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. I used fresh green beans, used kidney, garbanzo, pinto and black beans, and added grated carrot, chopped celery for crunch and sliced black olives. It was delicious. I thought it was a little too sweet, will use 2 T sugar in the future, but this time I added a little more olive oil and salt to round it out.

  2. 5 stars
    We love this recipe and now make it weekly. It’s the only way my husband really enjoys green beans. I do cut the sugar down to 2 TBs because we prefer more tang and less sweet.

  3. 5 stars
    Just made your 3 bean salad, so good. Made the pineapple chicken the other night, so good. You really need to write a cookbook.. I’d be the first in line to buy one, Thank you, Lori

  4. Hi! Can this recipe be frozen? I make meals for my mom (93yrs old & living alone) and would like to include healthy salads with my entrées.
    Thank you!

    1. I have not tried freezing this recipe so unfortunately I can’t say for sure. I think freezing it could significantly change the texture.

  5. Has anyone tried this with balsamic vinegar instead? I don’t have apple cider vinegar. Do you think that flavour would go well?

    1. I think it would be ok but you’d want to cut the sugar a bit since balsamic is naturally sweeter than cider vinegar.

  6. 5 stars
    Easy and delish, just subbed black for red kidney beans because that’s what I had on hand. Will be making this a lot . Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    This salad had all of my favorite beans! I’ll be making this again for our BBQ this weekend.

  8. 5 stars
    I just made it using a different recipe. Yours looks absolutely amazing, too – can’t give it a try over the weekend.

  9. 5 stars
    100% agree on using fresh green beans. They just add another texture to the salad! The dressing was spot on, as always! Thanks for another brilliant recipe:)

  10. 5 stars
    I love that this recipe is made with lots of vegan protein! My kind of salad. I am surely making it again soon!

  11. 5 stars
    Such a classic salad and definitely a must-make for those upcoming summer BBQ’s! 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    I made this and used fresh (blanched) green beans instead of canned.and added a little fresh garlic…….it’s delicious 😋

  13. Very tasty!!! Substituted Cannellini beans and regular vinegar and it turned out fantastic. Such a refreshing summer salad to serve with grilled burgers. Thanks for all your delicious recipes. I can always count on you!