Colorful Bean Salad

Colorful Bean Salad is an easy, make-ahead salad that is perfect for potlucks, cookouts, summer barbecues and picnics.

Colorful Bean Salad

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime


I am really fond of bean salads of all types, including bean salsas. I didn’t used to be. In fact, I remember a time when I tasted bean salad from a can (first time I’d had bean salad) and thought to myself that it had a lot of potential, but not with the flavor of metal added.

Bean salad is so much better when made from scratch! The vinaigrette is fairly straight-forward, a simple light sweetened type, but it can vary with more or less sweetness and a great deal of seasonings to give it variety. Not to mention the whole array of different things you can add to a bean salad. Such as this recipe, which uses olive, although that is not typical of the basic bean salad.

When presented with many  options to make a salad your own, you may even find yourself adding things like grilled chicken, and then spooning some of the bean salad along with the meat over chopped greens for a main dish salad. SO the sky really is the limit if you use your imagination and let it run wild.

Other than that, this kind of salad is perfect for backyard barbecues and potlucks, not only because you can make this ahead of time, but because it doesn’t have mayo or eggs in it, which makes it a little bit less of a concern during warm weather. But even so, food poisoning can happen with a food like this, so keep your bean salad chilled. I like to pack mine in ziplock bags and keep it in the cooler during picnics. You can then serve a little bit at a time, keeping the rest on ice, and getting more out as you need it, so it doesn’t just sit there in the sweltering heat.

And as always, I do hope you enjoy!


Colorful Bean Salad


  • 1 16-ounce can tri-color beans (dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, black beans)
  • 1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans or chickpeas
  • 1 16-ounce can blue lake cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup drained diced pimientos
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic or garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Splenda granular -OR- 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. Rinse beans with water in a strainer and drain.
  2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, Splenda or sugar, garlic, parsley, seasoned salt and black pepper.
  3. Toss dressing with ingredients in a mixing bowl and marinate, refrigerated, for several hours or overnight.


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