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Best Pork N Bean Salad Recipe

Hey y’all! Get ready to take a trip down memory lane with a classic southern dish that’ll have your taste buds dancing with delight.

Introducing my irresistible Best Pork n Bean Salad Recipe, a true embodiment of comfort and flavor. Picture this: tender, juicy bites of succulent pork mingling with creamy beans, crisp veggies, and a tangy dressing that’s like a party in your mouth. 

Y’all may think that a pork and beans salad sounds a bit strange, but this recipe is older than I am, and has stood the test of old fashioned recipe time.

It’s the perfect combination of hearty and refreshing, making it a crowd-pleasing side dish that’ll steal the show at any potluck or backyard barbecue.

So, grab your apron, fire up that grill, and let’s get cooking y’all! This Pork ‘n Bean Salad is sure to bring a smile to your face and leave you craving more.

Get ready to savor every delectable bite of this down-home, southern goodness.

Pork and Beans Salad with Mayonnaise Dressing

Best pork n beans salad recipe on a white plate with lettuce and canned pork and beans in the background

If I am not mistaken, Y’all, I believe that this salad originated back in the 1950’s. Canned pork and beans made their debut back in the late 1800’s. Can you believe that they’ve been around that long? Great recipes never go out of style.

I have been eating pork and beans as far back as I can remember. Now this may be shocking to a lot of you, but we eat pork n beans cold. As in chilled in the fridge before serving.

Maybe that is what poor folks did, because I know a lot of people that do the same. My husband grew up eating them that way too.

A few years back, I recall asking my Facebook followers if they ate them heated or cold. Lawd, y’all would have thought I was suggesting something out of this world crazy. Everyone was shouting at me that they had to be heated up.

Preparing this old timey salad for y’all has me wondering if eventually people just started leaving out the rest of the stuff and serving them cold and that is how “cold beans”, as we call them at our house, became a thing.

Anyways, let’s get to the recipe!

How to make Pork and Bean Salad

Ingredients for making a pork and beans salad with canned baked beans

Here’s what you will need to make this delicious old fashioned recipe using the popular VanCamp’s canned baked beans.

  • Canned Pork and Beans – I set a colander over a small bowl and let the beans drain while I work on prepping the rest of the ingredients. Allow it to drain enough to get rid of some of the excess sauce leaving enough to coat the beans.
  • Celery – a bit of diced celery adds nice crunch, flavor and aromatics to salads.
  • Onion – I chose to use a sweet Vidalia onion since we have them available right now. Diced red onions would be a great option for this salad too.
  • Sweet Bell Pepper – I opted not to use a green pepper since I have a few green ingredients in this salad already, so I went with an orange bell pepper. Feel free to use a green bell pepper or any color that you like.

Give the bell pepper a rinse under cold water and dry before dicing. Dicing bell peppers with the inside, or non-shiny side, facing up will give you better control when dicing.

  • Sweet Pickle Relish – the sweet pickle adds a nice balance to the tangy flavors.
  • Mayonnaise – adds a bit of creaminess and tang to this salad. This might be an ingredient that is a bit of a surprise, but it really works well in the best pork n bean salad recipe. If you’re not a fan of mayo, try the salad with cottage cheese or sour cream.

Other Options for the Recipe for Pork and Bean Salad:

Some folks like to make their pork and bean salad with boiled eggs. Lawd knows that the Southern people love to throw boiled eggs into everything. Myself included, but I chose not to add them to this salad.

I like to serve this salad on some pretty lettuce leaves, but that is completely optional. A sprinkle of scallions for garnish is also a nice option.

Diced tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, pimentos, or perhaps a dash of hot sauce would also be great additions to this salad if you enjoy those flavors and have the stuff on hand.

What about seasonings? I did not add any seasonings because that tomato-y sauce that glazes the pork n beans along with the tangy Duke’s mayonnaise and sweet pickle adds enough flavor in my opinion. Of course, you can add any seasonings that you might enjoy to this recipe to make it your own.

A pinch of salt or black pepper, a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, or chili powder are options to add additional flavors if you wish.

Old Fashioned Pork and Bean Salad

ingredients in a mixing bowl for pork and bean salad mayonnaise dressing

The next step is to add all of your ingredients to a large bowl.

Old Timey Favorite

combining ingredients for VanCamp's pork and beans salad with vegetables in a creamy dressing

Using a spoon or spatula, stir everything together until it is all combined. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Now listen, Y’all, I know that some of you are thinking that is not the prettiest looking bean salad. The best food stylist in the world couldn’t change that. But I promise you that pork and bean salad is worth trying because it is delicious.

What to Serve with Pork and Bean Salad?

bean salad on lettuce with a fork

Pork ‘n bean salad pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes, complementing their flavors and adding a delightful touch to your meal. Here are a few suggestions for what you can serve alongside your tasty Pork ‘n Bean Salad:

1. Barbecue Ribs: The smoky flavors of tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs are a perfect match for the savory and slightly sweet notes of the bean salad. Pork chops would also be a great option.

2. Grilled Chicken: Whether it’s marinated, seasoned, or simply seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled chicken provides a lean and delicious protein option that balances well with the heartiness of the salad. BBQ chicken would be great also!

3. Cornbread: The combination of soft, crumbly cornbread and the creamy beans in the salad creates a wonderful texture contrast. 

4. Coleslaw: A refreshing and crunchy coleslaw adds a cool and tangy element to the meal, providing a contrasting texture and bright flavors that complement the rich flavors of the salad.

5. Grilled Vegetables: Fire up the grill and add some colorful vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant. The smoky and charred flavors of the grilled veggies harmonize well with the robust flavors of the salad

6. Southern-style Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy, cheesy mac and cheese is a classic southern comfort food that pairs wonderfully with the hearty Pork ‘n Bean Salad. The combination of the two dishes brings a comforting and satisfying meal to the table.

Pork and Bean Salad Recipe

pork n bean salad

Remember, those are just suggestions, and you can mix and match according to your taste preferences and the occasion.

Enjoy the versatility of the Pork ‘n Bean Salad and create a meal that satisfies both your cravings and those of your guests!

Below is the printable recipe card for this P&B Salad.

Yield: 1 Salad Side Dish

The Best Easy Pork and Bean Salad Recipe

The best pork and bean salad recipe served on a bed of lettuce leaves

Hey y'all! Get ready to enjoy a lip-smackin' dish that'll make your taste buds sing! This here Pork and Bean Salad is a Southern classic that's full of flavor and downright delicious. This old fashioned recipe combines pork n beans with diced veggies, sweet pickle in a creamy dressing. So simple and so delicious!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 Fifteen ounce canned Pork and Beans, drained
  • ½ cup Celery, petite diced
  • ½ Vidalia Onion, diced (or other onion of choice)
  • ½ Sweet Bell Pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons Sweet Pickle Relish
  • 3 tablespoons Mayonnaise (I used Duke's)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. Transfer the pork and bean salad to a salad bowl or serving bowl.
  3. Serve on lettuce leaves and garnish with sliced scallions, optional.


See full blow post for other ingredient options and suggestions for the recipe.

Tip: place a colander over a small bowl and add the pork and beans to allow the excess liquid to drain. Do not rinse the beans.

Tip: When dicing bell pepper, make sure the shiny side of the pepper is facing down on the cutting board allowing the knife to dice the non-shiny side gives better control for cutting.

Cover and store any leftover pork and beans salad in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 526mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

Calculated based on serving size being about 1/2 cup. Individual appetizer and variations in serving size will cause daily value calculations to fluctuate.

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Thank you for stopping by! I am so glad that you did! I hope that you’ll give my best pork n bean salad recipe a try soon.

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Pork ‘n Bean Salad is a timeless southern delight that brings together the best of comfort food and vibrant flavors.

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, attending a potluck, or simply looking for a satisfying side dish, this salad will always have your back.

So, whip up a batch, gather your loved ones around the table, and savor the taste of southern tradition.

The Southern Pork and Bean Salad is a reminder of the simple pleasures in life and the joy that comes from sharing good food with good company.

I would love if y’all could take a second and share this recipe with your friends on social media.

Until next time, love and happy cooking!

Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

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Sharing is Caring

Barbara Miller

Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Save the juice that drains off and eat it cold or room temp on a piece of light bread. Eat it plain, with mayo or mustard or both. Either pick it up and eat it or lay it on a plate and eat it with a fork. My mercy, special treats and sweet childhood memories.

Barbara Miller

Tuesday 6th of June 2023

Oh my. I had forgotten that my Grandmother used to make this salad for me. She would put it back in the cans and we would sit on the porch and eat it with a spoon out of the can. I often eat the beans (vegetarian) with mayo and yellow mustard out of the can.


Wednesday 7th of June 2023

@Barbara Miller, Now this is right up my hubby's alley! He said he'd never eaten the beans with mayo and mustard, but he gonna surely try that the next time he's able to steal a can from my pantry! LOL! Claudine in Fort Worth, TX


Monday 5th of June 2023

OMG Julia! I first ate this at my then future MIL's house. That was 60 years ago. I was raised on canned pork n beans, eating then heated, cold straight from the can or in a lot of dishes, but I had never eaten anything like this P&B salad. It was really good, but she was not one for sharing her recipes, so I really never did take the time to figure this out. She would always shoo me away when she was making it. This was one of the first recipes I tried to look up when I got on the internet in 1996, but no luck and I have been searching for it ever since. Now this is the recipe. I thank you for sharing it with us. You have made this old lady's day. Thank you again. Claudine in Fort Worth, TX

Julia Jordan

Tuesday 6th of June 2023

Claudine, Thank you so much for your lovely comment. You've made my day! I am so happy that you've shared your memories and will be trying this tasty recipe. ~Julia


Monday 5th of June 2023

Goodness gracious!!! Looks so good. Pork and beans are not to be heated! We always eat them straight from the can or cold from fridge!

Julia Jordan

Tuesday 6th of June 2023

Mimi, You make my heart smile! It is good to know that other folks also eat pork and beans cold. ~Julia

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