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.

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! 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.

Salad Ingredients

Ingredients including canned and fresh beans, olive oil, vinegar and seasonings.

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.

Process shots showing how to make three bean salad.

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.

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.

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

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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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

4.99 from 140 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
    Excellent 3 bean salad! You can also make it into a 4 or 5 bean salad. I used to be able to find 3 bean salad in large jars in the supermarket. Then the only place I could find it was at a Mennonite grocery (it was excellent but pricey). I made this as written…did add some Tajin seasoning…let it marinate over night. Great salad!

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t get enough of this refreshing three bean salad! My new go-to lunch recipe! Incredibly delicious and highly recommended!

  3. 5 stars
    This was such a quick and easy recipe that paired perfectly with grilled chicken for dinner tonight! Definitely, my new go-to salad; my whole family loved it!

  4. 5 stars
    This salad has become a summertime staple in our home and is always a hit at parties! Quick, easy and delicious; the best summer salad, indeed!

  5. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe that my family loves! The ingredients are simple and you probably already have all on hand. It’s quick to prepare, store to chill in the frig and have with a summer dinner from the grill. Always a hit!

  6. 5 stars
    I loved this! Took it to a picnic and had the little that was left for work. Delicious!
    I had to substitute the green beans with black beans bc that is what I had on hand and turned out great! I also added a teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize potential digestive disruptions. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I have to agree: Best 3 bean salad! The balsamic vinegar takes it over the top. A definite do over at my house!

  8. 5 stars
    This is one of the best 3 bean salad recipes I’ve tried. Living an hour from San Antonio I changed out black beans for the kidneys, cilantro for the parsley and low sodium Tajin seasoning for the salt and pepper. I don’t know if the Tajin is available nationally (made in Mexico) but it should be. It’s a mild blend of chili pepper with dried lime powder and sea salt and I use it a lot. I guess it’s more Tex Mex now but the dressing is delicious and the bean amounts are spot on for us. I will make this again.

  9. 5 stars
    I’d bought green beans just to try this recipe and it didn’t disappoint. I was into it and realized I didn’t have any kidney beans on hand and sub’d black beans instead. I also cut the sugar to 2T and it was still delicious. Compliments all around. Thanks for a simple, healthy, super recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks for the idea of Tajin. I know I would love it. Will look for it in the store or add it to an online order!

  10. 5 stars
    Excellent flavor. I used coconut sugar. The only issue I had was that the green beans were not cooked long enough for my family. I increased the cook to 5 minutes and the beans were still too crunchy for my family. Next time I will increase the cook time on the beans. I don’t want mushy beans but my family doesn’t want crunchy either.

    1. I have never used fresh beans. Instead canned green beans, canned kidney beans and frozen thawed sweet peas.

  11. 5 stars
    Love! Anyone try canning this recipe? If vinegar & sugar are boiled first? Have so many beans this year!