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The Best Easy 5 Bean Salad

The Best Easy 5 Bean Salad is perfect for potlucks, cookouts, and picnics. It’s inexpensive to make, easily feeds a crowd, and if you have leftovers it’s better the next day!

The Best Easy 5 Bean Salad shot from overhead in a simple white serving dish.

This 5 bean salad is probably the most requested thing I make, which seems ridiculous because it’s stupid easy (literally chopping some things and opening cans), and comes together SO FAST. But whatever, I’ll take that win.

And I’ll share it with you! You’re welcome.

I have toted this easy side dish along with me to:

  • potlucks
  • cookouts
  • fancy holidays where I have no idea what else is being served
  • not-fancy holidays where I have no idea what else is being served
  • picnics
  • occasions where I have no idea about the dietary restrictions of others
  • etc…

5 Bean Salad works with everything! It’s vegetarian, vegan, naturally gluten-free, low carb, and if you care about none of these things, it goes great with BBQ, grilled chicken, burgers, ham – it’s like a fool-proof side dish.

Drained and Rinsed Bean for the Best Easy 5 Bean Salad

What Kind of Beans Do I Need for 5 Bean Salad? 

For this bean salad recipe you will need a 15 ounce can of each:

  • green beans
  • wax beans
  • black beans
  • garbanzo beans

If you can’t find (or just don’t have one of these handy) you can definitely substitute more of one or the other. Wax beans in particular can sometimes be elusive at the grocery store. Wax beans are snap beans, and they taste similar to green beans, but are yellow in color. Sometimes I’ll grab a can of mixed green and wax beans when I can’t find the stand alone wax beans at my grocer.

Do You Need to Cook Canned Beans? 

Nope. You definitely do not. Remember when your grandma would cook canned beans all day long and add even more salt until they were basically a pile of salty mush and that’s why we all thought we hated vegetables until we were well over the age of 13? Anyway – don’t do that.

Canned beans are ready to eat, but the liquid they are canned in can be pretty salty, so I always drain and rinse them. To make this easy bean salad you really just need to open the cans, drain the liquid, and rinse them off.

Then you will chop up a few onions, peppers, and celery, toss it all with a simple oil and vinegar dressing, and serve.

Stirring the ingredients together to make the Best Easy 5 Bean Salad.

Is Bean Salad Good for You?

Yes! Not that this is a health-conscious food blog or anything, but I do think it’s nice to know that if you have a side of bean salad with your grilled chicken, you can feel good about your choices. You can also save room for a slice of Pig Pickin’ Cake.

I pared down the serving size here since this is the sort of thing meant to put on a plate with bites of lots of other delicious dishes, and it’s ringing in at just 78 calories and 3 grams of protein. If you are just serving this as a side dish with a more typical meal, you’ll get about 12 servings at a little over 150 calories and 6 grams of protein each.

Not too shabby!

How Long Does Bean Salad Keep in the Fridge?

Wrapped and refrigerated, it’ll keep for 3-5 days. Truth be told I like it best on day 2 and never have leftovers past day 3. Vinegar is a natural preservative which helps to keep this salad all good; you just need to be sure the onions and peppers are still crisp.

The Best Easy Bean salad spooned up and ready to serve

Carolina Style Burgers are a summer staple around here. Topped with my favorite easy chili for hot dogs and hamburgers, a simple slaw, and cheese, with a sesame seed bun, you really can’t go wrong.

My fave Barbecue Grilled Chicken Sandwich is smothered in cheese, BBQ sauce, and sauteed mushrooms. Def one to try.

This easy recipe I wrote on How to Grill Brussels Sprouts is still one of the most popular recipes on Sugar Dish Me. If you are heating up the grill anyway, it’s a recipe so simple you won’t wanna miss it.

There are really a zillion recipes I could have listed here to go with bean salad, but in spot #4 I decided to dig up my old Buffalo Turkey Sliders Recipe. No grill required and always good. If you like a little spice this is a good one. I also HIGHLY recommend these Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings (and if you have a Traeger Grill, she has more Traeger recipes than you will know what to do with. Need another salad-ey side? I REALLY recommend this Corn Edamame Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.

The Best Easy Bean Salad Recipe image of brightly colored bean salad on a wooden spoon
Yield: serves 20-24

The Best Easy 5 Bean Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

The Best Easy 5 Bean Salad is a delicious and budget-friendly recipe that's perfect for all your picnics, cookouts, BBQ's and potlucks. It's vegan, naturally gluten free, easy to make ahead, and is always a hit!


  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can green beans
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can wax beans
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can garbanzo beans
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1/2 a large red onion, diced
  • 2 large stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Step 1

    Drain and rinse the 5 cans of beans.

  2. Step 2

    Toss together the beans, red onion, celery, and green pepper in a large bowl.

  3. Step 3

    In a smaller bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, sugar, and red wine vinegar until the sugar is dissolved. Then gradually pour in the oil, whisking constantly until it all comes together.

  4. Step 4

    Pour the dressing over the beans and veggies, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate, before serving. For best results, refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

  5. Step 5

    Toss the bean salad with the dressing once more before serving.


If you don't have, or are unable to find one of the 5 kinds of beans you can swap out more of one of the other types listed.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g


Saturday 17th of June 2023

How many servings is this salad?

Leslie Aussem

Friday 24th of March 2023

I'd been going to the Westside market to one shop for this womans 5 bean salad...well, didn't want to go downtown this time..and made my own with your recipe~ good ...made only a couple of adjsutments to my liking of good~


Friday 9th of April 2021

Have you ever used artificial sweetener? Would that ruin the dish...I don’t like things to sweet.


Wednesday 2nd of September 2020

I made the 5 bean salad for family reunion and it went over great. Especially since it is better once set up overnight. Thank you

Heather Tullos

Thursday 3rd of September 2020

Thank you, Sandy! So glad you enjoyed it!


Saturday 21st of March 2020

Looks delicious! What is a serving size for this recipe? Thank you.

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