Kidney Bean Salad Recipe

| July 29, 2018 | 27 Comments

Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad

Easy to make Kidney Bean Salad recipe with complete step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions and a printable recipe.


Kidney Bean Salad recipe, as seen on Taste of
This dish is really easy. Mix it all up in one bowl.


Kidney Bean Salad, slider.
Quick and Easy Kidney Bean Salad Recipe. 

About a week ago, I received an email from one of the subscribers to the Taste of Southern Newsletter asking if I’d ever heard of a Kidney Bean Salad.

I had not.

The person asking told me it included kidney beans, onion, eggs, mayonnaise, and maybe pickle relish. She said she knew it sounded strange but she remembered it being very good.

In my reply back, I told her that it did indeed sound strange – interesting – but strange. Smile

Mitzi C. says she remembers this from her youth growing up in Western Kentucky. Again, I’d never heard of it. It did sound strange, but my curiosity was piqued.

I told Mitzi that I had already placed Kidney Beans on my shopping list. I wanted to try this.

The recipe below is adapted from one you’ll find on the Bush’s Best Beans website. Their recipe called for dill pickles. I’m just not a fan of dill pickles. Makes my mouth pucker.

When I asked Mitzi about the dill pickle relish, she said the only thing they knew as relish was a sweet pickle relish. It seems we were in agreement with that. So, sweet pickle it is.

You can whip this up in just a few minutes, and all in one bowl. It’s that easy. But, it really tastes best if you can refrigerate it overnight to let the flavors fully develop. At least try to give it an hour or two in the fridge to get it cold. You’ll like it that much more.

I knew when the recipe called for mayonnaise that we could make it Southern just by using our favorite Duke’s Mayonnaise. They don’t pay me to say that. Duke’s folks don’t even know me. Smile.

The salad reminded me a bit of a Waldorf Salad minus the crunch of the apples. And, I do love a good Waldorf Salad. Most of all, this was a new taste experience that I will be making again. I think you will also.

So, if you’re ready to give this Kidney Bean Salad a try, let’s head on out to the kitchen and… Let’s Get Cooking – I mean refrigerating. No cooking involved with this one. Told you it was easy. Smile.

Kidney Bean Salad, you'll need these ingredients.
You’ll need these ingredients to make our Kidney Bean Salad recipe.


Kidney Bean Salad, drain the canned beans.
Empty the canned beans into a colander to drain off the liquid.


Kidney Bean Salad, rinse well.
Rinse the beans under cool running water, swishing them around to rinse them well.


Kidney Bean Salad, drain well.
Let the beans drain really well. The drier the better.

Any water left on the beans will make your finished salad “soupy,” so let the beans drain well while you prepare the other ingredients.

I think next time, I might even spread some paper towels out on a sheet pan and spread the beans out to let them dry out even more so. I ended up with a bit more liquid in the bottom of the bowl after letting the salad sit for awhile than I wanted. Just an idea. Smile.


Kidney Bean Salad, chop the eggs.
Use the back of a fork to break up the boiled eggs.


Kidney Bean Salad, slice the celery.
Slice the celery.


Kidney Bean Salad, dice the onions.
Dice the onions. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup so I didn’t use the entire onion that I had.


Kidney Bean Salad, chop the pickles.
I’m going to chop up some of my own homemade sweet pickles made by Mama’s recipe.

If you’re using a ready made relish, you’ll just need to measure out the required amount.


Kidney Bean Salad, add the mayo.
Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and add the Duke’s Mayonnaise to it.


Kidney Bean Salad, add the relish.
Add your pickle relish.


Kidney Bean Salad, add the black pepper.
Sprinkle on the black pepper.


Kidney Bean Salad, add the salt.
Then add the salt. Go ahead and stir this up a bit.


Kidney Bean Salad, add the chopped eggs.
Now, add in the chopped eggs.


Kidney Bean Salad, add the celery.
Add the celery.


Kidney Bean Salad, add the onions.
Add the onions.


Kidney Bean Salad, add the kidney beans.
Finally, add in the drained kidney beans.

If you’ll notice, mine were still a bit wet even after sitting in the colander and draining while I prepared the other few items.


Kidney Bean Salad, stir to combine.
Fold everything together until it’s fully combined.


Kidney Bean Salad, refrigerate overnight if possible.
Cover the bowl with clear wrap and place it in the refrigerator.

It needs at least a couple of hours for all the flavors to blend together, but it’s even better if you can refrigerate it overnight.


Kidney Bean Salad, enjoy.

This would have looked better if I’d placed it on some lettuce leaves, but I just didn’t have any on hand when I made the salad. I did try to spruce it up a bit with some slices of boiled eggs and a few extra pickles on the side.

It may not be the most eye appealing dish, but I enjoyed the new taste. Kind of reminded me of a Waldorf Salad without the crunch of the apples.


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Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad Recipe, as seen on Taste of

Kidney Bean Salad Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Refrigerator
  • Cuisine: American


Follow our compete, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for making this old fashioned kidney bean salad recipe.



  • 1 can Bush’s Dark Red Kidney Beans (16oz), rinsed and drained
  • 2 hard-boiled Eggs, chopped
  • ½ cup Celery, chopped
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup Duke’s Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Sweet Pickle Relish
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt


  1. Drain kidney beans in a colander. Rinse and drain again. Let drain well.
  2. Chop the eggs.
  3. Chop the celery.
  4. Chop the onions.
  5. Place the mayonnaise in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  6. Add the pickle relish.
  7. Add the black pepper.
  8. Add the salt.
  9. Stir well to combine.
  10. Add the chopped eggs.
  11. Add the chopped celery.
  12. Add the chopped onions.
  13. Add the drained kidney beans.
  14. Fold everything together until well combined.
  15. Refrigerate the salad for 1-2 hours, or overnight if possible, before serving.
  16. Enjoy!


Some recipes call for dill pickles instead of sweet. I’m not a dill pickle fan so I opted to use the sweet pickle relish for this recipe.

Other variations called for Italian Dressing as opposed to using Mayonnaise. Try it both ways to see which you like best.

Keywords: kidney bean salad, kidney bean salad with mayonnaise, easy


Your Comments:

Ever had this old fashioned Kidney Bean Salad? Share your memories of this great Southern dish with us.

It will only take a minute or two for you to leave your comments in the section below.

Just remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone before they are approved for viewing on our family friendly website. Thank you in advance for sharing.

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Be Blessed!!!


You might also want to try this:  Macaroni and Tomatoes Recipe

Or maybe this one:  Southern Chicken Salad

Or, even this one:  Southern Potato Salad

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Salads, Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (27)

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  1. Michael Seitzinger says:

    I remember having Kidney Bean Salad as far back as 60+ years ago in southeastern IL. This may be a regional dish as I have not seen it in other parts of the country. One restaurant in my home town still serves it but uses Salad Dressing instead of Mayo.

  2. Ida says:

    My mom use to make this but put fresh chopped tomatoes or diced canned tomatoes ( whatever she had at the time) in it. Me myself i dont link kidnet bean so i use pinto beans i cook myself with a ham hock bone in it and bacon grease. You mentioned ” theres no cooking just through it together” well you might want to edit that cuz some ppl do exactly has it says and YOU DO HAVE TO COOK THE EGGS. Not everyone is goid in the kitchen but they try so please when writing out the recipes think of those patrons. I myself have been cooking since i was 8 yrs old so i dont need to be told but other will need guidance.

  3. I have had bean salad since I was a little girl. My grandma always made it. She also made bean cakes. I am making bean salad tomorrow. Can’t wait. Can’t believe people have never heard of this recipe. Love it!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Tammy, Do you make yours the same way? Just curious. And, I’ve never had bean cakes to my knowledge, I’ll have to look that one up. I do appreciate your visits and your support. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Sheri Fisher says:

    I made this salad for a mission’s team from TN & KY that came and rebuilt the deck at our pregnancy center. Because my mom made this salad for us all the time growing up in FL & since her parents came from TN/KY I thought it’d be nice to serve it. Well, no one had ever heard of this salad and that sure did surprise me! They all tried it & said they enjoyed it!
    So glad I found others who love this cold salad as much as I do. Really does remind me of weekend cookouts growing up in 1970’s Florida. People say FL isn’t the “south” but I respectfully disagree. There are lots of FL natives that have deep southern roots too! I live in Western Colorado now but love these old dishes from my childhood.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sheri, Thank you for sharing your comments and memories about the Kidney Bean Salad. I had never heard of it either until one of the readers mentioned it. It is a strange combination, but it’s really tasty. As for Florida being a part of the South, they look to be more Southern than North Carolina. I’ve often wondered why we aren’t considered to be Easterners instead of Southerners when you see our location on the map. But, I’m glad to be called Southern. Smile. I hope all is well in Colorado. I do appreciate your visits and your support. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Page Morden says:

    Made Kidney Bean Salad Tuesday nite. First, I do not like kidney beans, nor do I eat celery unless it is cooked in a dish, never raw, and do not use DUKE’S MAYO in all of my salads. Just new salads. Did use sweet pickles I canned this summer. Now saying all that the bottom line is the Kidney Bean Salad is SOOOO–GOOD–. Had a bite just after making it last night, thought it was good, then put it in refrigerator. Took a bite this morning before breakfast to see how it tasted cold. Decided it was excellent and would make a good breakfast with my (not made from scratch) hot biscuit. One of the best breakfasts that I have had in a long time. Decided at lunch needed to see how salad tasted with crackers, just as good. Looks like this will become one of favorite salads. Last note I gave up on making biscuits about 40 years ago, sisters have tried to teach me, just has not worked. May get up enough nerve to try your recipe for biscuits, but then may not. Best wishes and remember time flies when you are having fun and Spring is just a short time away. Enjoy the Newsletter each week, first thing I read in the emails.

  6. Evelyn Gard says:

    My sister got this recipe from her mother-in-law. Being that her family was large she revised it to make it go farther. She doubled the recipe and added chopped tomatoes and mixed it all together with chopped lettuce. Topping it off with shredded cheese. She used dill pickles slices chopped up. This is fabulous for summer meals.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Evelyn, Your sisters version sounds great. Thank you for the suggestions. I appreciate you sharing the information and for visiting with us today. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Jennifer A. says:

    We make something very similar but sometimes add grated cheese and if we have it, diced ham.

  8. Patsy M. Parker says:

    We make a kidney bean salad very much like this one.It has been afamily favorite for many years.We use 2 kinds of kidney beans,i can dark beans,one can light beans.We don’t use celery,but small amount vinegar and a small amount sugar.We also don’t drain the juice.Everyone likes the juice so well,you will catch them drinking it!! We also use the sweet pickles.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Patsy, Thank you for sharing your comment with us. I just knew when I started reading it that you were going to say you used dill pickle juice instead. Glad to hear you use the sweet. Smile. I could just picture you turning up the bowl to drink that juice. Nothing wrong with that though. Thanks for your visit today, the door is always open so please stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  9. Emily Hand says:

    Wow, I was about to think I just dreamt it all. It was about 1963, we went to the neighborhood pool (a big deal for me), and this pretty lady mixed up something almost exactly like this in a great big bowl. I loved it! A great memory. Think I’ll make some myself, next time we go to the pool. Thanks for reminding me of a sweet time. (Dill pickles a must!)

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Emily, Thank you for sharing your memories with us. I do hope you’ll give the Kidney Bean Salad a try. Hope it turns out to be close to what you remember. I’ve never been much of a fan of dill pickles as I’ve mentioned, but maybe one day I’ll get brave enough to try this will the dill pickles instead of the sweet. I did say “maybe.” Smile. Thanks for stopping by today. The door is always open so I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  10. Joan G says:

    Hi Steve. I love Monday morning when I get your newsletter and recipes!!! I did make the kidney bean salad this morning. It’s still fridging for tonight’s dinner. I have made similar but never with pickle relish. Taste test after 8 hours: delicious. I did, however, use only one egg as 2 seems to be way too much for only one can of kidney beans. The relish is a nice addition. Yes, I will make this again. Thank you, Steve. Can’t wait for next Monday!!!!!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Joan, Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’m happy to have you as a subscriber to the Newsletter. You must have jumped right in and made the Kidney Bean Salad. How cool is that? I’m glad you like it so far and hope it turns out well with your dinner. Thank you for your comments and for your visit today. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  11. Donna Pike says:

    Just made this recipe for the first time, exactly as your recipe BUT, because we don’t have Duke’s mayo here, I used my regular brand. First taste went to my husband Don, who is my usual taste tester, he declared it to be excellent! I thought so too so can’t wait for it to mix and mingle for several hours in the fridge so we can enjoy it with supper. Thanks Steve, another winner!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Don and Donna, Thank you for trying the recipe. I’m really glad to hear that you liked it. I thought it was good too. As for the Dukes, you should probably be able to order that through the Walmart website if you’re interested. Just sharing the info for what it’s worth. I do appreciate you taking the time to share your results. Perhaps it will encourage someone else to give it a try. Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you’ll visit with us anytime. The door is always open. Smile. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Donna Pike says:

        Not certain we can get Dukes Mayo in Canada, but I will look into it. If not, then we will just have to plan a a road trip from Vancouver BC Canada, to YOUR neck of the woods to get some! Always a pleasure reading your most welcome emails and recipes over breakfast every Monday Morning! You do make us smile each and eivery time. Be well, be happy and be excellent to everyone who is important to you.

  12. Karen Miller says:

    I grew up in a farm in Illinois, and we had kidney beans salad often. Thanks for reminding me of that tasty salad. We’ll be having it this week. I think it will go well with the barbecue ribs I’m fixing tomorrow.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Karen, This will go great with the barbecue ribs. What times supper? Smile. Thanks for sharing your memories of the recipe and thank you for stopping by today. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  13. Lois costello says:

    This was the first item I learned to make in high school cooking. That was 1966. I love kidney beans. Always a favorite we me. Not everyone a fan of the beans but my mother and myself loved it. They sell it at local stores by fresh salads but they want 4 to 6 dollars a pound. So I just make it my self.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lois, I’ve mentioned this to a couple of my friends and several have told me they don’t like kidney beans. Guess you’re right about that part. To my knowledge, I’ve never seen this for sale in my local area. You’re right again that it would be cheaper to make than to purchase. Very simple and easy, one of my favorite ways of doing things. Smile. Thank you for sharing your memories of the Kidney Bean Salad with us. I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  14. Kent Jackson says:

    My mother used to make this as I was growing up in Southeastern Ohio. She had been born in Louisville, KY. I believe her mother made it there for the family.

    The only change that I remember was that she added left over roast beef that she cubed if we had any left from the night before.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kent, The addition of the roast beef sounds like a winner. Bet it was really good. Thanks for sharing your memories of the recipe. I appreciate you taking the time to write, and I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  15. Janet says:

    I,too had never heard of this salad, but since I have all of the ingredients on hand, I will be making this today. I plan to serve it with ham for dinner tonight. Thank you for a recipe that does sound a little strange,but something interesting. I do make several of your recipes,and find them tasty.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Janet, I’m glad you’ve tried several of our recipes and liked them. I’ll really be looking forward to hear how you like this one. Be sure to come back and share your results. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you. Smile. Thanks for sharing your comments and I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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