• Appetizers + Snacks | Salads | Side Dishes
  • Three Bean Salad

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    This delicious three bean salad is a quick and easy potluck salad or a side dish that takes 10 minutes to make. Tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing, it’s the perfect accompaniment to so many mains.

    3 bean salad recipe in a white bowl

    This easy three bean salad is a favorite in our house. It’s so quick and easy to make and is a great healthy salad to bring to a potluck, picnic or a family get together. You can also serve it as a side with fish, meats, and veggie dishes.

    The three bean salad dressing is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy and it’s a great fresh-tasting recipe that the whole family will love. I bet you will fall in love with this bright and delicious salad recipe!

    If you are a bean lover, be sure to try my Tuna White Bean Salad and Green Beans with Bacon.

    Why You Will Love This Recipe

    • Quick: It takes only 10 – 15 minutes to prep this recipe, and only 30 minutes resting time (which is optional). Perfect potluck dish for when you are short on time.
    • No-Cook Recipe: This recipe requires no cooking and has minimal prep work. It doesn’t get easier than that.
    • Crowd Pleaser: This three bean salad is so delicious and everyone will love it!
    • Healthy: A staple in a whole foods diet, beans are a healthy, versatile ingredient, rich in fiber, antioxidants, and a great alternative to animal proteins. This salad is also naturally gluten-free.

    Three Bean Salad Ingredients

    For the salad

    • Canned beans: I used cannellini, kidney, and garbanzo beans in this recipe.
    • Red onion: Red onion is milder than white and yellow and is a great flavor addition to salads.
    • Cucumber: Cucumber adds texture and freshness to the salad.
    • Parsley: Parsley adds a wonderful herby flavor to every bite of the salad.

    For the salad dressing

    • Apple cider vinegar: ACV adds tanginess and a subtle fruity flavor.
    • Extra virgin olive oil: EVOO adds a wonderful flavor to salads. Use extra virgin if you can, but you can use regular if you are in a pinch.
    • Honey: A little honey adds a natural sweetness to the dressing.
    • Garlic: Finely mince the garlic for the strongest flavor.
    • Salt and pepper: To help bring out all of the flavors in the dressing.
    top shot of three bean salad in a bowl

    How to make three bean salad

    • In a large mixing bowl, mix the 3 different types of beans, red onion, the cucumber, and parsley.
    • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans, and toss the salad to coat everything.
    • Transfer the salad to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing. Serve.

    Recipe Variations

    This classic three bean salad recipe is pretty tasty as it is, but there are a few swaps and additions you can make to suit your tastes.

    • Rather than using canned beans, you can soak and cook dried beans. Check out this post to learn how to presoak dry beans. You can also use blanched or cooked green beans.
    • Use another herb like cilantro or dill instead of parsley.
    • Use white wine vinegar instead of apple cider.
    • Add in some cooked shredded chicken, cooked salmon, or canned tuna to make it a full meal.
    close up shot of three bean salad ingredients

    How long does three bean salad keep?

    This salad is best enjoyed within 24 hours, but it will keep well for up to 5 days covered in the fridge. It’s a great make ahead recipe that’s ideal for cookouts, picnics and pot lucks.

    What do you serve with it?

    This salad works great with all kinds of main dishes, from chicken, to fish, to steak and lots of veggies dishes. try it with:

    bean salad recipe

    Recipe Notes and Tips

    • Drain and rinse the beans well to remove the salty and metallic flavors.
    • Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors develop.
    • The dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
    • I use honey instead of sugar to create that sweet-tangy flavor that is also healthier. It’s a great alternative if you are looking for a no-sugar 3 bean salad.

    More Easy Potluck Salads

    3 bean salad recipe in a white bowl
    5 from 2 votes
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    Three Bean Salad

    This delicious three bean salad is a quick and easy potluck salad or a side dish that takes 10 minutes to make. Tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing, it's the perfect accompaniment to so many mains.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Resting time 30 minutes
    Total Time 10 minutes
    Servings 8 servings
    Calories 229kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced
    • 1 cup loosely packed fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

    Dressing

    • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp honey, or sweetener of choice
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Make the salad:

    • In a large mixing bowl, mix the 3 different types of beans, red onion, the cucumber, and parsley.

    Make the dressing:

    • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans, and toss the salad to coat everything.

    Chill and Serve:

    • Transfer the salad to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing. Serve.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Drain and rinse the beans well to remove the salty and metallic flavors.
    • Let the salad sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors develop.
    • The dressing can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
    • I use honey instead of sugar to create that sweet-tangy flavor that is also healthier. It’s a great alternative if you are looking for a no-sugar 3 bean salad.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 728mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 659IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg
    Course Salad, Side Dish
    Cuisine American
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    August 24, 2020

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    Comments

    Robert Kahn

    5 stars
    This is a quick, healthy, filling, and delicious salad. I really enjoyed it as is and also with a little grated cotija cheese and avocado.

    Instant Pot love

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