Picnic Month – 4 Bean Salad

Today, in honor of National Picnic Month (July), I am sharing one of my favorite picnic foods – 4 Bean Salad. This recipe from our The New Contented Heart Cookbook – Cholesterol Lowering Recipes, is super simple to make. Yes, you can purchase canned three bean salad, but really – why would you? This homemade version is made with healthier oil, less sugar, more flavorful vinegar, and you get even more beans! And did I mention that it is a budget-friendly recipe? See my tips following the recipe.


1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans

1 (15 oz) can yellow wax beans

1 (15 oz) can green beans

3/4 cup chopped green onions

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

3 T lemon juice

3 T red wine, balsamic, or sherry vinegar

1 t sugar

1 T spicy brown mustard

Drain and rinse all beans. Combine beans with green onions and bell pepper in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and mustard. Pour over bean mixture. Toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Makes 16 side servings.

Tips: This salad is even better when you cook the kidney and garbanzo beans at home instead of using canned beans. Try making the salad when fresh green and yellow beans are available too. Olive oil becomes cloudy when refrigerated, just allow the salad to come to room temperature before serving. This salad will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Great when served with other picnic salads or grilled veggies or burgers.

Nutrition info: Only 88 calories per serving with 4 grams of protein! Beans are full of soluable fiber, the kind that helps lower your cholesterol. Olive oil is full of heart healthy antioxidants.

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

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