Cajun seasoning, fresh oregano, fresh ground pepper, and kosher salt (to taste). Mix and serve.


*Avoid coarse or extra-coarse bulgur, since the cooking instructions are different.

Notes: The amount of spice to add depends on the Cajun spice blend you purchase, and your tolerance for heat. Make sure to start conservatively, and taste until you find the desired spice level!

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cajun Inspired

Keywords: Cajun Salad, Bulgur Salad, Bulgur Recipes, Cajun Recipes, Cajun Inspired, Vegan Salad Recipes, Salad Recipes, Healthy Salad Recipes

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Susanne Schanz
    August 9, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I just found your blog via pinterest. Such a beautiful and lovely blog!! So inspiring recipes. I definitly will give the tomato mozzarella panini with tomato mayo (ahh!) a try! Be you newest reader. Cheers from Germany Susanne

    • Reply
      August 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you for the nice comments – so glad you enjoy it! Let us know if you try out any of the recipes :)

  • Reply
    DLG in Mich
    August 9, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Here’s a dumb question – is the corn raw in this salad? Either way, it looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      August 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, the corn is raw! It was delicious right off the cob, but if you’re wary about it you could always boil it for a few seconds too (or grill it)!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    August 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    This sounds wonderful! Spicy and just good!

  • Reply
    Jess @ littlegirlbigappetite
    August 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Love bulgur but have been bored with the same old recipes. This Cajun one sounds so good!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Those COLORS! Those FLAVORS! So HEALTHY! I love this salad :D

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Beautiful picture! And food, of course. :)

  • Reply
    Alea Milham
    August 10, 2011 at 4:10 am

    What a gorgeous salad! It looks delicious and hearty!

    I discovered your site from reading a post on Loving Life. If you have time, I would love for you to share this recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop. The hop stays open until Thursday night.

  • Reply
    Tres Delicious
    August 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

    It looks delicious and healthy. Nice appealing photos.

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    This looks so good. My one complaint about grains like quinoa and bulgur is that I can never get the flavor quite right… it always tastes a little bland. But this looks so spicy and yummy!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I actually have all the ingredients for this one. I hope I can find the time to try it THIS WEEK!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    First off, I LOVE your website!!!! I made this recipe as-is a couple weeks ago and it tasted fabulous! Tonight I substituted the bulgur for quinoa with good results too. :)

    • Reply
      September 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      Yum! It’s always great to hear feedback! :)

  • Reply
    November 15, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Sonja, thanks for this recipe. I added 1 more tablespoon of cajun and few radishes as my family loves spicy. I thought 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar would be too strong but we could hardly notice and it is actually really tasty! Best thing is that we can use whatever vegetables are in the fridge. So quick and simple. :)

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