June 23, 2011

Five bean salad

Close-up of five bean salad.

Bean salad is one of my favorite summer picnic salads. I love that while it may contain a lot of sugar, it's still packed with protein and fiber and doesn't contain mayonnaise. 

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Probably almost everyone has had some version of a bean salad in their life, or has their own family recipe for one. This salad is really versatile - you can use three beans, four beans, five beans and almost any kind of beans that you like. 

The ones in this recipe are the ones that I generally use. I brought this to a family picnic over Father's Day weekend, but I also enjoy making up a batch to have on hand for lunches during the week. I try to buy all organic and low-sodium beans for this recipe so that I can control the salt content. I also use fresh green beans, but you could substitute canned and/or yellow beans. 

This recipe will make a large bowl, suitable for a picnic.

Five bean salad
about 1 lb fresh green beans, cleaned and cut into thirds
1 can (~15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (~15 oz.) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (~15 oz.) light kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (~15 oz.) dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives

Cook the green beans in boiling water until they are just fork tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stream in the olive oil while whisking until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the sugar and/or vinegar to your liking as needed.

In a large bowl combine all of the beans, celery, and onions. Drizzle the with dressing and add the chives. Gently mix until combined. Refrigerate until cold and toss again to ensure the beans are all covered with dressing before serving.

Bowl of five bean salad.


  1. Yum - totally agree that bean salads are great for weekday lunches

  2. Thank you! I'm glad there are other people that enjoy bean salad as much as I do :-)

  3. this sounds like a very delicious and healthy salad! indeed it is perfect for picnics!


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