Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

I started making this salad when my husband and I went vegan a few years ago, and all but forgot about it until recently.  It’s a summer favorite because it can be enjoyed warm or cold, and it requires minimal cooking.


This salad is mostly raw/no-cook – the only component that requires cooking is the rice. You can use leftover brown rice, or you can cook it fresh. I prefer to cook the rice fresh, because I think the lime flavor soaks best into warm rice as opposed to chilled.

I start by chopping the peppers and onion, and placing it into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.


I use about 1/3 of a red onion, because I find the flavor to be strong after a while. If you dig raw red onion, you can definitely put more in there.

I enjoy colors, so I use half a red bell and half an orange bell with 1 small finely diced jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed). The jalapeño  does not add a lot of heat – it’s very mild and my kids enjoyed this salad a number of times without being bothered by it.

Once your veggies are chopped, add them into your big bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans and black beans while the rice cooks. If you enjoy other types of beans (like pinto beans or white beans) you can sub those instead. It’s all about ease!

When the rice is cooked and cooled slightly (not piping hot, but not completely cool) add it right on top of the chopped veggies and squeeze the lime juice over the rice. The rice being warm helps it to absorb the lime flavor easily, and it slightly cooks the veggies. Give it a stir, then add the beans, a big handful  of chopped fresh cilantro, and a little extra S&P.


And there you have it! A fresh, colorful salad packed with fiber and protein to go with any lean meat or fish.

I love this salad with some grilled chicken – shrimp, cod, or halibut would be fantastic mains as well.

This salad is fit for a big crowd, or as a make-ahead side to go with your E meals all week long.

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Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


  • 1/3 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (seeds and ribs removed for a mild heat)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
  • 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15oz can kidney beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 big handful of fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper


  1. Begin cooking the brown rice.
  2. Add the peppers and onion to the bottom of a large mixing bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. When the rice is cooked and warm, add it on top of the vegetables and squeeze the lime juice over top. Give it a big toss.
  4. Add the drained and rinsed beans, cilantro, and a little more S&P then toss again.
  5. Serve at room temperature or chilled alongside any lean protein. Store in the fridge for up to one week.


One thought on “Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

  1. Pingback: The Frugal THM Foodie Roundup!

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