This is easily the best 5 bean salad recipe you’ll ever make. It’s quick (15 minutes!), healthy, vegan, no fuss and fantastic for feeding a crowd or if you need easy meal prep ideas.
- Why You’ll Love 5 Bean Salad
- Are Canned Beans Healthy?
- What Beans Can I Put in A 5 Bean Salad?
- What Dressing to Use For 5 Bean Salad?
- Do You Need to Cook Canned Beans?
- Recipe Overview
- Variations and Substitutions
- How to Make This Salad Perfectly [Expert Tips]
- Great Mains for This Salad
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love 5 Bean Salad
There are so many things to love about this vegan bean salad. It’s inexpensive and ever so hearty. Especially great if you’re feeding a large family or crowd and you need to fill them up.
It is simply delicious. If you love your beans like we do, it’s such a quick meal to have on its own. It’s also good for meal prep as you can make it the day before and serve up the next day. In fact, it actually tastes better the next day as the salad dressing really creates the flavour.
For our vegan friends and those who follow a plant-based diet, this is a fantastic salad recipe that is rich and clean.
Are Canned Beans Healthy?
A good 5 bean salad is also healthy to consume as beans are a nutrient rich food. Beans are excellent sources of fibre, folate, plant protein, plant iron, vitamin B1, and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and copper.
They are also a great source of plant-based protein.
However, canned beans are full of sodium, so it is best to wash them before eating or try to get the no sodium or low sodium varieties.
What Beans Can I Put in A 5 Bean Salad?
The most popular beans to add to a 5 bean salad are green beans, red kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas or garbanzo beans and cannellini beans.
Some other beans you can use include butter beans, borlotti beans, yellow wax beans, pinto beans and Great Northern beans—a ton of choices and the ability to mix it up to add your favourites.
What Dressing to Use For 5 Bean Salad?
For this 5 bean salad, we have chosen to use a simple Dijon mustard vinaigrette. Nothing too strong or overpowering so that we can taste the beans in the recipe.
Do You Need to Cook Canned Beans?
Canned beans are already cooked, so you don’t need to cook them before eating. However, you can add them to your recipe and heat them as you would in soup or chilli.
Flavour/Texture: Beans generally have a buttery and starchy texture. Hence is counteracted by the crunch of al dente fresh green beans, bell peppers and raw red onion. The overall mouthful is, therefore, well-balanced.
The Dijon mustard vinaigrette is familiar and unobtrusive, giving the 5 bean salad the slight tang it needs.
Ease: Super easy indeed. A quick blanch of the green beans will suffice while everything else is out of a can or diced. Nothing complicated at all.
Time: This is a 15-minute salad. What more can we ask for?
These are the ingredients you need for 5 bean salad:
Green beans: This is the only bean that should be eaten fresh rather than from a can or frozen. It is simply fresher and will give the salad the crunch it needs.
Beans: For this 5 bean salad, we chose staples such as cannellini beans, black beans, red kidney beans, and chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
Bell pepper: Any bell pepper will do. Gives more crunch, something fresh and a bit of colour.
Red onion: We love adding raw, diced red onion to our salads. A touch of potency to really mix up the flavours.
Garlic: Fresh and minced well to be infused into the vinaigrette.
Dijon mustard: Adding the sharp taste, pungent flavours into the perfect mix of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Super easy and quick.
Variations and Substitutions
Type of beans: Although traditionally, the beans used in a 5 bean salad are as listed, there is no reason why you would have to stick to it. You can also use butter beans, borlotti beans, yellow wax beans, pinto beans and Great Northern beans.
Other vegetables: Plenty of other vegetables you can add to this 5 bean salad to add an additional crunch, such as cucumber, celery and radish.
Extra bite: For that extra pungency or spiciness, you can use Hot English mustard or horseradish in the salad dressing.
Less pungent allium: If red onions are too much for you, feel free to omit them. Or you can try a salad onion or some scallions for a less potent ingredient.
Step by step instructions for how to make 5 bean salad
Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook green beans until al dente. Run under cold water, cut into 3 and set aside to dry.
Drain the canned beans and chickpeas, rinse briefly and set aside to dry.
Dice the bell pepper and red onion.
How to Make Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour in the salad dressing.
Toss until well combined.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly [Expert Tips]
Rinsing canned beans: It is important to give the canned beans a good rinse before eating. Not only does it reduce the levels of sodium you would be consuming, but it also removes some of the residues it sometimes leaves behind.
Dry beans: After rinsing, it is imperative to dry them before tossing them all together. This ensures the 5 bean salad doesn’t get soggy.
Fresh green beans: Frozen or canned green beans just don’t do it. Get fresh green beans for this recipe. Just give it a quick blanch, run under cold water to stop the cooking process and pat dry. IT will be nice and crunchy, a welcome difference to the starchy beans.
Great Mains for This Salad
What to serve with 5 bean salad? Try these delicious vegan main dish recipes:
These gorgeous vegan stuffed butternut squash is fantastic for entertaining and makes a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving table.
Frequently Asked Questions
This 5 bean salad can last in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure it is stored in an airtight container.
It is unnecessary to heat a 5 bean salad. If it has been in the fridge and you don’t like cold salads or cold food in general, just let it sit out until it reaches room temperature. However, you certainly can, if you prefer, give it a quick zap in the microwave. But don’t overheat it.
Absolutely. It can be consumed cold or at room temperature.
You can technically freeze a 5 bean salad; however, it doesn’t thaw well. The consistency of the beans would be compromised, but it is certainly edible. It is best to consume within 5 days of making the salad.
Love a simple 15-minute salad that satisfies the taste buds and a filling recipe that doesn’t break the bank. Perfect for those seeking budget-friendly meals. It is so easy to make, not oily, not creamy and a wonderful vegan salad that all can enjoy!
5 Bean Salad [Vegan]
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- Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook green beans until al dente. Run under cold water, cut into 3 and set aside to dry.
- Drain the canned beans and chickpeas, rinse briefly and set aside to dry.
- Dice the bell pepper and red onion.
- Mince garlic.
- Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in the salad dressing.
- Toss until well combined.
- You can use a variety of beans for this salad. Particularly great if you have cans of beans sitting in the pantry which needs to be used up.
- Plenty of other vegetables you can add to this 5 bean salad to add additional crunch, such as cucumber, celery and radish.
- Use fresh green beans rather than frozen green beans to ensure freshness and to consume it al dente. Frozen green beans tend to defrost too softly.
- Ensure the canned beans are rinsed to remove any residue and brine for a fresher taste. And make sure they are nice and dry before tossing through; otherwise they will end up soggy.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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