Kalyn's Kitchen

Southwestern Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas

Southwestern Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas also has black beans and peppers, and this will taste great on New Year’s for luck. But this salad is great any time of year so you can also enjoy it for a summer salad!

PIN Southwestern Bean Salad to try it later!

Southwestern Bean Salad with Black Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, and Peppers top photo

At a recent neighborhood party I ran into an old friend, and when she found out I was now a food blogger, she told me enthusiastically about her favorite salad recipe featuring black beans and black-eyed peas. I’d never used black-eyed peas in a salad like this, so I listened carefully, (mentally editing out the canned corn that wasn’t a carb-conscious ingredient and replacing it with lower-glycemic diced bell peppers.)

This Southwestern Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas was inspired by her description, and this is exactly the type of dish I love to make when it’s hot and you don’t want to turn on the stove. I tested the recipe on Ben, (the most adventurous eater of the contractors working on my house), and we agreed one thing that really makes this combination work is cutting the diced red and green bell peppers as small as the beans, so every bite of salad has some crunch and the full blend of flavors. I loved this salad, and if you’re looking for a recipe with black-eyed peas to make for New Year’s Luck, this is a tasty idea for that too!

What if you don’t like cilantro?

I know cilantro is a total no for some people, and if you’re one of those people who hates cilantro I’d suggest replacing it with thinly sliced green onion or chopped celery in this salad. Or just skip the cilantro completely and the recipe will still be great.

Southwestern Bean Salad with Black Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, and Peppers process shots collage

How to Make Southwestern Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas,:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. First mix up the spicy dressing with cumin, ground ancho chile pepper, lime juice, white balsamic vinegar, and Spike. (You can substitute for a few of those things if you don’t have them, see the recipe.) Lori’s salad used bottled salsa and bottled Italian salad dressing, which I think might also be pretty good.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup of the spicy dressing into the drained black beans and black eyed peas and let them marinate while you prep the other salad ingredients.
  3. Finely dice the red and green bell pepper, making the pieces the same size as the beans, and then stir into the bean mixture.
  4. Chop a red onion into that same size pieces, and stir it into the bean-pepper mixture.
  5. Then wash, spin dry, and chop cilantro (or prep the alternate ingredient you’re using) and stir it into the bean-pepper-onion mixture.
  6. Add more dressing to taste, season with salt and pepper, and serve!

Make it a Meal:

This would make a great side dish for something like Grilled Fusion Chicken or Southwestern Pot Roast. Or serve it as part of a New Year’s Day holiday spread if you want some black-eyed pea luck in the new year.

More Recipes with Black-Eyed Peas:

Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Chipotle and Cilantro from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Turkish Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Pomegranate, Walnuts, and Zahtar Dressing from The Well Seasoned Cook
Black-Eyed Pea Hummus from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Black-Eyed Peas with Fenugreek and Tomatoes from Lisa’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Southwestern Bean Salad with Black Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Peppers, and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Southwestern Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Southwestern Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas tastes great any time of year, and this tasty salad is quick and easy to make.



  • one 15 oz. can black beans
  • one 15 oz. can black-eyed peas (see note in recipe)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into pieces the same size as beans
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into pieces the same size as beans
  • 1 small red onion, chopped into pieces the same size as beans
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (see notes)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. Spike seasoning (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground Ancho chile pepper (see notes)
  • 3 T fresh lime juice (see notes)
  • 2 T white balsamic vinegar (see notes)
  • 6 T olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Drain black beans and black-eyed peas into a colander placed in the sink, rinse with cold water until no more foam appears, then let beans drain at least 5 minutes. (You can pat dry to speed it up. I made this twice with different brand of black-eyed peas, but next time I might try 1 cup frozen black-eyed peas, which are usually a little firmer.)
  2. While beans drain, put  Spike seasoning, ground cumin, and ground ancho chili pepper in a small bowl, then add lime juice and white balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.
  3. Whisk in the olive oil a tablespoon at a time, until dressing ingredients are well combined. (This is probably more dressing than you need for the salad, but if you refrigerate leftovers and eat them later, it’s nice to have a little extra dressing to mix in.)
  4. Remove drained beans from colander (blot dry with paper towel if they still seem wet) and put them in a bowl large enough to hold all the salad.
  5. Mix 1/4 cup of dressing mixture into the beans and let them marinate while you chop the peppers, onions, and cilantro.
  6. Chop red and green bell pepper into small pieces about the size of beans (I cut off the stem and bottom end of the peppers, cut out the seeds, then cut a slit down one side of the pepper and flatten it out for an easy way to cut small pieces like this. Be sure to also chop up the stem and bottom ends!)
  7. Add chopped peppers to the beans.
  8. Chop red onion into pieces the size of beans, and add to beans and peppers in the bowl.
  9. Wash cilantro and spin dry in salad spinner or dry with paper towels.
  10. Finely chop cilantro, then stir into beans, pepper, and onions in bowl.
  11. Add additional dressing until the salad is as moist as you’d like it. (You won’t need all the dressing, but save it to re-moisten any leftover salad after it’s been refrigerated.)
  12. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and serve.
  13. The salad can also be made ahead and chilled before serving.


I used this fresh-frozen lime juice. Cilantro is definitely optional, replace with sliced green onion or chopped celery or simply omit. I love the flavor of ground Ancho chile (affiliate link), but use any chili powder or ground chile you have on hand that's not too spicy. You can use white wine vinegar if you don't have white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link).

This salad inspired by Lori’s description of her favorite easy bean salad.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2.1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11.8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 728mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 11gSugar: 5.4gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This tasty and lucky salad has low-glycemic canned beans and healthful fresh ingredients and is a perfect choice for any phase of the original South Beach Diet. It’s good for most low-glycemic diets, but too high in carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Dried Beans or Salad Recipes for more recipes like this one.Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Southwestern Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas

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    37 Comments on “Southwestern Bean Salad with Black-Eyed Peas”

  1. YUM! This looks great!

  2. YUM! A gorgeous recipe, Kalyn! I want to make this today!!! I'll let you know if I do!!!!!

  3. thanks for these great recipes and the excellent photography…just found this site and really love the good healthy suggestions…will be cooking from this site often.

  4. Thanks for this Kalyn. It reminds me of a salad I haven't made in years that was always a big hit, even with my husband who usually puts his nose up at the mention of "beans." My salad used three types of beans (black, pinto and chickpeas, all three canned) and I mixed in lots of things you use in this but with the addition of chopped up bread and butter pickles. Not sure if they are South Beach friendly, but they added a really good taste to the three-beaner. So thanks for reminding me to make this or mine really soon — especially as it is hitting 90 degrees today here in New York.

  5. This sounds very delicious! I love how colorful it is, it makes it LOOK as good as it TASTES.

  6. This sounds like a great alternative to the three-bean (or four) salad I've enjoyed over the years. That salad is great, but I would love a bean salad with a real kick, and this definitely sounds like it.

    As Chris said, I bet it would make a great dip, too.

  7. oh yes this really is a lovely bean salad. i've never seen canned black-eyed peas before only dry ones but i think we could sub them with other beans i presume. barlotti or butter beans would be great too!

  8. Sounds yummy, I will have to try it this week. I feel compelled to add sliced avocado to it. I think everything tastes better with a little avocado!

  9. So many of my favorite flavors… and I love black eyed peas. The colors in your photos are so vibrant and appetizing. Gorgeous!

  10. Sorry I am not responding, I'm busy making dinner for my dad and a few siblings. Just wanted to say, Christine, corn is too high in sugar, yes. (Sigh.)

  11. This is the perfect salad for a summertime party or picnic. I love everything in it!

  12. Looks delicious, Kalyn! I like the small diced peppers. Couldn't you use fresh corn cut from an ear for this? Or is it just too high in sugars?

  13. Such a gorgeous salad! I can imagine how good this would be on a hot day 🙂

  14. Your photos are wonderful and really highlight the colors in this salad. I love ancho chile powder in dressings for bean salads, and while I might substitute parsley for the cilantro, I'd do everything else just the way you've done it in the recipe.

  15. Just my kind of summer bean cool salad! Answers the need for crunch, tasty and filling!

  16. Looks delicious! I love your salad recipes, another great one to try!

  17. Wow, that looks delicious. Forget the fork, just give me some tortilla chips and I'll dig in!

  18. This is my kind of bean salad! I like all of the vibrant colours in it.

  19. Many of the recipes I've seen for "cowboy caviar" include black-eyed peas and I usually substitute black beans. I like this version of combining them and would love to try it. Really beautiful — can imagine all the textures and great flavor!

  20. Cutting the bell peppers to match the size of the beans is a great tip. You're ensured a well-balanced bite every time. This recipe is being sent to my printer for that dressing alone!