Cowboy Pork and Bean Salad

For whatever reason foods get the “cowboy” name when mixed with beans and peppers.  I don’t know why this is, but I have seen many “cowboy” recipes that have beans and peppers as some of their primary ingredients.  I guess beans and peppers were in abundance where the cowboys roam and rustle their cattle or when they are out on the range.  But whatever the reason, I just know I love the combination of beans and peppers and use them quite frequently.  Maybe I am a just “cowgirl” at heart.

Larry had taken down a pork loin to use in this week’s meat rotation.  It’s been way too hot to have the oven on for the amount of time it would take to roast a pork loin, so I came up with another idea instead.  After marinating it in a delicious chili lime marinade, I sliced it into thinner strips and grilled it to use with my cowboy salad.


Cowboy Pork and Bean Salad

I started off by marinating the pork loin in a chili lime sauce for about 4-5 hours.  It came out so tender and it was so full of flavor.


The Marinade

3 lb pork loin

1/3 cup lime juice

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp aji amarillo or gold garlic chili powder, optional

1 tsp crushed Aleppo chili peppers, option


Mix everything together and pour over the pork loin, then marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.


The Salad


1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn

2 roasted Anaheim peppers, peeled and seeded, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded, diced fine

1/2 red bell pepper and 1/2 green bell pepper, diced fine

1/2 red onion, diced fine

1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 TBSP chopped parsley

1 TBSP chopped cilantro


spicy tomato vinaigrette

cheddar cheese, optional

fried tortilla strips, optional

avocado slices, optional


Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette

4 tomatoes

1 TBSP garlic

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 TBSP honey

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp crushed Aleppo chilies

1 tsp aji amarillo chilies


Mix everything together in a food processor until it is well blended.


Toss all the beans, peppers and vegetables together, adding a little of the spicy tomato vinaigrette as well.


We had our friend Gabe over for dinner.  Both he and Larry wanted cheese on their salads.  So I made it nice and cheesey for them.  Start with a bed of shredded lettuce, then add a layer of cheese and top with the bean mixture.  At this point you can put it into into the refrigerator until you are ready to finish it.


When you are ready to eat, grill the pork loin until it is done, then slice it into thin strips.

While the pork is cooking, if you want to add a bit more texture to your salad, slice a tortilla into thin strips then pan fry in hot oil for about a minute, or until they crisp up and turn golden brown.  Drain the excess grease off and immediately add a little salt and toss.


When ready to eat, add the pork strips on top of the bean mixture.  If you want more cheese, add more on top of the pork.  Top with more of the spicy tomato vinaigrette, and add the avocado slices and tortillas strips if you like, to finish off the salad.  I had some leftover pesto tomato foccaccia that I used as our bread and completed the meal with a crisp citrusy chardonnay.

We had three slightly different versions of the same salad.  Gabe went for the “full Monty” and his salad was fully loaded.  Larry does not like avocados, and I am not a big cheese eater.  So as I say all the time, make it how you like it.  After all, you are the one who is going to be eating it.  🙂


Stay safe and stay well Everyone.  ‘Til next time.






Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

11 thoughts on “Cowboy Pork and Bean Salad”

  1. Well that looks seriously wholesome and well ranged – cowboys were notorious for farting – guess it must have been the fullsome air they were breathing in all day 🙂


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