5 Easy Bean Salad Recipe Ideas

Caramelized Onion and Butter Bean Salad Recipe

A bean salad recipe is really versatile and great for pretty much any occasion. Serve bean salads alongside any type of meat, poultry or fish or make one the next time you’re barbequing.

There are various types of beans to choose from for bean salad recipes, and you can always mix and match depending on what you have on hand.

Personally I love throwing as many kinds of beans in there as possible to enjoy a range of textures and flavors, but the great thing is you can choose which beans you like and which to omit.

You can also cook dried beans if you have the time, although canned beans are certainly quick and easy!


Caramelized Onion and Butter Bean Salad Recipe

If you want to make a bean salad recipe using butterbeans, the following might be of interest. Combining butterbeans with green onion, fennel, cucumber and thyme, as well as juicy caramelized onions, this salad is full of contrasting flavors.

The dressing is made with honey, lemon and balsamic vinegar, offering sweetness as well as a tangy taste. This salad is nice served on a bed of romaine lettuce, although you can use a different kind of lettuce if you prefer or even omit it altogether.

Caramelized onions are soft and sweet and they are also easy to make. They should be a deep golden brown color but they should not be charred so turn down the heat if you think they might be at risk of burning.

Caramelized onions are beautiful in salad recipes. They are also good on top of pizza, added to pasta dishes or in sandwiches along with a slice of cheese and perhaps some chutney too.

This flavorful salad makes enough to feed four people as an appetizer, or six to eight as a side dish. It would also be good at lunchtime if you fancy something different from your usual sandwiches.

Feel free to throw in additional ingredients – anything you want to use up would work, so you might like to add a peeled, chopped apple (soak it in lemon juice else it will go brown), some grapefruit segments or even some cherry tomato halves.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad


  • 1 chopped head romaine lettuce (cos lettuce)
  • 3 sliced green onions (spring onions)
  • 1 peeled, seeded, diced cucumber
  • 1 trimmed, sliced fennel bulb
  • 7½ oz (210g) can butterbeans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

For the Caramelized Onions:

  • 2 very thinly sliced onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. First make the caramelized onions.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over a moderate heat.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, onions, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook until the onions are deep brown, stirring occasionally. This will take about 20 minutes.
  5. Let them cool.
  6. Whisk the balsamic vinegar, honey and lemon juice together to make the dressing.
  7. Whisk in the olive oil, in a steady stream. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Toss the fennel, cucumber, green onions, butterbeans, caramelized onions and thyme together.
  9. Add the romaine to a big serving bowl and top it with the fennel mixture.
  10. Pour the dressing over the salad.


  • A bean salad recipe might be heavy on the beans, featuring mixed legumes like kidney beans, borlotti beans, cannellini beans and chickpeas, or it might feature just one or two kinds of beans. This recipe is different again because as well as the butterbeans it contains green onion, caramelized onions (which are wonderfully soft and sweet), fennel, cucumber and more.
  • The sweet, tangy dressing goes beautifully. This flavorful onion and bean salad recipe would make a nice accompaniment to grilled chicken or you could eat it with fish or seafood. If you want to use a different dressing, you can change the recipe or use a bottled one.

Keywords: butterbean salad, caramelized onions


Healthy Garbanzo Bean Salad Recipe

This delicious salad pairs garbanzo beans with bell peppers, red onions and more. The parsley adds freshness and the Dijon mustard used in the dressing adds a touch of spice which suits the overall flavor. The resulting salad makes a satisfying lunch or a nice side dish.

Many people prefer to eat this as soon as it is made, since the oil-rich dressing can congeal in the refrigerator. If you do wish to make it in advance you can refrigerate it for up to two days but allow it to come to room temperature and give it a good stir before serving, to redistribute the dressing.

Garbanzo beans, which are also known as chickpeas, form the foundation of this delicious and simple salad recipe. Garbanzo beans are high in protein and one of the oldest cultivated vegetables (remains dating back 7500 years have been discovered in the Middle East). These beans can be cooked and added to stews or salads.

Canned garbanzo beans are popular, since they eliminate the need for cooking. You can grind garbanzo beans into a flour, called gram flour, which is frequently used in Indian recipes.

Garbanzo beans are also used to make hummus recipes. Some types of this bean can be popped and eaten like popcorn. Garbanzo beans in syrup are eaten as a dessert in the Philippines.

Dried garbanzo beans require an hour or two of cooking time but as soon as they are ready they must be served, else they will start to disintegrate. If you soak the beans for twelve to twenty four hours before cooking them, you will find that the cooking time decreases to around thirty minutes.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad


  • 15 oz (425g) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/3 finely chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Whisk the vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, mustard and cumin together and season to taste.
  2. If you do not have a whisk, you can put these ingredients in a jar and shake it well.
  3. Put the bell pepper, garbanzo beans, parsley and onion in a bowl.
  4. Add the dressing and mix well.
  5. Taste the bean salad recipe and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.


  • Combining garbanzo beans with bell peppers results in a colorful and appetizing salad which makes a lovely appetizer or side dish.
  • If you are looking for a bean salad recipe with garbanzo beans (chickpeas) you might like this one. It might be quick and easy to prepare but the flavor is elegant and this is a bean salad recipe you will want to make again and again.
  • The garbanzo beans have a firm texture, as does the bell pepper, so you might wish to sauté the bell pepper until soft and then use it, just to contrast the textures a bit more.

Keywords: garbanzo bean salad


Tuna and White Bean Salad Recipe with Red Onion

This deliciously different white bean salad recipe features tuna, red onion and not much else. Use dark tuna rather than light tuna, for a better taste. Dark tuna has a strong enough flavor to stand up to the white bean taste.

If you use light tuna meat, you will lose the flavor to the beans, so make sure you get the right one. This bright-tasting salad makes a change from tuna mayonnaise-based salad recipes and you will love the classic oil and vinegar dressing. Add a splash of lemon juice (or even some lemon zest) to the dressing to give it a tangy flavor if you like.

Most of the flavor here comes from the beans and tuna and the red onion adds a piquant touch. If you have tuna in spring water rather than tuna in oil, you will need some extra-virgin olive oil to make this recipe, since the oil from the tuna is used in the dressing. You might have enough already from the can – it depends what brand of tuna it is.

This simple bean salad recipe only calls for five ingredients plus seasoning. You might think that using so few ingredients is not going to produce a very special bean salad recipe but it actually tastes great.

It is best if you have a few hours to marinate the salad in the refrigerator. Just make it the way the recipe tells you and then leave the finished salad to chill in the refrigerator so the oil mixture can soak right through and the flavors can blend together nicely.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad


  • 30 oz (850g) canned dark tuna, packed in olive oil
  • 30 oz (850g) cannellini beans (white beans), drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup (120ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1 thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Drain the tuna and reserve the oil.
  2. Use a fork to break the tuna into bite-size chunks.
  3. Mix the red wine vinegar with the oil from the tuna.
  4. You should use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil; add some extra-virgin olive oil if you do not have enough oil.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Toss the cannellini beans with the red onion.
  7. Divide this mixture between 4 chilled serving plates and top with the tuna.
  8. Sprinkle the parsley over the bean salad recipe and drizzle the dressing over the top.
  9. Leave in the refrigerator for 4 hours for the flavors to blend.


  • This is such a simple idea for a meal but this tuna and white bean salad recipe really hits the spot, whether you are serving this as an appetizer or for the main meal.
  • Since this dish contains fish, legumes and onion, you can consider it a meal in its own right. It is certainly satisfying and delicious anyway.
  • Make sure you use a good quality tuna for this – dark tuna meat is the best or, failing that, light tuna. White tuna has too mild a flavor to compete with the beans.
  • This is a great budget meal which you can make in minutes, although it is best left to marinate for a few hours so the flavors really blend.

Keywords: cannellini bean salad


Tuscan Bean Salad Recipe with Anchovies

This very basic Tuscan bean salad recipe is made with a variety of different beans, as well as corn, fresh herbs, sundried tomatoes, anchovy paste and more, for a full-flavored salad which is reminiscent of the Mediterranean.

Dried beans are healthier and cheaper than canned beans but they usually require a long soaking and cooking time which some people do not have. In the height of summer it is also nice not to have to turn the stove on to cook beans for hours, so let canned beans come to the rescue if you like. Just make sure you drain and rinse them well.

You might wonder what chiffonade-cut basil means and this is very easy to make. Basically you need long, thin strips of basil for this bean salad recipe. The easiest way to do this is to roll all the leaves together in a cigar shape.

Then, using a sharp knife, cut diagonally across the cigar shape to make slices. Each slice will open out and you will have lots of long, thin strips. This is far quicker than slicing each leaf individually and rolling them up ensures they stay in place so you can cut them properly without missing any bits.

This bean salad recipe is very easy to prepare because all you have to do is mix everything together, taste and season it. You do not have to marinate this recipe or leave it in the refrigerator for the flavors to blend if you do not want to, although some people think this improves the flavor.

You can make this up to two days ahead if you want to. Just give it a good stir before you serve it, to redistribute the dressing and freshen up the flavor a little.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 15 oz (425g) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz (425g) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 7½ oz (210g) can corn kernels, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 8 chiffonade-cut basil leaves
  • 1 finely sliced red onion
  • 2 finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons Tuscan herb mix (or use Italian mixed herbs)
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 2 mashed anchovy filets
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Stir the beans, corn, sundried tomatoes, red onion and anchovies together in a big bowl.
  2. Stir the parsley, basil, vinegar, oil, Tuscan mixed herbs and crushed red pepper flakes in another bowl.
  3. Add the parsley mixture to the bean mixture and toss.
  4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.


  • This is a colorful and delightful-looking bean salad recipe because there is plenty to look at, rather than just having one main ingredient.
  • If you like a lot of different flavors and textures in your bean salads, this one should be a winner. Not only does it contain various kinds of beans as well as corn kernels, but the flavorful dressing and fresh herbs give this bean salad recipe an exciting, vibrant and very fresh flavor.
  • It is impossible to buy salads as good as this from the store. For the best results, always serve homemade salad recipes, especially easy and flavorful ones like this Tuscan bean salad recipe.

Keywords: Tuscan bean salad, easy bean salad, bean salad with anchovies, bean salad with sundried tomatoes


Super-Easy 4 Bean Salad with a Lemon Dressing

This delicious 4 bean salad recipe combines kidney beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans and green beans for a colorful and flavorful result.

If you want to use fresh green beans rather than canned ones, that is fine. Just simmer them in salted water for a few minutes until they are crisp-tender, then drain them and let them cool a bit.

The garlic and lemon juice dressing is tangy and delicious and goes beautifully with the bean mixture. This is not a complicated bean salad recipe at all.

Some bean salads feature vegetables, herbs and other ingredients but this one sticks with the four kinds of beans plus the dressing, to keep the flavors clean and simple.

It is best to make this one in advance and leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the beans soak up the dressing. This really boosts the overall flavor and you will be glad you let it marinate.

Beans often feature in hot dishes such as chili con carne or bean stew recipes. They are also popular with vegetarians. Whether or not you are a vegetarian, you will find that a bean salad recipe makes a great lunch, appetizer or side dish.

You can also serve such a recipe for the main course. There are many different recipes for bean salad so you can mix and match components from different ones (perhaps the salad from one and the dressing from another) to achieve the perfect combination.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad


  • 15 oz (425g) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz (425g) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz (425g) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz (425g) can chopped green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice


  1. Combine the beans in a big bowl.
  2. In another bowl whisk the garlic, salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice together to make the dressing.
  3. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator, so the beans can soak up the flavor of the lemon dressing.


  • This appealing bean salad recipe combines four sorts of beans with a lemon and garlic dressing for maximum flavor without the complexity of a more complicated bean salad recipe.
  • Some people like to add sundried tomatoes, anchovies, olives, lettuce, onions and more to their bean salad recipes but this one relies solely on the beans and the dressing, to give a pure-tasting result.
  • Make this a few hours in advance so it can marinate to perfection in the refrigerator.
  • If you like, you can swap one of the varieties of beans for another variety. Any kind of beans will be nice in this simple bean salad recipe.

Keywords: 4 bean salad recipe, easiest bean salad, easy bean salad, 5 minute bean salad

bean salad recipe ideas