This quick and easy four bean salad is simple and delicious. With a tangy vinaigrette it's perfect for a bbq, bring a plate (pot luck) or a picnic. Tuck in!
Mixed bean salad is one of those wonderfully simple salads that tastes so much better than it should! Made with mostly tinned beans, it's budget-friendly and quick and easy to make. With all those beans it's packed with protein and a great vegetarian and vegan option. A great recipe to throw together the night beforehand to let the flavours muddle together overnight to save time the next day. Plus it transports well for BBQs, bring a plate (pot luck) or a sunny picnic.
What to serve with four bean salad:
This mixed bean salad is so versatile! Some tasty options include:
- At a picnic with some tasty portable quiche, fritatta or egg and bacon pie.
- At a BBQ with some sausages, steak or your fav protien.
- At home with some cold meats such as ham or a cold roast chicken.
- A great vegetarian and vegan option, as a side or main.
- Add some carbs to round this out to be the star of the show as a main dish.
Tips and tricks for making 4 bean salad:
Can I make this with 4 bean mix from a tin, such as Edgell?
Yes you can, but I recommend adding some extra ingredients to pump up the flavor. Tinned four bean mix typically contains white beans such as butter beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), red kidney beans and something small such as lima beans.
If making this mixed bean salad with a can of 4 bean salad mix I recommend rinsing the bean well and adding fresh green beans for extra crunch and flavor. This will also rinse off some of the salt, which can be quite high in canned beans.
Can I use different beans in this salad?
You sure can! I've used green beans, kidney beans, butter beans and chickpeas (garbanzo) beans in this recipe, but you could absolutely mix things up with a combination of your favorite beans. Some tasty options include yellow wax beans (my husband's favourite), fava beans, pinto beans or black beans. Whatever takes your fancy so long as it's a bean!
Can I make this salad with dried beans?
You can, but it will increase your prep time significantly. Dried beans need to be prepared and cooked properly to make sure they are safe to eat. You can read more about how to cook safely with dried beans here.
I don't like corn/peppers/red onion. Can I make this salad with different vegetables?
Yes you can. An old fashioned four bean salad is typically made with tinned green beans instead of fresh, with sweet onions instead of red and no tinned corn. I like the addition of tinned corn and fresh beans as I find it lightens up the salad and adds some extra tasty vegetables. If you don't like any of the individual vegetables you can leave them out or swap with something else. Some tasty options include adding some sliced avocado, some rocket (arugula), or cherry tomatoes.
Can I add carbs to this salad?
Yes you can. For a more filling salad or to change it up from a side dish to a main dish you could add some healthy starches such as cooked cooled pasta, barley or quinoa.
Green beans: fresh green beans add some crunch to this salad. Yellow wax beans are also delicious, add another colour pop and easily upgrade this dish to a 5 bean salad. At a pinch you could use tinned green beans, but you will lose the fresh crunch element to this salad.
Red kidney beans: a tine of red kidney beans is an easy addition to this salad. Tinned is best and means you don't have to worry about soaking the beans first.
Butter beans: are another easy and tasty option. You could use cannellini beans or something similar if you prefer.
Chickpeas: also known as garbanzo beans. I love the shape of these and they add some interest to the salad.
Corn kernels: a tin of corn kernels adds another element and colour to this salad. If you really aren't a fan you can leave them out (but it's better with them in, trust me).
Red capsicum: also called bell pepper. Red capsicum gives a great colour pop but you could use yellow or green too.
Red onion: adds some sharp sweetness to the salad. You could use spring/green onions, or at a pinch brown onions if that's all you have.
Extra virgin olive oil: has the best flavour for salad dressings, but you could use regular olive oil.
Red wine vinegar: adds some sour notes. You could also use white wine vinegar or even regular white vinegar. I don't recommend using apple cider vinegar, I find it isn't sharp enough for the vinegarette.
Lemon: a little fresh lemon juice adds some much-needed sharpness to this salad. Fresh is always best. You could also try mixing things up with lime juice.
How to make Four Bean Salad
Put a couple of cups of water on to boil. Top and tail the green beans (cut the tips off each end) and cut in half. Once the water is boiling add the green beans and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat, drain well and run under cold water until cooled. Shake well to drain and transfer to a bowl.
Peel and dice the red onion. Core and dice the red capsicum (bell pepper). Drain the tinned corn, red kidney beans, butter beans and chickpeas. Run some water over the beans to rinse the tined liquid off them and shake well to remove the water.
Add the drained beans and corn kernels, green beans, capsicum and onion to a large bowl and mix well. To make the four bean salad dressing slice the lemon in half. Drizzle the lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar over the salad, mix well you're done!
How to serve
To serve this 4 bean salad transfer to a serving bowl, give it a good toss to ensure the dressing is coating everything and enjoy! An excellent side to my bacon and egg pie, with some rock and pear salad or beetroot salad.
How to store
This easy mixed bean salad stores and transports well. You can make it the night before you need it and transport it to a BBQ, bring a plate (pot luck) or get together with family and friends. It will store well covered in the fridge for up to four days.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below!
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Four bean salad
- 2 - 3 large handfuls (9oz/250gms) green beans
- 1 tin (15oz/410gms) red kidney beans
- 1 tin (15oz/410gms) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1 tin (15oz/410gms) butter beans
- 1 tin (15oz/410gms) corn kernels
- 1 medium red capsicum (bell pepper)
- 1 medium red onion
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Bring about four cups of water to boil. Trim the ends off the green beans and cut them in half.
- Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook for two minutes. Remove and drain well in a colendar, then run under cold water untill cool.
- Drain the kidney beans, butter beans, chick peas and rise well to remove the canning liquid. Drain the corn kernels.
- Peel and dice the red onion. Dice the red pepper. Juice the lemon.
- Add the drained beans and corn, cooked green beans and diced red onion and capsicum to a large bowl and mix well. Drizzle over the olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Mix well, transfer to a serving bowl if eating straight away or to a covered container to store in the fridge if making ahead. Delicious!
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