This three bean salad is a blend of kidney beans, green beans and garbanzo beans, all tossed in a sweet and savory dressing. A classic salad that’s easy to make and is the perfect addition to almost any meal!

I love a good salad, some of my favorite salad recipes include burrata salad, pesto pasta salad and Mexican coleslaw. This bean salad is so good that I can make a whole meal out of it! Best of all, it takes just 10 minutes to prepare.

A serving bowl of three bean salad topped with parsley.

Growing up, we always had a big jar of three bean salad in the fridge. My mom would buy it at Costco and it made for the perfect easy snack or side dish. My homemade bean salad has a delicious taste that’s a million times better than the store bought version, and it takes just minutes to make! It’s always a huge hit for potlucks and parties.

Pair your salad with main course options such as stuffed bell peppers, crack chicken, eggplant lasagna, chicken milanese or chicken coated in jerk chicken marinade.

Three Bean Salad Ingredients

This three bean salad includes a can of garbanzo beans, a can of kidney beans, thinly sliced red onions, fresh green beans and parsley. For your dressing you will need olive oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt and black pepper.

Ingredients for the recipe including veggies, olive oil, vinegar and seasonings.

How Do You Make Three Bean Salad?

To make this three bean salad recipe, first boil the green beans in salted water until tender. Place them in a bowl with ice water to cool. In a large bowl place the cooled green beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, onion and parsley. In a separate small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients, then pour the dressing over the beans and toss everything together. Chill the salad for at least 2 hours, then serve and enjoy!

Process shots showing how to make three bean salad.

Tips For Three The Perfect Bean Salad

  • I use a mandoline to get ultra thin shavings of red onion.
  • Serve this salad as a side dish, or add some protein like cooked cubed chicken for a main course offering.
  • While I recommend using fresh green beans for the best flavor and texture, you can also use canned green beans if needed.
  • Be sure to rinse your canned beans well to remove excess sodium.
  • This salad is perfect for summer picnics because it doesn’t have any lettuce to wilt in the heat. However, I do recommend keeping the salad cool before serving it. Salads should not sit at room temperature for more than 1 hour during the warmer months to stay within food safety guidelines.

Quick Tip

This salad is actually best made at least 2 hours before you plan to serve it. You can make your salad up to 3 days before you plan to eat it, and the beans will marinate in the dressing.

A spoon holding up a serving of three bean salad.

Recipe FAQs

Do you need to rinse canned beans?

The kidney beans and garbanzo beans in this recipe come in a thick liquid that I always like to rinse off before proceeding with the recipe. Simply place your beans in a colander and rinse them under cold running water for best results.

How do you blanch green beans?

The green beans in this recipe are blanched, which means that they’re lightly cooked in boiling water just until tender. Transfer your cooked green beans to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process; this also helps them retain their bright green color.

What beans go in a bean salad?

The most common beans for a three bean salad include garbanzo beans, kidney beans and green beans. You can include other types of beans to make variations on the classic recipe.

What dressing goes on bean salad?

Most bean salads use a sweet and savory dressing that includes some type of vinegar, olive or vegetable oil, sugar and a variety of seasonings.

How long will bean salad last in the fridge?

You can store your three bean salad up to 4 days in an airtight container in a refrigerator.

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A bowl of three different types of beans topped with dressing and parsley.

Bean Salad Variations

While I love this salad as-is, sometimes I mix thing up a bit by including other types of beans! You still want about 5 1/2 – 6 cups of beans total, but you can add in different varieties for a different flavor.

  • Four Beans: Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans and wax beans.
  • Five Beans: Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, wax beans and cannellini beans.
  • Six Beans: Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, wax beans, cannellini beans and lima beans.
  • Seven Beans: Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, wax beans, cannellini beans, lima beans and pinto beans.

Try adding some ingredients to bring extra flavor to your bean salad.

  • Herbs: I typically use parsley in my salad because I always have it on hand, but other great options include green onions, basil, oregano, mint or fresh dill.
  • Veggies: You can add chopped celery, bell peppers or tomatoes to this salad for some new flavors and textures.
  • Dressing: For a sweeter dressing add a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to your salad dressing. To make your dressing more tangy, try adding two teaspoons of Dijon mustard or some of red wine vinegar.

No matter what type of beans you choose, this bean salad recipe is always a huge hit at potlucks and picnics!

More Great Salad Recipes

Three Bean Salad Video

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4.99 from 151 votes

Three Bean Salad

AuthorSara Welch
A serving bowl of three bean salad topped with parsley.
This three bean salad is a blend of kidney beans, green beans and garbanzo beans, all tossed in a sweet and sour dressing. A classic salad that’s easy to make and is the perfect addition to almost any meal!
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 minutes
Total Time12 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup red onion very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions 

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes or until just tender. Place the green beans in a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain and pat dry.
  • Place the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, red onion and parsley in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the beans and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours or up to three days, then serve.

Notes

  1. This salad is actually best made at least 2 hours before you plan to serve it. You can make your salad up to 3 days before you plan to eat it, and the beans will marinate in the dressing.
  2. I prefer to use fresh green beans, but canned will also work and do not need to be blanched.

Nutrition

Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 96mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Really good! I’ve made it a few times, and we’ve always enjoyed it. Tonight I didn’t have garbanzo beans so substituted wax beans, and it also turned out great.

  2. 5 stars
    Quick and easy salad to prepare. I added a clove of garlic and a squirt of Dijon mustard to the dressing. Yum!

    1. Kidney Beans Can- 24.5 g protein
      Garbanzo Beans Can- 21 g protein
      Green Beans (2 cups)- 3.6 g protein
      Total: 49.1 g protein for the whole salad (6 servings)
      Per Serving: 8.18 g protein

  3. 4 stars
    I liked this 3 Bean Salad, but I needed to add more spices to increase the flavors. More salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, garlic and onion powder also. After adding more spices, it was more to our taste. I used fresh (blanched) green beans from my garden.

  4. Great recipe. I used 2 T sugar instead of three, and I think next time I might add an extra cup of green beans.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for our family barbecue and everyone loved it. So yummy and I loved how easy it was to make. Will make again!