Bean salad is quick to prepare and makes a great side salad for any Summer barbecue. However, add some dressed salad leaves and enjoy for a quick lunch too!
Bean salad is one of those dishes that we’ve prepared and enjoyed for years, but never quite got around to writing up on our blog! This delicious salad makes a tasty side for any Summer barbecue, all the better as it doesn’t take too long to prepare!
I think that’s the thing about barbecues, you want to be outside enjoying the weather. If I’m cooking I want to be at the barbecue cooking, not stuck indoors! That’s when dishes like this come into their own!
This mixed bean salad is such a quick dish, using ingredients from our store cupboards. Tinned beans and sweetcorn, mixed with some other vegetables from our store, and combined with a simple salad dressing.
Serve this mixed bean salad alongside a mixed leaf salad, lightly dressed and some sun ripened tomatoes with a sprinkling of sea salt and you have the perfect, fuss-free sides for any meal.
Feeding a crowd!
This bean salad recipe uses 1 tin of mixed beans. However, the entire recipe can be easily adapted to feed a larger group of diners at a barbecue or for dinner. Simply multiply the recipe, double or treble it if necessary.
Where we have used mixed beans for ease, you can use a variety of other beans when making it for a larger crowd. Borlotti beans, black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans and chickpeas will all work if mixed together.
Use what you like to eat and happen to have in your store cupboards.
Can you freeze this salad?
You can’t freeze this bean salad, the defrosting process would cause everything to break down too much, and nobody will thank you for soggy salad.
However, made in advance, it will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge if covered. Just take care when serving as it may have become a little watery. This is easily fixed, give it a good stir and drain off any excess liquid before serving.
How to make this salad into a main dish?
This is a delicious side dish, however with a little imagination you can turn this simple bean salad recipe into a main dish. Adding your choice of chicken, fish or grains to the dish.
Tuna and beans work beautifully together in a salad. You can add some fresh, pan-fried tuna steaks, lightly seared and served atop the salad.
However, if you don’t have fresh tuna a tin of tuna would work just as well. Simply drain the tuna and break into chunks and gently stir through the salad, taking care not to break up the fish too much.
If you want to keep the dish entirely vegan, then think about adding some cooked rice or quinoa to the salad. Both these grains work beautifully when stirred through a salad. Allow the salad to sit for an hour or so to allow the rice or quinoa to absorb the flavours from the vegetables and the dressing for added flavour punch.
What substitutions can I make?
Our bean salad uses a mixture of beans, together with sweetcorn, chopped fresh tomatoes, red pepper and fresh herbs. However, feel free to add in other vegetables if you want to bulk up the dish.
Beans are really versatile and work with a large variety of flavours. Cucumber, courgette, green or yellow peppers can all be added to this salad, giving it a lovely crunch from the rainbow of vegetables.
For a slightly spicier version add just a hint of fresh chilli. De-seed a chilli and chop it finely, adding in some creamy avocado. This would give this bean salad a deliciously Mexican twist, finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice!
This recipe uses fresh chopped coriander, however, you could use any tender herbs chopped through the salad. Parsley, tarragon, mint or basil would all work equally well and taste delicious in this simple bean salad.
Being Canadian, Michelle loves maple syrup, which has been added into the dressing to add a little sweetness to the beans. If you don’t have maple syrup, honey or caster sugar can be added instead. However, if you would prefer to cut the sweetness out altogether, then leave it out.
Can I use dried beans instead of tinned?
We have used tinned beans for ease in this recipe. However, you can use dried beans if you prefer. Simply soak the beans in water over night, and then cook them for 40-60 minutes the following day until they are soft.
This is a much longer process and requires a little forward planning. However, we both use dried beans and pulses in our cooking and with a bit of prior planning it can work out a lot cheaper to cook with dried beans. Particularly if you are catering for a larger crowd.
Point worth noting:
When adding the vinaigrette to the salad to dress it, take care not to add too much at once. You may not need or want all the vinaigrette added.
Start by adding half the quantity of dressing to the salad. If that’s not enough add a little more. Stir it through and then set the salad aside. When ready to serve, check that you don’t need to top up the dressing as it will absorb into the beans.
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Additional recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then why not try some of our other side salads like our Tomato Salsa, our Warm Potato Salad with Wild Garlic, our Creamy Potato Salad or our Warm Vegan Potato Salad, Italian Marinated Aubergine or our Harissa & Carrot Salad. These all taste great as side dishes for a Summer barbecue or any time of the year!
Mixed Bean Salad
- 6 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup (or another sweetener)
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- 400 g tin mixed beans (drained & rinsed)
- 1 red onion (sliced thinly)
- 1 red pepper (diced)
- 1 tomato (large, diced)
- 200 g tin sweetcorn
- 1 handful fresh coriander (chopped)
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- Add all ingredients for the dressing in a lidded jam jar or dish and shake or whisk together.
- Taste and season with salt & pepper to your liking. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
- Thinly slice the red onion and place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water while you prepare the rest of the salad. This removes the harshness of the raw onion for the salad.
- Drain and rinse the tinned mixed beans and place in a large serving bowl with the sweetcorn.
- Chop the coriander, dice the tomato and pepper and add to the beans.
- Drain the water off the onions and add the onions to the bean salad.
- Add half the vinaigrette to the salad, mix well and season with salt & pepper. As the beans sit they will absorb more of the dressing. Add more as required to suite your taste, before serving.
- Check seasoning before serving. Depending on your beans, you may not need all the dressing, keep any unused in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and use on salads.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •
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