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Take this Easy Three Bean Salad along to all of your cookouts, picnics and potlucks this summer! A hearty and healthy vegetable side dish made with a medley of green beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas in a zesty homemade vinaigrette.
Quick & Easy Three Bean Salad Recipe
There’s a reason that three bean salad is a classic. Maybe you enjoyed it at a summer barbeque. Maybe you’ve seen it on offer at a salad bar. You may have even made it yourself on more than one occasion! One thing is certain, three bean salad is a crowd-pleaser wherever it goes.
Three bean salad is probably the easiest way to bring a pop of color to the table. It’s a true rainbow of veggies and flavors! I keep mine simple with green beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas (a.k.a. Garbanzo beans), mixed with bright red onions and fresh parsley.
With a quick toss in a tangy mustard vinaigrette dressing, this is a protein-rich veggie side that everyone loves!
What You’ll Need
I make my three bean salad from a medley of canned kidney beans, green beans, and chickpeas tossed in a light sweet red wine vinaigrette. Here’s everything you need for the salad and the dressing:
- Olive Oil: As always, a good quality extra virgin olive oil always makes a difference!
- Red Wine Vinegar: I love the subtle sweetness of red wine vinegar with the Dijon. If you don’t have any handy, use white wine vinegar or white vinegar instead.
- Light Brown Sugar: Alternatively, you can use regular granulated sugar, but I love the slightly richer flavor that brown sugar brings.
- Dijon Mustard
- Chickpeas: I use canned chickpeas for this recipe. Remember to rinse and drain them first!
- Kidney Beans: Also canned, rinsed and drained.
- Green Beans: I use canned green beans in my three bean salad for convenience’s sake. However, you can always use fresh green beans if you prefer! Just trim the stems and blanch them beforehand (2 minutes in boiling water, followed by 15 seconds in an ice bath).
- Red Onion: Thinly sliced, for a nice sharpness and pop of purple! You can also use white onions, though they lack color.
- Salt & Pepper
- Fresh Parsley
How to Make Three Bean Salad
When making your salad, I highly recommend budgeting the time for a stint in the refrigerator. This bean salad will taste its best once it’s chilled for a couple of hours in the fridge, or overnight. Perfect for making ahead!
Toss together this perfect three bean salad in just minutes, in two easy steps:
Prepare the Dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until the sugar is dissolved.
Make the Salad: Combine the chickpeas, kidney beans, green beans, and parsley in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss everything together until combined.
Tips for the Best Results
- Always Rinse the Beans: Canned beans (and chickpeas) come in a thickish brine that doesn’t have such great flavor. For best results, always strain and rinse canned beans under cold water before going ahead with the recipe!
- Use Different Herbs: If parsley isn’t your thing, you can make this salad with any fresh herbs that you prefer. Try it with fresh dill, thyme, or rosemary for something different.
- Make It Ahead: I mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again! Make this three bean salad at least 2 hours ahead of when you plan to serve it or, even better, a day or two before. This gives the beans enough time to marinate and really soak up the flavors of that delicious dressing!
Why not make it a four, five, or six bean salad? Add in one or more of the following bean varieties for more easy versions of this salad recipe:
- Yellow wax beans
- Cannellini beans
- Lima beans
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
Make it a Meal
This recipe is one of my cookout favorites! I make my three bean salad as a vegetable side dish any time Pulled Pork is on the menu. It’s an easy side dish to serve with just about anything!
Here are some more sides and salad ideas to round out your next grilled meal or picnic:
- Air Fryer Hamburgers (or Black Bean Quinoa Burgers as a vegetarian option!)
- Orange Saffron Grilled Chicken or Greek Beef Kabobs on the Grill
- Peruvian-Style Grilled Street Corn
- Gluten Free Garlic Breadsticks
- BBQ Chicken Grilled Summer Salad
- Waldorf Chicken Salad
- Crockpot BBQ Beef
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover three bean salad airtight in the fridge for up to one week. It’s great to enjoy as an easy lunch!
Can I Freeze Three Bean Salad?
Yes! Three bean salad is hearty enough to withstand the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to store it airtight in a freezer-safe container and thaw it in the fridge before serving.
More Healthy Sides to Try
- Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Easy Air Fryer Green Beans
- Caprese Zoodles Salad
- Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
Three Bean Salad
- Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk together until fully combined and the sugar is dissolved.
- In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, kidney beans, green beans, and parsley. Pour the dressing over the top and toss everything together until combined.
- For the best flavor, refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.