Sweet and Spicy Four Bean Salad

Bean salads are a picnic classic!  I always enjoyed when my Grandma made them growing up, so now as an adult I make my own version!  The classic ones contained a lot of sugar, but I use maple syrup instead in my vinaigrette.  I also add in some jalapenos and red pepper flakes to give them a sweet and spicy kick, along with shallots and garlic for a savory flavor.  These are packed with protein and fiber as well as being delicious, and they are great for making ahead of time for a picnic, so you can’t go wrong with them!  If you like things less spicy, feel free to cut back on the peppers or jalapeno.

Author: Amy Lyons O’Neil

Amy has worked for Fresh and Natural Foods since 2006 contributing to the variety of healthful foods we offer. She graduated with a degree in studio art from Bethel University in 2007, but in her senior year of college, found that her passion was with the art of food. She later used her photography and culinary skills to create a vegan food and recipe blog, Fragrant Vanilla Cake. She has also written 3 cookbooks. She specializes in vegan and vegetarian recipes. Local, fresh and organic food has always been her focus in whatever she creates.



  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator and let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight even to let the flavors combine.


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Recipe Type

  • Allergen Friendly
  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Heart Healthy
  • Salad
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian

Course Type

  • Salad
  • Side Dish

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Easy