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Four Bean Salad

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This classic Four Bean Salad recipe is made with fresh green and yellow wax beans and a sweet and tangy vinaigrette. It’s easy to make, can be made well in advance (the flavor’s even better!) and makes a refreshing side dish for your at-home meal, backyard barbecue, picnic, or potluck!

For another easy bean salad recipe check out my German green bean salad, Bohnensalat!

four bean salad recipe classic best fresh green yellow wax kidney garbanzo onions vinaigrette

Four Bean Salad is a classic American side dish that conjures images of potlucks and backyard barbecues. It’s a reliable crowd pleaser that provides a delightful burst of textures and flavors and pairs with a wide variety of main dishes. It can served cold or at room temperature, is the perfect make-ahead dish, and makes fabulous leftovers.

Four Bean Salad Ingredients

As its name denotes, there are four varieties of beans in this salad. But what if you’d like to add a fifth bean? Go for it! And what if you only have three bean varieties on hand? No problem! Feel free to change the beans up according to what you have on hand or your personal preference. For example, cannellini beans are a great addition to this salad, contributed a creamy texture and buttery flavory. Pinto or black beans can likewise be used (just be sure to drain the black beans well so they don’t discolor the salad) as can black eyed peas. Aside from the beans we’re adding onions and a simple but flavorful sweet-and-tangy vinaigrette made with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Looking for a low sugar alternative? You can use alternative granulated sweetener.

While you can use canned green and yellow wax beans in a pinch, I strongly recommend using fresh when able. I grow beans every year in our garden and blanch and freeze them so we can enjoy them months later. (Check out my tutorial on How to Freeze Green Beans.) So far this summer I’ve harvested nearly 100 pounds of beans of all different varieties! And for this salad I’m using some haricot verts and a pole bean variety of yellow wax beans. Use whichever varieties you have access to.

fresh green beans and yellow wax beans from the Daring Gourmet garden

What to Serve with Four Bean Salad

I love this salad all by itself with a slice of crusty sourdough bread; it makes a terrific light lunch or dinner. But it also pairs well with wide variety of mains such as:

  • Grilled meats, chicken, fish, and seafood
  • Baked chicken, pork, and fish
  • Roasted rack of lamb
  • Shish kabobs
  • Fish cakes and crab cakes or even fish and chips
  • Burgers and hot dogs
  • Chicken salad sandwiches or tuna salad sandwiches

Serve it alongside other summertime side dishes like:

four bean salad recipe classic best fresh green yellow wax kidney garbanzo onions vinaigrette

Four Bean Salad Recipe

Let’s get started!

Trim the stem ends of the green and yellow wax beans and chop the beans into roughly 1-inch pieces.

slicing fresh green and yellow wax beans

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Boil the beans for 2 minutes until they’re tender but still retain some crispness. Transfer the beans to a colander and immediately rinse with cold water until they’ve cooled down. Alternatively place the drained beans in a large bowl of water with ice cubes. Allow the beans to drain while you make the vinaigrette and prepare the other ingredients.

cooking and draining fresh beans

Place all of the beans in a large bowl and add the thinly sliced onion.

adding beans and onions to large bowl

Stir the beans and onions to combine.

To prepare the vinaigrette, place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette over the bean salad and stir to thoroughly coat. Let the four bean salad chill for at least 2-4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.

four bean salad recipe classic best green beans yellow wax onions kidney garbanzo vinaigrette oil sugar vinegar

Store the bean salad in a covered, non-reactive container (such as glass) in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 5 days.

Enjoy!

four bean salad recipe classic best fresh green yellow wax kidney garbanzo onions vinaigrette
four bean salad recipe classic best fresh green yellow wax kidney garbanzo onions vinaigrette

Four Bean Salad

Made with fresh green and yellow wax beans and a sweet and tangy vinaigrette, it's the perfect make-ahead dish for your backyard barbecue, picnic, or potluck!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 196 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 pound fresh green beans , ends trimmed (can substitute 14.5 ounce can, drained)
  • 1 pound fresh yellow wax beans , ends trimmed (can substitute 14.5 ounce can, drained)
  • 14.5 ounce can kidney beans , rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 ounce can garbanzo beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1 small yellow onion , thinly sliced
  • For the Vinaigrette:
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • or alternative granulated sweetener
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Chop the green and yellow wax beans into roughly 1-inch sized pieces.
    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Boil the beans for 2 minutes until they're tender but still retain some crispness.Transfer the beans to a colander and immediately rinse with cold water until they've cooled down. Alternatively place the drained beans in a large bowl of water with ice cubes. Allow the beans to drain while you make the vinaigrette and prepare the other ingredients.
  • Place all of the beans in a large bowl and add the thinly sliced onion. Stir the beans and onions to combine.
    To prepare the vinaigrette, place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until emulsified. Pour the vinaigrette over the bean salad and stir to thoroughly coat. Let the four bean salad chill for at least 2-4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.
    Store the bean salad in a covered, non-reactive container (such as glass) in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 8gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 501mgPotassium: 479mgFiber: 8gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 400IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Bean Salad, Four Bean Salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating




5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

5 Comments