Chipotle Bean Salad

chipotle bean salad
This chipotle bean salad is full of smoky flavor. Black beans, pinto beans, & red kidney beans make it a filling meal. Serve with cornbread.

I developed this recipe in the late summer of 2019. 

No one, least of all me, had any idea that it would be the last summer before COVID changed everything.

Take a look at the list of summer highlights I compiled when I originally published this recipe on September 17, 2019.  (And please excuse my over-use of exclamation points and all caps.)

chipotle bean salad

Summer 2019 Highlights

1. Goat Yoga with one of my best friends!  (And everything else we did together while she was visiting from Bordeaux.)

2. Visiting family and friends in Utah.

3. An AMAZING girls’ weekend with two of my best friends.

4. ROLLING STONES CONCERT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with my family.

goat yoga
Me and my favorite goat from Goat Yoga. Note her pink tutu.

5. FINALLY getting MOSTLY settled in our new home.

6. Moms’ Day Off Lunch at the Biltmore with another of my best friends.

7. My daughter’s first dance recital!

8. Seeing one of my favorite Doris Day films on the big screen at Old Town Music Hall with Andrew and a few other friends from Doris’ inner circle.

9. This recipe!  It’s the perfect segue between summer and fall.

chipotle bean salad

Chipotle Bean Salad

As I look back with the hindsight brought by COVID, that summer looks ideal.  For me and many others, I suspect, that not too distant summer holds a deep nostalgia that would usually take many more years to accumulate. 

Despite all that changed after that summer, four years later, this chipotle bean salad is still one of my favorite recipes.  

It really is the perfect meal to segue from summer to fall.  The textures of the beans, corn, and tomatoes blend perfectly, and the smoky flavor brought by my easy chipotle sauce is addicting.  

Make This Chipotle Bean Salad!

A friend of mine described this bean salad as a “cool chili.”  Her words perfectly convey why this recipe feels like both a summer and fall dish.

Make this Chipotle Bean Salad as we transition from summer to fall.  Be sure to serve it with my Homemade Cornbread for a filling and delicious meal.

chipotles in adobo

One Thing

If you’ve never cooked with chipotles in adobo sauce, take a look at the picture above.  It’ll give you an idea of what to look for.  There are many brands of chipotles in adobo sauce, but I usually use La Costena.

chipotle bean salad
5 from 2 votes

Chipotle Bean Salad

This Chipotle Bean Salad is smoky and full of flavor. Black beans, dark red kidney beans, pinto beans, and corn make it a filling snack or meal. Pair with cornbread.
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 6
Print Recipe


For the bean salad:

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can corn, drained
  • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves
  • ½ cup cilantro, minced
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • tsp pepper
  • 1 -2 tsp lime juice, or to taste

For the chipotle sauce:

  • ¼ cup sour cream, or vegan sour cream
  • 1 chipotle pepper and 2 tsp adobo sauce, (from a can; use more or less pepper and sauce according to spice preference. I like La Constena brand.)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt


Make the chipotle sauce

  • To a food processor or your favorite blending apparatus, add the sour cream, salt, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce. Pulse about 10 times, then open and scrape down the sides.
  • Pulse 10 more times, then process until mostly smooth. Sauce is done, set aside.

Make the bean salad

  • Add all of the drained beans and the corn to a large mixing bowl. With a spoon or a silicone spatula, mix to incorporate, taking care not to smash the beans.
  • Next, add in the cilantro, salt, and all of the chipotle sauce. Mix until the sauce and cilantro are completely incorporated.
  • Last, add 1 tsp of freshly squeezed lime juice. Taste, and add more lime juice, if desired.

Serve and enjoy

  • Let the dish sit for 10 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to develop.
  • Serve with greens and my homemade cornbread.


This Chipotle Bean Salad is vegetarian and gluten-free.  It can be made vegan by using vegan sour cream.
Serve this bean salad with my homemade cornbread.
Add 1 cup of raw, shelled sugar snap peas to the bean salad for even more texture and flavor.
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4 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    We make a similar bean salad every summer, but I’m really intrigued by the chipotle sauce here – it sounds delicious! A bit spicy and a bit smoky? Count me in! And, yes, I think back to those times right before covid – if only we knew what was coming….

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