6‑Bean Salad

6-Bean Salad

This is not the same as three-bean salad from your youth. The type forced on you by kindly old women at a church picnic. In fact I would consider this recipe as a template for making a delicious bean salad all your own. Use as many different types of beans as you like or are available. I like the different texture that comes from using pole beans in the pod as well as fresh shelled beans. As an extra bonus I’ve garnished this salad with mung bean sprouts and oven baked garbanzo beans.

This is a play on the classic American picnic favorite, the 3‑Bean Salad. This version features 6 types of beans each prepared individually to ensure a great variety of tastes and textures. When I made it I used the following beans and chose the preparation methods that I felt brought out the best characteristics of each particular bean. Follow my guidelines or invent your own.

6‑Bean Salad Ideas

  • Yellow Wax Beans: Steamed Whole
  • Dried Christmas Lima Beans: Soaked, Boiled then Poached in Olive Oil
  • Fresh (not dried) Fava Beans: Shucked, Blanched and Peeled
  • Canned Garbanzo Beans: Sauteed in Olive Oil with Garlic and Shallots
  • Fresh (not dried) Black Beans: Left Raw
  • Fresh (not dried) Mung Beans: Sprouted


6‑Bean Salad

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 6–8Published

Feel free to choose as few or as many types of beans as you like. I chose six because that was the theme of the dinner party where this salad first made its appearance.

6-Bean Salad


  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 12 cup mixed beans (each cooked or prepared differently, see above)
  • 1 bunch small radish (thinly sliced or cut in half depending on size and preferance)
  • ¼ cup tarragon leaves (loosely packed) or to taste


Make the dressing: In a medium bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Make the Salad: In a large bowl gently fold the beans and radishes together. Dress to taste with prepared dressing, garnish with tarragon; serve immediately.