5 Bean Salad is an old fashioned type of refrigerator salad. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of nostalgic cooking, so, it was time to add this salad to my recipe archives. The flavor of the brine has a sweet and sour edge and we enjoy a bit of heat by adding red pepper flakes. It’s a perfect salad for making in advance and it gets even better the longer it sits.
It’s also travels well for picnics, and keeps particularly well on warm days. I like it for all of those reasons but, mainly because I think it’s simply delicious. This recipe will make a large batch but, no worries it keeps in the fridge for at least 1 week truthfully, even longer if stored properly. If you prefer, you can add any mix of beans you like, at times I use pintos in place of the garbanzo beans or navy beans in place of the cannellini beans. Yellow wax beans are typically found in classic bean salad, but my family prefers the taste and texture of green beans, so I leave them out. If you enjoy them, replace half of the green beans with yellow wax beans if that’s your pleasure. This salad is versatile and goes with any meal.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
5 Bean Salad
- 16 oz frozen cut green beans steamed and cooled
- 1  oz can garbanzo beans [chickpeas] drained
- 1  oz can cannelini beans drained
- 1  oz can baby lima beans drained
- 1  oz can light red kidney beans drained
- 3/4 cup white balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes [more or less to taste]
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1 large sweet onion thinly sliced
- Steam the green beans per the package directions and cool. Place the remaining beans in a colander and rinse under cold water. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed and red pepper flakes until the sugar has dissolved. Add the beans, diced red bell pepper and onion to the bowl. Gently toss until combined. Store chilled in a shallow air tight container. Gently stir periodically to evenly distribute the brine for at least 1-2 days before serving. May be made up to a week in advance. Yield: 20 servings
- Cook's note:
- When storing this salad, I recommend that you use a large shallow air tight container. Each morning flip the container to allow the brine to evenly marinate all of the ingredients.