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This black bean salad recipe is full of healthy ingredients and tastes tangy and satisfying, perfect for everything from potlucks to easy lunch ideas.

Black bean salad
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“Food is love.” It’s the opening line of the new cookbook Husbands That Cook, and we could not agree more. Food has the power to bring people together: couples, families, friends, even enemies who break bread can come closer. Alex and I could not wait to make this black bean salad from the book because it’s the type of recipe our friends and family would gather around! And it did not disappoint. It’s tangy and delicious, perfectly seasoned with cumin, garlic, and apple cider vinegar, and mixed with colored bell peppers, green onions and rice. Here’s how to make it!

Husbands that cook

About the book: Husbands That Cook

Husbands That Cook are just that: two husbands who love to cook! Adam and Ryan are two of the most genuine and kind people in the world of food. They started with a food blog, and now have released a book with the delicious recipes they make in their kitchen. It’s a vegetarian cookbook, which plays to our interests as mostly plant-based eaters.

This book is one of those gorgeous page-turners where each page makes you say, “Ooo, I want to make that!” Adam and Ryan have nailed it. And, they’ve woven in their love story among the creative and well-executed recipes.

Get it: Husbands That Cook by Ryan Alvarez and Adam Merrin

Black bean salad

How to make black bean salad

This black bean salad is irresistible, and we couldn’t stop eating it! It’s perfectly seasoned and mixed with colored bell peppers, green onions and rice. It’s kid friendly and works as a healthy lunch idea or side salad. Or, make it as an easy potluck recipe to take to a gathering. It’s plant based, vegan and gluten free, so it works for a variety of diets!

This black bean salad is very easy to whip up; here are the basic steps.

  • Boil a pot of rice. Here’s our favorite method.
  • Chop the veggies: The only place that requires a little finesse in the kitchen is dicing all those vegetables! Years ago it would have taken me forever to chop two bell peppers and a bunch of green onions. But these days, I’m all about knife skills. Scroll down for a video of how to chop bell peppers!
  • Add seasonings and black beans: Then you’ll just mix everything together! Veggies, black beans, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lots of cumin and some Dijon mustard. It comes together quickly once the chopping is done!

Looking for more bean and rice recipes? We’ve got you. Here’s our Best Bean Recipes, Best Brown Rice Recipes, and Best Rice Recipes.

Black bean salad

Leftovers save well, so make it ahead!

Another feature of this black bean salad: it can sit in the refrigerator for up to 3 days without losing flavor, so it’s perfect for making ahead and eating off of all week. Or for sitting for hours on the potluck table. A lot of salads lose flavor over time, but using a hefty dose of apple cider vinegar helps it to stay tangy in the fridge for days.

How to make black bean salad

Video: How to cut a bell pepper

Here’s our method for how to cut a bell pepper! Once you’ve mastered it, you should be able to cut a bell pepper in 1 minute flat! Also, this method doesn’t get seeds all over the cutting board: which can also add time trying to pick them out of your sliced peppers.

This black bean salad recipe is…

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

Black bean salad
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How to make black bean salad

Easy Black Bean Salad

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 8 1-cup servings 1x


This black bean salad recipe is full of healthy ingredients and tastes tangy and satisfying, perfect for everything from potlucks to easy lunch ideas.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked or Instant Pot black beans)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 5 green onions
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pour 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then add the uncooked rice, stir to combine, and return to a boil. Cover pan, and reduce heat as low as possible. Simmer without opening the lid for 15 minutes, until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. (Or, use our Stovetop White Rice, Stovetop Brown Rice, or Instant Pot Rice methods.)
  2. Finely chop the peppers. Thinly slice the green onions. Mince the garlic.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, black beans, chopped red and yellow peppers, and scallions, and toss to combine.
  4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, cumin, garlic, salt, and black pepper, Whisk thoroughly to combine, then pour over the rice mixture. Toss gently to coat, then either serve immediately or keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Reprinted with permission from Husbands That Cook: More Than 120 Irresistible Vegetarian Recipes and Tales from Our Tiny Kitchen by Ryan Alvarez and Adam Merrin

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Caribbean

Looking for easy potluck recipes?

Outside of this black bean salad, here are a few more easy potluck recipes:

Last updated: October 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Michelle Lundquist says:

    This salad was delicious right after I mixed it all together! I imagine it will taste even better after it marinates over night in the fridge. I really enjoyed the taste of the ACV and didn’t think it was over the top at all. I did however use homemade ACV which tends to have smoother flavor.
    I tripled (x3) the recipe and added butter, olive oil, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp cumin, dash of cumin seeds and about 3 tsp of salt to the rice while it boiled. I also added more garlic (8 cloves total), one white onion, 2 tsp oregano and about 1 Tbs of maple syrup to the dressing. Fabulous! I look forward to sharing this salad with friends this weekend. Thank you for the great recipe.

  2. Jeremy D Kuehnau says:

    I ended up using this for like an idea, but altered it in a few ways.

    I cooked chicken stirfry meat and diced green chilies mixed that in there too and I left out the vinegar, I don’t know why that’s part of the recipe, it doesn’t need to be in there.

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