Four Bean Salad

by Julie Cohn
Four Bean Salad2

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Looking for an easy and delicious side dish?  This Four Bean Salad is healthy and flavorful, pretty to look at and easy to make, with ingredients you probably already have on hand in your pantry and bonus…it is Mediterranean diet-friendly!   This salad is so good, don’t save it just for the summer, make it all year! 

Call me crazy, but I think Four Bean Salad is one of the world’s most perfect foods. This heart-healthy salad is both vegetarian and gluten-free, chock full of heart-healthy beans, with a vinegar-based dressing that will keep your digestive system happy.  Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber and protein, with B-6, iron, and magnesium. Kidney beans are known to lower cholesterol, with protein and antioxidants, and green beans have Vitamin C and fiber.   You notice it does not have sugar in it like most bean salads, right?  You honestly do not need sugar, especially if you use a nice aged balsamic vinegar, but if you do want to add a bit of sweetness to the dressing, whisk about 1 Tbsp. of honey into the dressing before you mix it into the beans, but I honestly think you will find that you don’t need the extra sweetness at all.

Tangy and flavorful, Four Bean salad compliments any meal, but especially summer barbeques! I’ve been known to have a bowl of this for lunch, it is so delicious and refreshing!  I like to make it as a healthy side dish with Brooks BBQ chicken,  Raspberry Razzle jello salad, baked beans, and potato salad.  It would not be a barbeque without them!

Four Bean Salad

This salad makes a healthy vegetarian option for those who do not eat meat, as it contains protein.  

  • 1 (15 oz) Can of Kidney Beans
  • 1 (15 oz) Can of Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 (15 oz) Can of Black Beans
  • 2 c. Fresh or 1 (15 oz) Can of Green or Wax Beans
  • 1/2 c. Red Pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/3 c. Sweet Red Onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 c. Celery, chopped fine


  • 2/3 c. Aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/3 c. Olive or Avocado Oil
  • 1/8 tsp.  Thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. Dill 

Drain all the beans and rinse in a colander.  Set aside to drain again for five minutes. Fresh is best when it comes to the Mediterranean diet, so try to use fresh green beans if possible, steamed for about 3-4 minutes, then flash cooled in ice water. Place the beans in a large bowl.  Chop the red pepper, onion, and celery fine and add to the beans. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour over the bean mixture.  Toss together until the dressing is well blended in the beans.  Place in a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least three hours.  

Note:  This Four Bean Salad gets better the longer it sits in the refrigerator, so it will be even better the 2nd or 3rd day.  Want to make it even more delicious and healthy?  Add some chopped avocado, pistachios, or almonds right before serving.  I eat this as a Mediterranean diet-friendly lunch sometimes.  



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