Three Bean Salad – the perfect healthy make-ahead side dish for your summer backyard barbecues or potlucks. Classic salad with garbanzo beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans and green beans tossed in a vibrant dressing. Delicious wholesome summer side dish!
Three Bean Salad is one of those wonderful side dish that always makes its appearances on summer parties and backyard barbecues. I, for one, have been a huge fan of this quick and easy healthy side dish. Aaand what could be more elevating for this crazy-bean-lady here than a dish full of BEANS? Beans is LIFE! They’re packed with nutrients, keep you full for a longer time and can be prepared in so many ways. What’s not to love?
What Kind of Beans Go Into a Bean Salad?
This recipe is called Three Bean Salad, but actually I went a little over board and instead went with four kinds of beans. Well, you can’t have too many when it comes to beans, right?. 😉
It’s not a surprise at all if other cultures around the world have their own version of this bean salad. But here in the U.S., this type of salad goes by a name which would refer to the number of beans it contains (three bean salad, four bean salad, etc.)
Traditionally, a Three Bean Salad is made with green beans and/or yellow wax beans, garbanzo and kidney beans. But since yellow wax beans are hard to find here in California, I decided to just went with fresh green beans and just add cannellini beans instead.
Don’t just stop there though. You can add in different varieties of beans in this dish for a different flavor which is always something nice to do. You can include any of the following:
- Yellow Waxed Beans
- Lima beans
- Pinto beans
- Black-eyed Peas
How To Make Three Bean Salad?
It doesn’t take much of your time to whip up this easy salad recipe. You just have to simply mix them all up in bowl and chill in the fridge to let the beans soak up the sweet and sour dressing.
Beans. I started with mixing all the canned beans in a bowl (right after draining them well). Although I could have bought canned green beans to make my life easier, I prefer that fresh and crisp layer in this salad that makes it a winning summer side dish. I had it microwaved quickly in a bowl of water for 2-3 minutes to get that tender yet crisp texture.
Salad Dressing. The salad dressing is jam-packed with great summer-y flavors. It acts like a marinade as you need the beans to pick up those flavors before you could even serve it. And by that, this isn’t your usual toss-and-serve salad that you can wing any time. Nope! If you’re looking for that distinct Three Bean Salad flavors, you have to wait for a few hours to let all the flavors settled in. Vibrant, sweet and tangy – how can you pass up something as good as that?
Other Bean Recipes That You Would Love
Baked Stuffed Plantains with Black Beans ( with video)
Can I Make It The Night Before?
Absolutely! This salad is preferably made a night before serving as you need to chill them in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours before serving for optimal flavors. Simply cover the bowl with a plastic wrap after mixing and pop them in the fridge to allow the flavors to fully incorporate into the vegetables.
How To Store Three Bean Salad?
For any leftover salad, place them in airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. When ready to serve, just give them a quick stir.
Serve It With These Summer Favorite Recipes
Watch How to Make It
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Three Bean Salad
- 1 15 oz can garbanzo , drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 medium red onion , chopped
- 1/3 cup (62 g) chopped green, red or yellow bell pepper
- 1 medium tomato , chopped
- 2 green onions , chopped
- 2 cups (250 g) green beans , sliced
- 4 -6 tablespoons (42 ml) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3-4 tablespoons (30 ml) vinegar or lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons Honey
- ½-1 teaspoon (2.5- 5grams ) salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) onion powder
- ½ tablespoon (2 g) chopped parsley
- Black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients: garbanzo, kidney beans, cannellini beans, onions, bell peppers, tomato, green onions.
- Place the green beans in a microwave save bowl and add about 1 to 2 cups of water. Microwave for about 2-3 minutes until beans is tender and crisp. Drain and add to the other bean mixture.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, minced garlic, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, salt, onion powder, and parsley. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and thoroughly mix to coat.
- Cover salad with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours before serving.
Tips & Notes:
- Chill salad in the refrigerator for several hours before serving, this will allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.