Cucumber and Black Bean Salad

$3.20 recipe / $0.80 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 17 votes
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If you need one more fresh summertime salad for this Memorial Day weekend, I’ve got ya! This light and fresh Cucumber and Black Bean Salad is the perfect side for all your summer grilling, but also works great as a taco topper, base for a bowl meal, or even a chunky salsa for chip dippin’. The freshness of the cucumber balances the earthy black beans, and the tangy homemade vinaigrette keeps everything light and fresh!

Cucumber and Black Bean Salad in a white bowl with a bowl of cilantro on the side.

Keep it Simple or Spruce it Up

You know I love to keep my food as simple as possible, but this salad is flexible enough to handle additions, if you happen to have them on hand. Might as well use up any lingering ingredients in your fridge, right? Here are some other ingredients that would go great in this Cucumber and Black Bean Salad:

  • Corn kernels
  • Avocado
  • Diced red bell pepper (fresh or roasted)
  • Diced Green bell pepper
  • Jalapeño
  • Diced tomato
  • Cotija cheese
  • Pineapple

“I Hate Cilantro!”

I hear ya. You got dealt the cilantro-hating genetic hand, but this Cucumber and Black Bean Salad still looks so delicious! Luckily, this salad is one of the few instances where I think parsley would work equally as well. Parsley goes great with cucumber, so it would be just as home here as the cilantro. We all win!

How to Serve Cucumber and Black Bean Salad

This is another great “refrigerator salad” that you can keep on hand and add to just about any meal you eat throughout the week. And not only does it hold up well, the flavor gets better as it marinates in the fridge.

Its obvious use is as a side dish, and it would go particularly well with grilled meat or something like our Honey Chipotle Chicken. I’ve also been using it as a base for bowl meals (add an egg and a spoonful or two of salsa verde), it can be spooned onto tacos as a sort of chunky salsa or relish, or you can scoop it up with chips for a fresh vegetable-y dip! 

Close up of Cucumber and Black Bean Salad on a spoon with the bowl in the background

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Cucumber and Black Bean Salad

5 from 17 votes
This light and fresh cucumber and black bean salad is the perfect summer side dish. It is refrigerator stable so make it once and snack on it all week!
Cucumber and Black Bean Salad in a bowl with a black spoon
Servings 4 1 cup each
Prep 15 mins
Cook 0 mins
Marinate 10 mins
Total 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($0.49)
  • 1 cucumber ($1.29)
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion (about 1/4 onion) ($0.11)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed ($0.20)
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta (optional)* ($0.55)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar ($0.12)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked black pepper ($0.03)

Instructions 

  • Soak the red onions in ice water for about 5 minutes to soften their flavor. Rinse and drain the black beans. Allow them to drain well while you chop the rest of the vegetables.
  • Finely dice the cucumber to pieces about the same size as the black beans. Finely dice the red onion, and roughly chop the cilantro.
  • In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 15 cranks of a pepper mill).
  • Add the black beans, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and feta to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top, then fold the ingredients to combine. Allow the salad to sit for 10 minutes to marinate. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 4-5 days.

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Notes

*Skip the feta to make this salad vegan! While the feta adds a nice touch, the salad is still super delish without.

Nutrition

Serving: 1CupCalories: 189.4kcalCarbohydrates: 20.85gProtein: 8.05gFat: 8.38gSodium: 609.63mgFiber: 5.53g
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I live for cucumbers in the summertime!! If you want more cucumber salads, check out my Super Fresh Cucumber Salad, Sesame Cucumber Salad, or Lemony Cucumber Couscous Salad.

Front view of Cucumber and Black Bean Salad in a white bowl with a black spoon.

How to Make Cucumber Black Bean Salad – Step by Step Photos

Sliced red onion soaking in ice water

Let the red onion soak in ice water for about 5 minutes before you begin. This takes the sharp edge off their flavor. I like to slice them before soaking to maximize the water contact, then finely dice them after soaking. You’ll only need about 1/3 cup once diced, or about 1/4 of a medium red onion.

Rinsed and drained black beans in a white colander

Rinse and drain one 15 oz. can of black beans. Let them drain well while you chop the rest of the ingredients.

Cucumber being diced on a cutting board

Dice one cucumber into small pieces, about the same size as the black beans. The most efficient way to do this is to slice the cucumber, then stack a few of the slices, and cut crosswise into cubes. Take care when stacking and cutting, as the cucumber slices can be slippery. So watch those fingers!

Cucumber and Black Bean Salad ingredients in a white bowl

Finely dice the onion after soaking, and roughly chop about 1/2 cup of cilantro. Combine the cucumber, black beans, red onion, cilantro, and 2 Tbsp feta in a large bowl.

Dressing being poured onto cucumber and black bean salad ingredients

In a separate small bowl, stir together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 15 cranks of a pepper mill). Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.

Finished cucumber and black bean salad in a white bowl with a large spoon

Gently fold the ingredients together until everything is combined and coated in dressing. Let it sit to marinate for at least ten minutes before serving, or refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. Make sure to give it a brief stir to redistribute the dressing just before serving each time.

Cucumber and Black Bean Salad in a bowl with a black spoon

TRY THESE OTHER CUCUMBER SALADS:

 
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  1. What a great way to use those summer cucumbers. Also like how you can add extras, like tomatoes or corn or peppers, and use what you already have available.
    Have made this twice with varying ingredients and it was delicious both times.

  2. Fabulous. I added 1/8 tsp chili powder an 1/2 tsp sugar an drizzle of honey to the dressing. It’s to die for. 

  3. Absolutely fabulous. I added 1/8 tsp chili powder an 1/2 tsp sugar an drizzle of honey to the dressing. It’s to die for. 

  4. i’m here because i dumped the last of these leftovers into some cold pasta i had to use up and the resulting unplanned pasta salad was SO. GOOD. looking forward to making this at least a few more times while cucumbers are fresh.

  5. This is a regular in my meal prep because it is so easy, and so tasty! It lasts all week in the fridge and is so flexible! I usually toss the beans in trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning first, the pile in the veggies. I like a blend of corn, red pepper, and some greens – kale, parsley or spinach. Sometimes I have it with tofu, sometimes in a corn tortilla sometimes just in a bowl with crackers. Fantastic recipe.

  6. I love this salad! I eat it as a side dish, wrapped in a tortilla as a quick burrito, or mixed with a diced hard boiled egg for breakfast. Leftovers hold up well in the fridge for a few days.
    I substitute parsley for the cilantro (personal preference). I’ve used different kinds of onion (or no onion) depending on what I have on hand, and it has always been delicious!

  7. I paired this with some chipotle cod as a filling for fish tacos and I don’t regret it! Great recipe

  8. I just made this as a work lunch for a family member at short notice. I didn’t have any cucumbers and wouldn’t be going shopping in time, so I used two zucchini about the same size as cucumbers. I suspect the drier zucchini will help the salad hold up a little longer than cucumber.

    And, since I don’t keep ice cubes on hand for ice water, and I had white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, I soaked the onion in 2 TBSP. cranberry-apple juice + 1 tsp. white vinegar in the fridge. When ready to slice the onion, I poured off the vinegar-juice in to a measuring cup and stirred in the oil and seasonings to pour over the whole salad when done.

    Well, I think my substitutions worked, we’ll have to see if the person it’s for likes it. If not, more for the rest of us!

  9. I didn’t want to make this salad – I just didn’t think it sounded good. But I needed a salad for a family event on short notice, and I had all the ingredients – which was obviously a sign :).

    This salad is very yummy. It’s a big hit – with tortilla chips as a dip, scooped onto a bowl of lettuce, stuffed into a pita (my personal favorite), and as a side.