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Published June 24, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This tasty three-bean salad recipe is incredibly easy-to-make and jam-packed with beans and vegetables in a delicious vinaigrette. I’m not sure there is a tastier, simpler to prepare salad than this one.
Three Bean Salad
Three bean salad is a delicious cold bean salad consisting of different fresh and can beans that are tossed in a simple vinaigrette alongside vegetables and seasonings. It became popular as a picnic food item in the South in the late 19th – early 20th century.
It became so popular that it was eventually pre-made and canned and sold in supermarkets across the United States. The recipe hasn’t changed at all since its inception and often is made into a four-bean salad with the addition of chickpeas. Be sure to check out my video below on how to precisely make this.
- Beans – The most classical beans to use are a combination of wax, green, and kidney beans. However, you can also use garbanzo and cannellini beans in the event you cannot find the other beans.
- Peppers – Some diced-up bell pepper is very classic to add to a three-bean salad.
- Onions – Yellow, white, red, or sweet onions will be great in this recipe.
- Celery – A little bit of celery will complement the salad.
- Vinegar – Use apple cider vinegar for this recipe.
- Oil – I Like to use olive oil, but any oil or your favorite, will do.
- Herbs and Seasonings – Parsley is always a great addition, and you can also add in things like rosemary or basil.
How to Make a Three Bean Salad
Use these easy-to-follow instructions for making this tasty three-bean salad recipe:
Start by whisking together the dressing ingredients until combined and set aside.
Next, trim both beans and cut them into bite-size pieces.
Par-boil the beans for 2 to 3 minutes and then flash chill them in an ice bath.
Drain the beans and add them to a bowl with the celery, onion, parsley, dressing, salt, and pepper, and mix until combined. Serve.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 day ahead of time. Keep cool before serving.
How to Store: Cover and keep this three-bean salad in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This will not freeze.
More Salad Recipes
Three Bean Salad Recipe
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 cups trimmed green beans cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups trimmed wax beans cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 15 ounce can drained kidney beans
- 1 15 ounce can drained garbanzo beans
- ½ peeled and small diced yellow onion
- 1 small diced rib of celery
- ½ seeded and small diced red bell pepper
- 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper to a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Next, trim both the green and wax beans and cut them into bite-size pieces, about 1”.
- Add the green and wax beans to a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes and then flash chill them in an ice bath (see video).
- Drain the green and wax beans completely and add them to a bowl with the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, celery, peppers, onion, parsley, dressing, salt, and pepper, and mix until combined. Serve.