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 favorites 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.
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! 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.
Table of Contents
This salad includes garbanzo beans, kidney beans, thinly sliced red onions and green beans. The beans are coated in a dressing made of olive oil, sugar, cider vinegar, salt, pepper and parsley.
How Do You Make Three Bean Salad?
Cook the green beans, then place them in a bowl of ice water to cool. Place the green beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, onion and parsley in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then pour the dressing over the beans and toss to coat. Chill the salad for at least 2 hours, then serve and enjoy.
Tips For Three Bean Salad
- I typically use parsley in my salad because I always have it on hand, but other great options include green onions, basil or fresh dill.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, wax beans
- Five Beans: Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, wax beans, cannellini beans
- Six Beans: Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, wax beans, cannellini beans, lima beans
- Seven Beans: Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, wax beans, cannellini beans, lima beans, pinto beans
No matter what type of beans you choose, this bean salad recipe is always a huge hit at potlucks and picnics!
Three Bean Salad Video
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Three Bean Salad
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- I prefer to use fresh green beans, but canned will also work and do not need to be blanched.