5 Bean Salad – Gluten Free

For some reason, I am not big on making salads. I am talking about the whole lettuce, carrots, cucumbers etc type of salad. It annoys me that most restaurant serve the palest looking leaves of lettuce (the darker the green, the better for you) making me think, what is the point of eating healthy, when I get mostly water and very little nutrients.  It is not normally something I go for unless it is really hot out (or when I came back from Belize and I was craving nothing but vegetables). Don’t get me wrong..I Love Salad..just have to be in the mood. When I was in college, one of my favorite memories was purchasing a bowl of salad with chicken tenders and red onions…OMG I can taste it right now.

I think that in general, salads are pretty messy and (for me) hard to deal with, with a fork. It was annoying constantly having to follow a piece of food around in the bowl. I also am not that adventurous with salads. For some reason, I can figure out, in my mind how a spice mixture/marinade would taste or what the components are in a dish just based on the description…but with a salad…my mind draws a big blank. I watch my friends order different salads and am amazed by the varieties. One good thing though, I have friends that are always willing to let me try a bit (and then for the remainder of the meal, I wish I had ordered what they had). Well, I promised myself, that I would try to make more salads (especially ones, my husband would eat). This was my first attempt.

5 Bean Salad…What I like..it looks beautiful..I mean, I posted a picture on facebook, as soon as I finished making it. Its made of beans. I have been looking for ways to increase the amounts of beans (and variety of beans) in our diet (health benefits: lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar, antioxidants, maintains weight/helps you reduce weight). There is not a lettuce in site. Lettuce is so messy to eat. This can be easily forked or spooned into the mouth. And finally another plus: Super Easy To Make. I am serving this tonight with a Cumin-Coriander Roasted Chicken and Spiced Sweet Potato Mash.

5 Bean Salad


1 cup of green beans, cut into bite sized pieces and steamed

(more if you want)

1 (15 oz) can of  red kidney beans

1 (15 oz) can of canellini beans

1 (15 oz) can of black beans

1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

1 cup of red onions, chopped

3/4 cup of sugar

2/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup of vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of celery seed

1 tablespoon of garlic, minced


  1. Place chopped red onions in water for at least 10 minutes (this will cut the “bite” from the onions)
  2. Rinse and drain REALLY WELL, all the canned beans and place them in a large bowl
  3. Drain onions and add to the beans
  4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, oil, salt, black pepper, celery seed and garlic and mix well.
  5. Pour dressing over onions and beans and carefully mix (Canellini beans tend to be delicate)
  6. Let salad sit for at least 1 hour (or more)

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

I personally loved this. Some changes I would make..I would saute the onions with a little of the vegetable oil from the dressing. I am going to try this, with different marinades, as well. Highly enjoyed this recipe but I didn’t like the sugar content. Work in progress but at least it is a yummy job!



Filed under Gluten Free/ Gluten Free Suggestion, Salads

7 responses to “5 Bean Salad – Gluten Free

  1. My Dad makes this for picnics and summer BBQs! We all love it. I like to serve it hot during winter.

    • What type of dressing do you usually make for this? My husband didn’t care for the vinegar aspect of the dressing but loved the concept of the bean salad. So I am experimenting on the dressings for now. This would make an excellent BBQ side dish!!! We had ours with roasted chicken and fresh Homemade Italian Bread.

  2. That looks amazing and healthy!

  3. as always, amazing… oh my God, you could create a restaurant! I would be your customer, samina! 🙂

  4. Ari

    Loved it! I would def put less sugar or maybe use splenda when I make it at home…but otherwise it was perfect! ❤

    • Thank you Ari!! When I was making the marinade, I actually put 1/2 a cup of sugar in first…to see if I could cut the sugar. Unfortunately, the cider part really was overpowering everything. Only when I added the remaining 1/4 cup, that the dressing tasted good. I think that if I adjust the sugar, I will also have to adjust the cider. I don’t think my husband would care for all slenda. It does have an after taste. This is definitely an experimental recipe. The beans on their own, however, taste wonderul LOL

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