four bean marinated summer salad
Salads, Side Dish

Easy Marinated Four Bean Salad With Celery Seed.

Cooks in Difficulty Easy 0 comments

This summer, serve this satisfying and super easy marinated four-bean salad. This easy bean salad always gets rave reviews. It’s a simple large salad that can be tossed together conveniently with canned beans and a few simple ingredients. The easy salad marinade is made with common pantry ingredients and some celery seed that gets full-bodied flavored when allowed to marinate overnight. So say by to boring bean salad and hello to yummy with this easy recipe for your next summer BBQ or potluck event, and enjoy!

I have been making this salad since way back. It’s so easy, and because it uses canned ingredients, it’s also economical. The sweet marinade with celery seeds elevates the flavor of this salad and is a great way to add fiber to your diet. It’s so simple to make it’s going to be one of your go-to summer favorites, too. 

If you love easy salad ideas, be sure to stick around. In the next few weeks, I will be bringing you more to keep your dinner plates zinging and bellies full!

marinated bean salad

Why you will love this four-bean marinated bean salad

Convenience. This quick and easy salad recipe uses canned beans. Drain the beans, chop the vegetables, and mix the dressing. This minimal prep time recipe couldn’t be more straightforward!

Make ahead. Prepare this salad the day before you want to serve it, as its flavors will be more developed. It also lasts for a full week in the fridge, so you can use it in your work or school lunches, too!

It’s flavorful. Canned beans may sound iffy. But I promise you this easy summer salad is super flavorful and delish!

Let’s Whip This Easy Summer Salad Up

Get out a big, and I mean big, salad bowl. You’re about to make a very large salad. Can it be reduced? Absolutely. If you’re feeding yourself, cut the recipe in half, and it will work out just fine. But for those of us with many hungry mouths to feed or entertain, this large salad is a real lifesaver. It makes several cups of bean salad that you can enjoy the next day after fully marinating.  

Open all the cans of beans at once, drain, and then dump them into your salad bowl. There’s no worry about their order, as they will all be mixed up afterward. You can easily sub in other canned beans if you wish, which is another reason I love it. You can also vary it and add different veggies in if you like. But for our sake today, I am going to stick to the recipe.

In a large bowl, mix ingredients; we start by adding the yellow and green beans. It’s essential to have both, not only for color but for flavor as well. Actual canned wax beans can be a bit bland, so the dressing is vitally important. But we aren’t there yet, so stick with me here. Next, we add the red kidney beans. If you want to add white, too, feel free. One can of kidney beans is best, though, as they can be mealy in texture, and the skins are a bit thicker, creating enough texture that you don’t want to overdo it. 

From there, we add the chickpeas or garbanzo beans, if you prefer. I love chickpeas, so I always have at least one can in my staple pantry. 

Next, wash, clean, and dice the green peppers. The fresh, crisp crunch that these peppers bring elevates the salad into a flavorful mouthful each time you scoop some up. If you do not like green peppers or want to add a bit more color, orange, yellow, or red bell peppers will also work. 

Once you have added the pepper, we will sprinkle the red onion. Can you use a yellow onion? Sure, but the flavor is more intense with cooking onions, so you may want to scale back a bit with it. Next, we want to cut the celery. We aren’t doing anything fancy here; wash and slice the celery into small slices. Go ahead and add the celery leaves if you want a bit more of that flavorful punch. I don’t usually add the leaves, though, as it can become too much. 

Next, we will prepare the simple dressing. It’s an easy mix of white vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, and celery seed. Wow, that’s simple. It’s essential to note here that using vegetable oil that is low in flavor is vital. The oil should not overpower the beans’ delicate flavor or the celery seeds’ robust nature. 

Mix the dressing together well. Pour over the salad and toss with a large spoon. Cover the salad dish and place it in the fridge to marinate. You should stir it once or twice in the next twelve hours so that the whole salad has a chance to sit in the marinade. The flavor will develop the longer this salad sits. I recommend leaving it overnight. You also want it to chill, as warm canned beans are, well, kind of gross. 

Scoop up a generous spoonful of this tasty summer bean salad and serve alongside your grilled chicken, steak, or hamburgers at summer potlucks. It’s an all-out BBQ dream side dish!

marinated bean salad


Canned Wax Beans: Yellow wax beans add a softer texture and a slightly sweet flavor to the salad. They also offer a bit of color. 

Canned Green Beans: These beans contribute a tender texture and a mild, earthy taste to the salad, blending well with other ingredients.

Canned Red Kidney Beans: These beans provide a hearty, high-fiber element to the salad, making it more filling and satisfying.

Canned Garbanzo Beans: This ingredient adds a nutty flavor, creamy texture, and extra protein and fiber.

Celery: Adds a refreshing crispness and a hint of earthy flavor to the salad, balancing out the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Green Pepper: The crisp texture of the green pepper adds a mildly tangy flavor to the salad, enhancing its freshness.

Red Onion: Adds a pop of color, complementing the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Vegetable Oil: This helps bind the flavors together and adds a subtle richness to the salad dressing.

White Vinegar: This vinegar adds a tangy kick and balances the sweetness of the sugar in the salad dressing.

White Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the salad dressing, balances out the acidity from the vinegar, and enhances the overall flavor profile.

Celery Seed: Celery seed adds a savory, herbal note to the salad dressing, enhancing its depth of flavor.

marinated bean salad

Substitutions and Add-ins For This Summer Salad

Canned Wax Beans: Fresh or frozen yellow beans can be used but should be cooked to soften first and then drained.

Canned Green Beans: See above. 

Canned Red Kidney Beans: A variety of black beans or pinto beans can replace red kidney beans, adding a similar hearty texture and protein content to the salad. Navy beans would be another option.

Canned Garbanzo Beans: Cooked white beans or black-eyed peas can substitute for garbanzo beans, providing a creamy texture and nutty flavor to the salad. 

Celery: Sliced cucumbers or jicama can be used instead of celery, offering a similar crunchy texture and refreshing taste to the salad.

Green Pepper: Sub this out for red bell pepper. 

Red Onion: A yellow cooking onion can do the trick in a pinch. You can also try using a sweet or Vidalia onion in place of the red. 

Vegetable Oil: The only oils I recommend other than vegetables are canola or sunflower for this recipe. Olive oil is too strong of flavor for this delicate salad and will easily overpower the other ingredients. 

White Vinegar Should not be replaced. Its acidity and flavor help develop the overall flavor profile. 

White Sugar: Can be reduced slightly but not replaced in the dressing

​Celery Seed: Dried dill or parsley can be used instead of celery seed, adding a savory herbal flavor to the salad dressing.

Add-ins could include lima beans or edamame. Cannellini beans are another great bean for summer salads, as they have a similar texture to kidney beans. Great options for crunchy vegetables you can easily add in include cucumber, radish, and diced carrot.

four bean marinated summer salad

Expert Tips, Serving and Storing Suggestions:

Tip #1: Reduce Sodium, Rinse Canned Beans: If you are on a low-sodium diet, thoroughly drain and rinse the beans. This step will help to remove excess salt and preserve the beans’ natural flavors.

Tip #2: Marinate Overnight: Marinate in the refrigerator overnight for maximum flavor. This results in a more delicious and cohesive dish.

Tip #3: Optional: Add Fresh Herbs: Incorporating freshly chopped herbs like parsley, cilantro, or basil just before serving can elevate the salad with bursts of fresh flavor and vibrant color. Herbs add complexity and brightness to the dish, enhancing its overall appeal.

To serve your easy bean salad recipe at summer picnics, pack it in an airtight container to keep it fresh and prevent leaks during transport. This classic bean salad goes wonderfully with grilled meats and other summer salads and is a healthier option to serve with grilled burgers. This is the perfect salad to feed a large crowd, which is excellent for family gatherings. 

Store your bean salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. This helps maintain its flavors and prevents it from absorbing other odors in the fridge. For the best taste and texture, enjoy the salad within 4-5 days.

Try out this delicious bean salad recipe at your next summer potluck, and let us know what you think! Leave a comment below sharing your experience and any tweaks you made to make it your own. We can’t wait to hear from you!

four bean marinated summer salad

Easy Four Bean Marinated Summer Salad With Celery Seed

Amber Bondar
This is such a great bean salad recipe to have on hand during the summer months. It makes a very large batch that's tasty with a mix of four beans and crunchy fresh vegetables. A dash of celery seed in the simple salad dressing brings this flavorful dish together. It's a real crowd pleaser.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 10


  • 1 Large Salad Bowl
  • measuring cup
  • knife
  • Cutting board


  • 3.5 Cups Canned Yellow Wax Beans 2 Small Cans, Drained
  • 3.5 Cups Canned Green Beans 2 Small Cans, Drained
  • 2 Cups Canned Red Kidney Beans 2 Small Cans, Drained
  • 3.5 Cups Chickpeas 1 Large Can, Drained
  • 1 Cups Green Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Cup Red Onion Diced
  • 2 Cup Celery Chopped

Salad Dressing

  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • ¾ Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Celery Seed
  • ¾ Cup White Vinegar


  • In a large salad bowl add all the beans once drained.
  • To that add the washed, deseeded, chopped green pepper.
  • Peel and dice the red onion. Measure and add to the salad.
  • Wash and chop the celery. Measure and add to the salad.
  • Measure and stir all the simple salad dressing ingredients together.
  • Pour the salad dressing over the salad and mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours before serving.
  • Stir the marinating salad once or twice during the 8 hr period to redistribute the vegetables and marinade.
Keyword BBQ sides, beans, easy side dish, summer salad

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