Easy Mixed Beans Salad With Vinaigrette Dressing

By: Flora

Last Updated: March 22, 2024

5 from 1 vote
Brighten up your table with this colorful mixed bean salad recipe that's as delightful to look at as it is to eat. It is super easy to put together and travels well so it is the perfect dish to take to a summer picnic or a potluck dinner.
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Mixed Bean Salad
Why I love this mixed bean salad recipe

This easy mixed beans salad recipe is a yummy combination of beans and veggies tossed in a tasty homemade vinaigrette dressing.

It’s super easy to put together and can be made in advance. (Which is always a bonus if you’re hosting a dinner party).

In fact, it actually tastes better when it has been sitting for a few hours. The extra time allows the beans time to soak up the flavors from the dressing.

All of that makes it the perfect dish to bring to your next potluck dinner or summer cookout. It’s sure to be a hit for its delicious taste and eye-catching appeal.

And it’s naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian. So the people with special diets in your crowd will thank you.


mixed beans salad ingredients

This recipe will make about 6 side salads.

Here is your shopping list:

  • Beans – 14-ounce to 20-ounce can mixed beans. These usually contain 3 to 5 different varieties of beans and may be called a bean medley or bean blend.
  • Fresh vegetables – 1 8-ounce container grape tomatoes, 2 stalks celery, 2 green onions or chives, 1 large orange or red bell pepper
  • Fresh herbs – 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • Jarred goods – 2 Tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto. This adds some extra flavor to the salad.
  • Vinegar – 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Oil – 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Spices – 3 cloves garlic
  • Seasoning – Cracked black pepper to taste

If you can’t find cans of mixed beans, you can make your own combination. Look for chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans), pinto beans, red kidney beans, black beans, great northern beans, butter beans and/or cannellini beans. I like to buy them ready-to-go in cans. But you can also buy dried beans and cook them (following the directions on the package) before using them in the salad.


  • Cherry tomatoes or chopped regular tomatoes will work instead of the grape tomatoes.
  • This easy bean salad is very versatile. So you can substitute or add pretty much any vegetable you would like in it (except for leafy greens which will get soggy).
  • You can use 3 Tablespoons dried parsley instead of fresh herbs. Although the flavor won’t be quite as good.
  • Replace the sun-dried tomato pesto with the same amount of regular basil pesto. You can also add a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes to get it closer to the original recipe if you wish.
  • Red wine or white wine vinegar will also work if you don’t have apple cider vinegar.
  • Use 3 teaspoons of jarred, minced garlic instead of the garlic cloves if that’s what you have on hand.

How to make a mixed beans salad (with pictures and tips)

1 | Prep work

Grape tomatoes on a cutting board with a knife

Start by chopping your vegetables:

  • Cut the grape tomatoes in half. A very sharp chefs knife or serrated knife works best for this since it will slice through the skin cleanly without squashing them.
  • Chop the celery stalks into thin slices.
  • Dice the orange bell pepper into small pieces. The easiest way to do this is to slice off the top and bottom. Then stand the pepper upright and slice down the sides to remove the core and seeds. Lay the flat pieces of pepper skin-side down on your cutting board and chop them into small, even pieces.
  • Cut the green onions into slices.
  • Chop enough of the fresh parsley to make ½ cup. To do this, remove the leaves from the stems, as the stems can be tough. Then gather the leaves into a tight pile and rock your knife through them to chop.

Mince the garlic. A garlic press is the easiest way to do this. But if you don’t have one, you can use a knife to cut it into very small pieces.

Finally, pour the beans into a colander to drain them and then rinse them with cold water to remove any excess juice. This ensures that any excess liquid that could dilute the flavors has been removed.

2 | Assemble the salad

Now, let’s move on to assembling the salad.

Begin by placing the drained and rinsed mixed beans into a large bowl.

Add the prepped celery, halved grape tomatoes, diced orange pepper, and finely sliced green onions or chives to the bowl.

Sprinkle in the chopped fresh parsley.

Grind some fresh black pepper over the salad to taste. Freshly ground pepper has a more vibrant flavor than pre-ground.

3 | Make the vinaigrette dressing

A jar of homemade vinaigrette

Next, make the dressing.

Add 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the minced garlic to a small bowl.

Whisk to combine the ingredients.

I like to make the salad dressing in a jar with a lid. That way you just have to shake it to get it well mixed. And it’s easy to store if you want to make it ahead of time.

4 | Toss

Close up of the mixed beans salad

Pour the dressing over the mixed bean and vegetable mixture.

Use a couple of large spoons or salad tongs to toss everything together gently but thoroughly.

Make sure that all of the ingredients are coated with dressing.

5 | Chill

Cover the salad and place it in the refrigerator to chill.

This step is not absolutely necessary but giving it some time to sit allows the beans to soak up the flavor from the dressing. So they’ll be extra tasty.

Serving suggestions

mixed beans salad in a large bowl

You can garnish the mixed bean salad with crumbled feta or goat cheese, a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch, or some extra parsley for color.

Serve alongside balsamic chicken or grilled salmon for a complete meal.


This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Avoid freezing as it can compromise the texture of the fresh vegetables and beans.

How to make ahead of time

To make ahead of time, prepare the salad as directed and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

For the best taste and freshness, I like to serve it within 24 hours of putting it together.

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Frequently asked questions

What types of beans work best in a mixed bean salad?

A variety of beans such as kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and cannellini beans are great for creating a flavorful and colorful mixed bean salad. You can choose based on your personal preferences or what’s available in your pantry.

Can I use dried beans instead of canned beans for the salad?

Yes, you can use dried beans. But remember that they need to be soaked overnight and cooked until tender before being added to the salad. This process takes more time but can be a good option if you can’t find the canned versions of the beans you like.

Can I freeze mixed bean salad?

It’s not recommended to freeze mixed bean salad because the vegetables will become mushy upon thawing. It’s best enjoyed fresh or stored in the refrigerator.

Mixed Bean Salad

Mixed Beans Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Servings: 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Chilling 1 hour
Total 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 14- to 19-ounce can mixed beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 diced celery stalks
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup finely sliced green onions or chives
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons sundried tomato pesto
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


  • colander for draining and rinsing the beans
  • Paring knife
  • cutting board
  • large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk
  • 2 large spoons or salad tongs


  • Add the beans, celery, tomatoes, bell pepper, green onions, parsley and sundried tomatoes to a large bowl.
    1 14- to 19-ounce can mixed beans, 2 diced celery stalks, 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half, 1 large orange bell pepper, diced, ½ cup finely sliced green onions or chives, ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, 2 Tablespoons sundried tomato pesto
  • Sprinkle on a little fresh ground black pepper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and oil together with the minced garlic.
    2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pour the vinegar and oil dressing onto the bean mixture in the bowl.
  • Toss to coat all of the vegetables with dressing.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight if desired.


  • You can add or substitute whatever other vegetables you would like in your salad, except leafy greens which will get soggy quickly.
  • Letting the salad sit for a few hours before serving will allow the flavor of the dressing to soak into the beans.
Nutrition Facts
Mixed Beans Salad Recipe
Serving Size
1 serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

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This post was originally published on September 7, 2016 but was updated with new content on March 22, 2024.

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