Ensalada Guanajuato

Five Bean Salad from Guanajuato

Five Bean Salad, Guanajuato Style

This  may be the only time you hear of me (admitting to) using canned beans (eeek!). Hey, it’s been uncomfortably hot and disgustingly humid.  I still stand by my claim that fresh beans are always better, especially when properly cooked, but there’s just no way I was steaming up my kitchen with hours of boiling four different pots of beans.

I adapted this recipe from Barbara Hansen’s Ensalada Guanajuato to include fresh blanched green beans rather than canned ones. I opted for her recommendation of utilizing four variations of canned beans because, like I said, it’s hot and we’re sans air conditioner. I also switched up the dressing to include greenmarket fresh garlic and fresh oregano rather than powders (which I’m sure will work just fine if that’s all you have) and omitted the mayo.

This salad is incredibly flavorful, filling and can stand up to a long drive- it’s the perfect thing to bring to that family potluck or labor day picnic! If possible, make it a few hours in advance so it has time to marinate. This recipe makes about 20 half cup servings.

Ensalada Guanajuato


Salad :

*2 c. drained canned beans is approximately one 15.5 oz. can

2 c. Butter or Wax Beans
2 c. Black Beans
2 c. Garbanzo Beans
2 c. Red Cargamanto Beans (Pinto or Pink are fine, but in my opinion, don’t add to the variety of the salad)
1/2 lb. or 2 cups fresh Green Beans
1 medium Green Bell Pepper (about 2 c. diced)
1 large Red Onion (about 1 1/2 c. diced)
2 large Heirloom or 4 small Roma Tomatoes


4 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Tbs. Fresh Chopped Mexican or Greek Oregano
3 cloves of finely diced Garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper

If you’re boilin’ your own beans cook until tender but firm (achieve this by cooking slow and low). If you’re using canned beans drain juice and delicately rinse beans in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water. Shake off all excess water and set aside in a large bowl.

Wash and trim the green beans. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, carefully remove from heat, drain, then quickly place beans in a bowl filled with ice water. When cool, pat the beans dry and cut each bean in half to approximately 1 inch long.

Wash and dice the green bell pepper. Wash and dice 1 large red onion. Gently combine the 4 varieties of beans, green beans, bell pepper and onion in a bowl. Remember this salad should be tossed not stirred as to keep the beans intact.

Make dressing by combining the vinegar, oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Dress salad. If you have time, refrigerate over night. Add the chopped tomatoes just before loading up the car or serving the dish.

14 Responses to “Ensalada Guanajuato”
  1. Liliana Leon says:


    WOW! MUJER! ERES ESTUPENDA Y INCREIBLE! I love your website and all your dishes look delicious!! Go GaBY!

  2. Gavan says:

    This looks really refreshing and is probably a relief in the humid non- air conditioned place you lay your head. It would be fabulous for a picnic too. Nice.

  3. Heather says:

    This looks delish! Especially on a hot day when only something lite will do. Beautiful blog, well done.

  4. gloria says:

    Hi Gabriela, I come via Yaya’s blog and I’m glad I did. You have a great blog and I love the way your food looks. I definitely will be back.

  5. Mama says:

    We’re going to the Hsu’s for a birthday/end of summer potluck. . . dad said, “We’re taking red chile.” But. . . this looks tasty! What the heck are Red Cargamanto Beans?

    • gabriellemarielopez says:

      Red Cargamanto beans (also known as Romano, Borlotti or Cranberry beans) are medium to large size beans. Fatter and meatier than a pinto bean, they have a sorta nutty flavor. They’re originally from COLOMBIA! Try some new beans.. it’s one of m favorite kitchen discoveries…venturing beyond the pinto bean!

  6. YayaOrchid says:

    Looks healthy too! Beautiful colors and textures!

  7. Nicole says:

    Looks fantastic and fresh! Great idea to use for a Labor Day picnic 🙂

  8. chefgwen says:

    Nothing wrong with canned beans at all. They came out of the ground at some point! And so nutritious, to boot.

    Your salad looks perfect for a hot summer day.

    I did fresh green beans with an Asian twist:


  9. Oh looks beautiful!!!!!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Sole in English, Lenguada en español.  Whatever you call it, it was delicious and was perfect with the leftover Ensalada Guanajuato! […]

  2. […] Sole in English, Lenguada en español.  Whatever you call it, it was delicious and was perfect with the leftover Ensalada Guanajuato! […]

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