Three Bean Salad


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3 bean salad combines beans and veggies with a tangy dressing. Make this recipe today as a side dish for dinner or to share at a potluck.

Three bean salad in a white bowl

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. This summer favorite combines pantry staples in just a few easy steps.

The only tools you’ll need to prep your ingredients are a sharp knife, a can opener, and a whisk.

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Once those are ready, combine everything in a large bowl and you’re done!

White bowl with a variety of beans, onions, celery, and spices

Even better, it’s inexpensive to make and can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger amount.

And since all of the ingredients are readily available, this three bean salad recipe can be enjoyed year-round.

Close up: 3 bean salad

What to serve with three bean salad
This dish goes with all of the classic cookout staples, but it also works as an easy side for weeknight dinners. Try it with:

Three types of beans, celery, and red onion on a spoon

How to make 3 bean salad

Simply combine the beans, chopped vegetables, and dressing, then refrigerate. It only takes 10 minutes!

Bowl of beans and vegetables titled Three Bean Salad

  • Fresh green beans or thawed from frozen
  • Kidney beans, drained
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • Celery
  • Red onion
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Celery seed

Ingredients for three bean salad recipe

First, chop the vegetables and drain the canned beans.
If you’ll be using frozen green beans, place them into a strainer or colander to thaw. If you’ll be using fresh, follow these steps to blanch them:
  1. Wash the green beans and trim the ends, then cut into pieces about 1-2 inches in length.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Add the green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender-crisp but still firm.
  4. Drain the beans and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Cut green beans in a bowl with water and ice

Next, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and celery seed.
TIP: Use a measuring cup so it’s easier to pour over the salad.

Metal whisk in a measuring cup with dressing

Combine the canned beans, cooked green beans, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl.

Clear bowl with kidney beans, green beans, chickpeas, celery, and red onion

Pour the dressing over the top and stir everything together until well combined.

You can serve this immediately, but it’s best when it’s had time to sit for a few hours so all the flavors can combine.

Either way, keep it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat.

Dressing being poured from a measuring cup over bean salad ingredients

  • Less salt – Reduce the sodium and starch by rinsing the canned beans in cool water after draining.
  • Make ahead – You can mix everything together and refrigerate up to a day before serving.
  • Use fresh beans – Cook your own dried beans to use in place of the canned if you prefer.

Bean salad ingredients mixed together


Can I freeze 3 bean salad?
Yes, you can! Transfer to an airtight container or freezer-safe storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator, then give everything a good stir before serving.
How long will it keep in the refrigerator?
When stored tightly covered in an airtight container. marinated bean salad will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
The longer the beans sit in the dressing, the softer the beans will become. So, it’s best to eat it sooner rather than later.
What ingredients can I substitute in this three bean salad recipe?
Because the recipe uses basic ingredients, it’s easy to customize it to your own taste.
The dressing can be adjusted if needed, or you can add some extra ingredients. Here are some ideas:
  • Oil – substitute another neutral oil like canola or avocado oil
  • Vinegar – use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar for a milder flavor
  • Dressing flavor – replace the celery seed with fresh parsley or add some lime juice or dijon mustard
  • Beans – add more variety with black beans, wax beans, cannellini beans, or lima beans
  • Veggies – mix in chopped bell pepper, artichoke hearts, or jalapeno for more color and flavor
  • Make it a meal – chicken, ham, or cooked pasta will easily take this from a side to a main course
Is bean salad healthy?
Bean salad with dressing is low in calories and saturated fat. It’s made with fresh vegetables, so it’s a relatively healthy dish.
The salad has plenty of protein, fiber, and healthy fats which help support digestion and overall health.
Plus, it keeps you feeling full which can be helpful in regulating blood sugar levels.
4.50 from 2 votes

Three Bean Salad

By: Jen CIncyshopper
3 bean salad combines beans and veggies with a tangy dressing. Make this recipe today as a side dish for dinner or to share at a potluck.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Servings: 8 Servings


  • 2 cup blanched Green Beans or frozen Green Beans thawed
  • 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Celery Seed
  • 15 oz can Kidney Beans, drained
  • 15 oz can Garbanzo Beans, drained
  • 1 stalk Celery, sliced
  • 1/4 large Red Onion, diced


  • Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, sugar and celery seed until blended. Set aside.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Pour dressing over other ingredients and toss to coat.


Calories: 228kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 287mg, Potassium: 285mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 198IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Photos of bean salad being made titled Three Bean Salad Quick, Easy, & Delicious!

Mixed beans and vegetables in a bowl and on a spoon titled Three Bean Salad Quick, Easy, & Delicious!

Close up of cold salad titled Three Bean Salad Quick, Easy, & Delicious!

About Jen Cincyshopper

A lover of food and frugal living. A wife to a wonderful hubby, momma to 5 fun kiddos. Welcome to my blog. You will find REAL TASTY RECIPES. Be sure to subscribe to my email list and follow me on social media, to never miss a recipe.

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4.50 from 2 votes

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  1. 4 stars
    This looks so good! Definitely pinned this one for this summer. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

  2. haven’t thought or heard or read of this recipe for YEARS. so glad to come upon it and will have I the 4th—YEAH