Dilled Bean Salad

SonjaSalads25 Comments


Dilled Bean Salad

No summer is complete without a good bean salad. It’s actually one of the first things I learned to make when I ventured out on my own after college. Sonja’s bean salad showed up at several cookouts in that era, religiously prepared each time by meticulously following the magical measurements scribbled down on a post-it note after calling home to my mom to get the recipe.

Things have changed a bit since then, and I’ve realized salads are more of an art than a science. I’ve learned that you can add your own quantities olive oil and vinegar, and then taste and adjust. You don’t have to put in that white sugar unless you want a sweet twist, and you can put in less than the recipe calls for (or substitute honey). You can add aromatics like onion or garlic for some oomph. And you can put in whatever beans you want (not just the ones the recipe says). Or grains for that matter. Or other veggies.

Basically, the sky’s the limit. But simplicity is also key. This bean salad is just one of a plethora of takes on the familiar theme, but we particularly enjoyed it for its simple, fresh flavors. We purposely left out vinegar (almost a sin in this household!) to bring out the simplicity of the garlic and dill, which worked well and made for a savory meld of flavors. Of course, feel free to adjust to your own taste preferences, and add acidity or sweetness to your liking! 

Try it out as a side for the last of the summer barbeques – or toss over a serving of bulgur (my new favorite grain!) for a lunch or light dinner.

What’s your favorite bean salad variation?

Thanks to Judy for the delicious inspiration!

Dilled Bean Salad
Serves: 8 as a side
What You Need
  • 1 white onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (1½ cups cooked)
  • 15-ounce can kidney beans (1½ cups cooked)
  • 15-ounce can black beans (1½ cups cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
What To Do
  1. Finely chop the onion and celery stalks. Mince 2 cloves garlic. Drain the beans and rinse them under cool water.
  2. In an airtight container, mix beans, celery, onion, and garlic with 2 tablespoons dried dill, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight if possible.

25 Comments on “Dilled Bean Salad”

  1. Yesim

    it looks great.. we make in Turkey salad with bean and called “piyaz”, made with bean,onion, parsley, vinegar and lemon juice..

  2. Tammy D

    LOL! I was going to make this to take to a cookout last night, but could not remember where I had seen the recipe!

  3. Ashleigh Allen

    Great recipe! Simple and fresh. I added a splash of lemon juice to liven it up and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients and it turned out great!

  4. Karen

    Delicious! I used 4 Tbsp. fresh dill, a very small white onion and only 2 stalks celery. I will definitely make again–consider this recipe pinned!

  5. Erin

    This looks so good that it made me join the pinterest movement. I have to learn more about this but the recipe makes me want to go in and cook. Thank you.

  6. Aislinn Dunster

    Super yummy and fresh! I would cut the salt in half next time and I added an extra clove of garlic : )

  7. esther kim

    THIS IS SO GOOD!! My friends tried it and are hooked and they went home and made their own big batch to eat. I’m making it again b/c my family ate it all up!

    Thank you!!

  8. ben

    I try this bean salad for my dads 90th birthday party, Its was a great hit and so easy to make. I think your tip making it the day before was the key so the flavors can mesh. Thanks for the recipe

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