Santa Fe Salad

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


10 servings

Updated: Oct. 27, 2023
People always ask for this Santa Fe salad recipe when I bring it to potlucks. The zippy dressing and mix of crunchy veggies with beans is a winning combination! —Gail Park, Newport News, Virginia


  • 2-1/2 cups cut fresh green beans
  • 1 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese


  1. Place green beans in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately place beans in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
  2. For dressing, in a small bowl, combine the cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, cumin, salt and cayenne.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the green beans, corn, pinto beans, black beans, red pepper, onion, chiles and olives. Sprinkle with cheese. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Santa Fe Salad Tips

What can I add to this Santa Fe Salad?

You can add other types of beans to this Southwestern-style salad, such as cannellini, kidney or wax beans. Toss in other fresh veggies like celery, cucumber, or green or yellow pepper. Or, you can make this a Santa Fe chicken salad by adding chopped, cooked chicken for protein. Experiment with other herbs such as parsley, rosemary or basil for a flavor twist. It may take some trial and error to find the right blend of seasonings to suit your taste.

How can I make the Santa Fe dressing dairy-free?

If you or your guests follow a dairy-free diet, you’ll need to replace the sour cream. One way is to make a simple dressing consisting of vinegar, oil and sugar, but be aware this will impart a slightly different flavor to your salad. Add herbs and other seasonings as desired. You can also swap the regular sour cream for mayonnaise (most brands are dairy-free) or vegan sour cream. You can find a variety of vegan sour cream brands at health-food and specialty grocery stores. If you’re following a strict dairy-free diet, you will also have to omit or replace the shredded cheese in this salad. Look here for more information on non-dairy alternatives, and check out some of our favorite dairy-free recipes!

How long does this Santa Fe recipe last?

This salad is best if eaten within 24-48 hours. You may decide to make it a day ahead, as the beans will soak up the vinegar and other flavors in the dressing— making it taste even better the next day. Refrigerate any leftovers in airtight containers. Properly stored, this salad will last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. For more quick and easy salads, check out these 30-minute recipes.

Research contributed by Amy Glander, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 151 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 374mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 6g fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.