1397 updated post view 4290

Simple Red (Kidney) Bean Salad

I love bold flavors. I love bold looks. And I love bold attitudes. In my world, that’s just how I get things done. I’m nice, but just have to assert myself sometimes, you know!

As a way of thanking my small circle of daily supporters and doers for keeping me in place and reminding me that life is much bigger than a mere missed phone call,  I prepared a small and intimate dinner for them. It was simple at best, but just what I wanted. Sis was in town and it was great to have her experience my loco life for 5 days. So I invited the usual suspects and a few more for a last minute Christmas Dinner. Lawyer. Cooking Asst. Manager. Banker. DJ. And Don from Mr. Orph’s Kitchen.


I hadn’t come up with a menu until the day before, but I knew chicken was going to be the protein. I’d been eating a lot of red meat as of late, and desperately needed to take a break. And more increasingly, am I meeting people that just don’t eat it. Pollo it was. I concocted a variation of an orange chicken I made here. Only this time, I played around with spices. I omitted the soy sauce and achiote. Actually, it was such a last minute recipe, that as I sit here and write, I have no recollection of what I did.

But the chicken fell off the bones, and that’s all that counts, right!

(attacking the chicken!)

In addition to the chicken, I made plantains, a sinfully delicious yellow saffron rice (with a powerful garlic sofrito) and pan Cubano. All in some kick butt Gucci pumps! Yup! Sure did. Don’t ask how I didn’t splatter my dress. Don made this incredible spinach dip as an appetizer that didn’t last more than 10 minutes. He almost put my spicy beef stuffed yuca balls to shame! Okay not so much, but it was smack yo’ momma good!

And then there was this salad. My good friend Simone is just about as Cuban as I am. She’s Brazilian but raised in the most typically Cuban neighborhood of Miami. The girl talks like me in Spanish and knows all of our food, probably better than her own. Well, she’s got this salad she made for me once that put me in deep like with red beans. I’m not a huge fan of the kidney look-a-like, but when you doctor them up the way she does, I’m fair game! It’s been so popular with me that I’ve made it in one of my cooking classes.

Another smash hit.

So for my soiree I had Simone make the salad. You might think it’s nothing big, because after all you can use canned beans. But, between the crunch of the green pepper, the aromatic flavor of the cilantro and juice of the olive oil and vinegar, it’s like having dessert before dinner. Or for those of us that don’t like traditional green leaf salads (like myself), this is a killer option!

Canned beans are good only because they are already cooked and have some flavor. They are ready to be eaten but of course if you want to have something more flavorful and elaborate, they require some doctoring and even some more cooking. If I’m making canned black beans (ONLY b/c I don’t have time for even pressure cooking fresh ones), I’ll make a sofrito and add my usual spices. In this salad’s case, none of that is required! Drain the beans, chop up your vegetables, add your oils, flavoring agents,  etc… and combine.

It’s simple. It’s super fast being under 10 minutes to make! It’s good as hell. And it’s healthy. It’s BOLD, baby. Just the way I like it.  Make it for your next dinner or your next dinner party. No one will be disappointed. Oh yeah, and it’s great over plain white rice, too! Those juices, I tell you!

Doesn’t it just look good! Below is my version of her recipe.

Thanks to Don who took awesome pictures that night! These were from him.


Garbanzo Beans W/Chorizo

My 30 Minute Meal! What? (included black beans)

The Best Fried Anything

Orange & Ginger Chicken

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

Follow the sexy & delicious fun on


follow Bren Herrera on Pinterest

Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!




  • 2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, rough chop
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon or lime


Rinse beans. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with crostini or as a side dish. Serve chilled or room temperature.

Serves 6-8.

88 thoughts on “Simple Red (Kidney) Bean Salad

  1. se ve riquisimo! tendre que probar esa receta, mi mama y mi abuela en panama siempre hacian pollo con achiote, yuca ,arroz y platanos fritos

  2. Don takes some seriously fab pics!  And that serving dish – love love love!!!!  I’ll have to try the salad.

  3. Heeeeeeey i know that kitchen, LOL! (and a nice kitchen it is!)

    FAB dress…woo woooh!

    Okay how sweet of you to do that for your pals and how good does that salad look.  I’m not a huge red bean person (perfer garbonzo beans, green peas, white beans, or black beans) unless in some mean turkey chilli BUT that salad looked dope!  And i am the biggest cilantro lover on the planet. I must have extra in EVERYTHING.  plus cilantro is that great for you herb thta also helps to remove toxic metals from the body, double plus along with the yum fresh ZING factor!  i think i may try this salad on my own and see.  Can i try with other beans too?  Hmmm.  Anyway girlie look forward to tasting your food personally in the very near future.  my friends r excited!!


  4. I think I’d love the bean salad…but what I really love is that you cook in that dress! you don’t have to be dowdy in the kitchen baby!!!!


  6. Hey B!
    Wuz up CHICA!!! WOW que piernas!!!! Estas buenisima as always!!!!!
    I am glad you made Simone’s salad bc everyone needs to know how simple and YUMMO it is…
    This salad is not only tasty, but also healthy for anyone watching what they eat.  Cooking is always so much fun. Especially when shared with those we love. 
    Love the website!—Un warm BESOTE from the SUNSHINE STATE!

  7. Hey girlie, thanks for the shout out!  After all the cooking tips you have taught me in the past year, the least I can make is a great red bean salad.  By the way, I made some turkey ground meat picadillo tonight and of course it was so tasty.  Besos!

  8. LOL! you guys are funny!!!! Joan, yes girlfriend I get sassy and sexy when I cook for clients and parties! not so much in my kitchen all the time. But, it’s far from cheezy *club* wear!

    Reggie: Thanks for the unstoppable love! You know I love to bring up a few notches for you all. Everyone likes to look at hot shoes prancing around! Kim should try it!

    KarenBeth: you should try it asap! you just might be incorporating it into your weekly bites.

    Scott: yes Lawd thoes shoes are kick butt!! i try to do it every single time!

    Lari: mi’jita! es delicioso esta ensalada. si la vas hacer, dejame saber! tambien se puede hacer con frijoles negros.
    Lys: girlfriiend, are u sure fuzz ball won’t try to get at it!?!?

    Miesha: Cilantro rocks, doesn’t it!? I promise the red beans are great. I’m not a huge huge fan either, but it works so well. I’ll the chick peas in this and let you know.
    Avesta: you got it!! no one should ever look drabbey in the kitchen. ever!

    Nathan: Haslo y dejame saber. Te prometo que te va gustar. Y super facil, tambien.

    Darius: Is there any other way to eat chicken!?!?!

    Margie: Hey stranger!! How great to see you here!!?! Verdad que esta ensalada de moni est “de lo las”!!! I love it! Mija poder comer con familia y amistad es lo mejor que exciste! Y que te digo de estas piernas?!? Son mias pero me dan tanto problema! Love them still!

    Simone: The superstar of this post!! Girl your salad rocks, you know it! thanks for letting me have some! besos.

  9. Is that you girl? You sexy thing! You cannot show pictures of you and then a bean salad!! The bean salad is no comparison to you in that dress! Seriously the bean salad does look really good. i love kidney beans and the flavors here are explosive!

  10. Bren, love  your “hostess” outfit…from the kitchen to the Mambo!

    This salad looks outstanding, liked a jeweled crown.

  11. You are too gorgeous.

    This is going on my lunch menu for next week.  It’s just the kind of thing I like to make for myself to take to work.  I have no doubt it’s good and Don did take a great photo.

  12. Thanks Lys!

    And thanks to you chef B for a great get together. Great people, great food, led to a great time. We really enjoyed ourselves.

    The bean salad was a topic of conversation at our table as we were deconstructing it so to be able to make it ourselves. But now, alas, here it is!

  13. Peter: thanks luv. I do like to look sexy when I cook, especially for the guys!
    Melissa: Thanks sweetie! Ur sooo nice. When you make this, let me know! I know you’ll like it. And it’s soo easy.
    Don: I had no idea you were trying to figure it out! It’s so simple as you know see. Thanks again for the great pics. We’ll do this again!

  14. Looks so flavorful. I don’t know HOW you can cook dressed like that. My feet kill me when I cook even without any shoes. And my messes.. that is another story.

  15. i kind of feel bad for the reader who doesn’t like cilantro. i could eat it as salad. i love love love it. hot pic, bren! your kidney bean salad is similar to topping we make for our tacos/burritos, etc.  the more it sits and marinates the better.  i want to come party!

  16. Loving your style baby! You need to come up TOP and cook for brother in New York. 
    Shout outs from HARLEM, USA.
    Stay FLY Ma! 

  17. hey girl you know the way to this southern and latino food lovin soul!

    Plate me up some of that…YUM! and we can never look too sexy when we cook for those men right!  That is were my business name came from http://www.cookappeal.com, cause my hubby says I got sexy-cookappeal going, lol

  18. yummy looks tasty. the one type of bean that i eat you used so i’m really excited for this one. i might have to grill a piece of chicken and throw that in there!

  19. I made this last night and loved it!  It went nicely with chicken in a tortilla.  Keep posting your recipes!

  20. me oh my! I’m so late in responding to the last batch of comments! So, here goes.
    Courtney: I looove cooking and looking sexy. No reason to be in drab! Dinner was great!
    Helene: Thanks luvie! It’s fun playing dress up!
    Shari: It’s a mean salad! I hope you’ve tried it!
    Nicole: LOL! funny stuff! I guess I’m just used to it!
    WRNF: can’t wait to meet you girl!! we have to throw down together!
    Chefectomy: hahaha! Thanks love!
    J-hahahah.. oh ur too much JHarlem.. am I going to ever meet you! THanks for reading.
    Chef E: yay! another woman that cooks sexy!!!
    With a C: this is a bomb salad! Simple and BOLD! Perfect!
    Carolyn: very, very healthy indeed
    TheBrattyOne: oh my!!! you made this!! thanks so much! I hope you’ve come back! Paying you a visit now!
    Ryan: good question. Because of the vinegar, the beans will only last about 4 days. If you see they start looking foaming, that means they’ve gone bad! All this means is you have to eat them the 1st night!! 🙂

  21. Ok, for starters I don’t even cook lol, so thank goodness this recipe doesn’t include that, I have a can of red kidney beans rusting away in the pantry lol so can’t wait to give this a try 🙂

  22. The recipe is missing! Beautiful picture and rave
    reviews, but the recipe is missing…please add it so I can try it..

  23. I found this recipe a few years ago and made it for my children and my grandchildren. My 6 year old granddaughter absolutely loved it! Now it’s a standing receipe for us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Theme developed by TouchSize - Premium WordPress Themes and Websites
Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Youtube
Hide Buttons