This is a “Healthy in a Hurry” recipe. 4-bean salad can be prepared in about 20 minutes or less. The simplicity and widespread enjoyment of this salad have made it a Food for Life classic for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
We make this recipe in Cancer Project: Food for Life classes that I teach at cancer centers in Western NC and Upstate SC.
Every single time we make it, participants get excited and empowered, because many of them realize for the first time that eating a healthy plant-based diet doesn’t have to be difficult and can taste amazing.
I think the exciting thing for most of them is that this recipe doesn’t call for any cooking. We use can beans that have been drained and rinsed, frozen corn that has been defrosted by running it under warm water while in a colander, freshly diced onions and peppers, and a little Italian oil-free salad dressing.
That’s it! Nothing fancy or difficult.
Nutrition in Beans
Beans and lentils offer naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, which are better absorbed than nutritional supplements. Beans and lentils offer folate, a B vitamin important to red blood cell functioning and the prevention of specific neural tube birth defects.
Beans are also a source of the minerals potassium, iron and magnesium. Potassium helps regulate muscle function, including your heart, by keeping your body’s fluid and mineral levels in balance.
Iron is essential to energy as it assists your red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your body. Magnesium supports bone health, organ function and energy production.–LiveStrong
This colorful dish–packed with beans, colorful bell peppers, corn, and red onions–has tons of fiber to help remove carcinogens and excess cholesterol and hormones out of the body to improve overall health.
This is a terrific dish to take to social gatherings because it’s so easy to make, and the color makes for a beautiful table display.
NOTE: Recently, the fat-free bottled Italian dressing I use for this has begun to add a tiny bit of oil, though a serving size of 2 Tbsps is still zero fat and only 15 calories.
Micheal at Klunkers Kitchen has a great Creamy Italian Dressing you can make and use in this Easy Bean Salad if you are completely oil-free.
To adjust the serving sizes of any of my recipes, simply go to the ‘Servings’ listed in the recipe card right above the ingredients list. Hover over the number of servings, and a sliding bar will appear. Slide to the number of servings you would like, and the ingredients will automatically adjust the amounts.
Other Great Bean Recipes:
This is a "Healthy in a Hurry". Easy 4-Bean Salad can be prepared in about 20 minutes. The simplicity and widespread enjoyment of this salad have made it a Food for Life classic for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Plus it has tons of fiber to help remove carcinogens and excess cholesterol and hormones out of the body to improve overall health!
- 1/2 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing (suggestions below)
- 1-1/2 cups kidney beans 15 oz can, drained and rinsed, or fresh cooked
- 1-1/2 cups pinto beans 15 oz can, drained and rinsed, or fresh cooked
- 1-1/2 cups black eyed peas 15 oz can, drained and rinsed, or fresh cooked
- 1 10 oz pkg frozen lima beans, thawed
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium purple onion, diced
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper or to taste
In a large bowl, add all beans.
Any frozen corn can be used, but I have found that Trader Joe's roasted corn is excellent in this recipe.
Add all other ingredients to bowl with beans and mix thoroughly.
Serve cool and often.
OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander available on amazon. Click to view.