Skip to Content

Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad

Sharing is caring!

Colorful, crunchy and fresh, this deliciously easy Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad makes a perfect cold side dish and takes just a few minutes to make. A yellow serving bowl full of kidney bean salad.

This easy bean salad has such a fond place in my memories. When I was a little girl you could be certain you’d find a bowl of this tangy, crunchy cold salad at the little country church potlucks I attended with my grandma.

Check out my other church potluck favorites: 
Summer vegetables and farfelle pasta tossed with an Italian dressing in a white bowl. A bottle of olive oil and pepper sit to the side.

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

Kidney bean salad takes just a handful of ingredients and transforms them into such a colorful and filling side dish. And it’s a great way to use up those hardboiled eggs you might have leftover from Easter. (Note my pretty shiny Easter eggs!)A colander full of drained kidney beans sitting next to celery, onion, pickles, hard boiled eggs and miracle whip.

To make Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad you’ll need:

2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup sweet pickles, chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup of Miracle Whip or mayoA yellow bowl full of the ingredients to make the salad before the dressing has been added.

Now let’s talk about some of these ingredients, substitutions and additions. 

1) It doesn’t matter what color kidney beans you use. Dark red, light red, whatever your preference is fine! Shoot, you could even substitute in black beans or whatever canned bean you’ve got and it would probably still be tasty.
2) I like chopping up sweet pickles for my kidney bean salad because I like getting an actual bite of pickle in my salad. Feel free to substitute sweet pickle relish instead and make things even easier. 
3) The dressing. You can use your preference of Miracle Whip or mayo. I know a lot of people feel very strongly about this one. Use what your taste buds like. Whatever you use, it’s going to mix in with the egg yolks and will give the salad a dressing that has a taste similar to a deviled egg. So I suggest using whatever you use to make your deviled eggs. I like both, but I think Miracle Whip tastes the best in this salad.
4) Sometimes I also add about 1/2 cup cubed cheddar cheese to this salad. It makes a great addition.A small white bowl full of old fashioned kidney bean salad sits next to a salt and pepper shaker.

This cold salad goes great with sandwiches, burgers, like my Juicy Burger loose meat sandwiches, and leftover Easter ham! Hope you’ll enjoy this old fashioned blast from the past as much as I do.

After the kidney bean salad is mixed with the dressing.

Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Colorful, crunchy and fresh, this deliciously easy Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad makes a perfect cold side dish and takes just a few minutes to make.


  • 2 (15 ounce) cans of kidney beans
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet pickle
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip or Mayo
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. First drain and rinse off your kidney beans.
  2. Add the kidney beans to a medium sized bowl along with the chopped celery, onion, sweet pickles, hard boiled eggs, and Miracle Whip.
  3. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Will stay fresh in the fridge for several days. Just cover tightly with plastic wrap.


  • Use whatever color kidney beans you have on hand, light red or dark red.
  • Sweet pickle relish may be substituted for the chopped sweet pickles.
  • Either Miracle Whip or mayo can be used for the dressing, use your preference.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review or a photo! I'd love to hear your feedback!

Pin this recipe for later! 

Colorful, crunchy and fresh, this deliciously easy Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad makes a perfect cold side dish and takes just a few minutes to make. #beansalad #kidneybeansalad #accidentalhappybaker


Saturday 2nd of March 2024

I omitted the egg. I used sweet pickle relish. Easy & delicious!


Saturday 9th of December 2023

This dish (no onions) was always on our table at Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of my favorites and we still have it during the holidays. I signed up for a vegetable dish for a Christmas lunch this week and I plan to make this.


Friday 22nd of September 2023

When making this for a neighborhood lunch, one elder (mid-80s) gentleman (who grew up on a farm in northwest Indiana) said he had never seen anyone drain and rinse the kidney beans for this recipe before. Have you or any of your readers ever heard of making KBS with the sauce?


Saturday 2nd of March 2024

@Duke, My mother never drained hers either

Amy D

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

No Duke, I sure haven't.

John Rhoe

Monday 21st of August 2023

This was always on holiday tables when I wAs growing up. And you nailed it spot on!🐷🐽🐣🐷🐥


Tuesday 15th of August 2023

I'm allergic to onion of any kind & garlic, what else can I use in place of them? I remember my grandma & daddy making this salad when I was little, so happy I found your?site. Thank you.

Amy D

Wednesday 16th of August 2023

Hey Lynne, you can just feel free to omit the red onion. If you feel like you'd like add something to replace the bit of crunchiness it adds, perhaps some bell pepper would work well for you.

Amy D.

Skip to Recipe