Sides

Marinated 4-Bean Salad

A classic summertime favorite! This marinated 4 bean salad gets updated with creamy and zesty feta and arugula for a peppery bite. Bold flavors and packed with fiber and nutrients, this healthy salad is the perfect go-to for all your outdoor gatherings!

You can’t go wrong with this summertime salad; it checks off all the boxes! Easy, healthy, cold, keeps for weeks in the fridge, and is great for outdoor entertaining. I’ve always loved the traditional 4 bean version; however, I wanted to jazz it up this year.

The extra veggies feta adds a little bit more zing and texture, while the arugula can be mixed in or leave it out and serve the salad on a bed of arugula. Either way, it adds a beautiful color and flavor. The light vinegarette is perfectly sweet and tangy and infuses all the veggies and beans the longer the salad sits.

Check below for my favorite variations and shortcuts to make this salad even easier. It’s a great salad to get creative with or use what you have on hand! Share with me! what’s your favorite summer salad

Ingredient Notes, And Substitutions

Beans ~ I will always use fresh when I can, so I used fresh green beans because I have a garden full! Then added the kidney, garbanzos, and waxed beans.

Veggies ~ any crunchy veggie can work in this salad. I love using sweet red and yellow peppers and red onion. Corn, cucumber, and tomatoes are great substitutions

Arugula ~ is optional. I recommend adding it right before you serve. Romaine or iceberg could also be used.

Feta cheese~ is also optional. The flavor balances well with the tanginess of the vinegarette.

Dressing ~ I added the dijon mustard for an extra zing, and it is optional. The traditional dressing uses sugar, vinegar, and oil. Keep in mind you can adjust the tanginess and sweetness to your preference.

Variation Ideas, Tips, And Time Savers

  • Although this salad is quick and easy to assemble, you can save a little time by skipping blanching the green beans and using canned.
  • A store-bought bottled dressing or vinegarette such as Italian or greek variety. Pssst! …It only takes about 3 minutes to make my vinegarette.
  • Variations! Make it Mediterranean. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, and of course, feta cheese. Make it Mexican! Add corn, black beans, cilantro, avocado, and green onions.
  • Let it hang out! In the fridge, that is…the longer it sits, the better it gets. All the beans and veggies soak up the vinegarette for maximum flavor!
  • Calorie counting? If you’re a health nut like me, nutrition labels matter. Keep in mind when looking at this recipe’s label you are not consuming all the dressing…unless you drink it, lol. The values are based on the ingredient amounts and the amount of servings. The vinegarette is a marinade and will soak up only a small amount.

How To Make Marinated 4-Bean Salad

Below you will find the full recipe card with ingredients and instructions, but here is a quick run-through!

For the dressing

  • Add the vinegar, oil, dijon, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and pepper to a small mixing bowl or glass jar. Whisk or shake until well blended. Set aside.

For the salad

  • If using fresh green beans, follow the instructions below
  • Drain and rinse the canned beans, and place them in a medium bowl. I put them in a bowl I’m going to use for serving.
  • Add the onions, red pepper, and feta cheese. Add the dressing and gently toss. Store in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days. So so easy!!!
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Marinated 4-Bean Salad


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 20 minutes- not including marinating time
  • Yield: 6-8 1x

Description

A classic summertime favorite! This marinated 4 bean salad gets updated with creamy and zesty feta and arugula for a peppery bite. Bold flavors and packed with fiber and nutrients, this healthy salad is the perfect go-to for all your outdoor gatherings! 


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup clear oil, such as veggie, avocado, or canola
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar. Add more or less for your preference. You may need to adjust the vinegar.
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH salt and pepper

For the salad

  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 12 cups fresh green beans cut into bite-size pieces. Or 1 10oz can of green beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 can of waxed yellow beans
  • 1/2 medium red onion sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, or more to your liking
  • 1 bag arugula


Instructions

For the dressing

  1. Add the vinegar, oil, dijon, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and pepper to a small mixing bowl or glass jar. Whisk or shake until well blended. Set aside.

For the salad.   *SEE NOTES BELOW

  1. Set out a large bowl of ice water before blanching the beans. ( this is for blanching the fresh green beans; skip this step if using canned and go to step 4)
  2. Trim the ends off and then cut into bite-size pieces.
  3. Add water and  1 teaspoon of salt to a small saucepan and heat until the water is boiling. Add the green beans and cook for a few minutes or until crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the hot water and plunge the green beans into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain again and set the green beans aside.
  4. Drain and rinse the canned beans, and place them in a medium bowl. I put them in a bowl I’m going to use for serving. Add the onions, red pepper, and feta cheese. Add the dressing and gently toss. Place a bed of arugula on a plate and top with salad. Store any left overs in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days. 

Notes

* This salad is best enjoyed after it has been marinated in the dressing for a day.

 

** Pro tip. Make a double batch! or triple! If the salad is mostly submerged in the dressing, it will last in the fridge for a couple of weeks, so I will make sure I make extra dressing.

*** I would recommend adding the arugula when you are ready to serve the salad; otherwise, it will wilt and become soggy.

  • Category: Side
  • Method: No bake
  • Cuisine: American

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