The classic Three Bean Salad gets an upgrade! This recipe is full of tangy fresh flavor, fiber and lots of plant protein! An easy make-ahead side dish for picnics, potlucks, and BBQs. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

This classic Three Bean Salad recipe is full of tangy flavor, fiber and lots of plant protein! An easy make-ahead side dish for picnics, potlucks, and BBQs. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

It is called 3 Bean Salad but really there are no rules, we have tucked in a variety of three different types of canned beans along with two kinds of fresh beans, haricot verts and yellow wax beans. The beans get tossed in a flavorful red wine vinaigrette, along with diced celery, red onions, and fresh herbs. A perfect salad for making ahead as it just gets better with time.

For more make-ahead salads try Moroccan Lentil Salad.

Why You Will Love This!

  • Healthy and full of fiber, plant protein, and rich in nutrients like folate and potassium! Made with maple syrup rather than sugar, just enough to balance the vinegar. (Grandma”s old recipe had 3 times as much sugar! It doesn’t need it!)
  • Easy! This salad comes together with just 15 minutes of hands-on time.
  • Perfect to make ahead and keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days!
  • Made with economical everyday pantry staples!

Ingredients In Three Bean Salad

Ingredients for 3 Bean Salad.

Ingredient Notes

  • Beans– canned beans are convenient, and home-cooked beans are also a great option! Here we have used cannellini beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Use whatever types of beans you prefer! Black beans, white beans, pinto beans, navy beans, and lima beans are all viable choices.
  • Fresh beans– any fresh green beans variety will do! Yes, you can use canned, but we highly encourage using fresh.
  • Celery– diced up this adds a balancing crunchy texture to the tender beans.
  • Red Onion– gives a savory bite that gets sweeter as it marinates in the salad.
  • Whole grain mustard– this adds tasty pops of flavor. Dijon mustard will work here too.
  • Oregano– using both fresh and dried gives a layered flavor complexity.
  • Fresh parsley– fresh herbs just add a lot of life to this salad.
  • Red wine vinegar– we like the tang here, but apple cider vinegar will mellow it out a bit if the red wine vinegar is too sharp for your taste. Half and half will also work.
  • Extra virgin olive oil– use a good one for the best flavor!
  • Maple syrup– or use honey if you prefer.
  • Black pepper & Salt– always add to taste.
  • Cayenne– just a pinch or two really enhances

Toss in more veggies if you like! Such as fresh bell peppers, corn, or cucumbers (added just when serving).

See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.  

How To Make Three Bean Salad

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the bean salad dressing; red wine vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, whole grain mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  2. To the bowl add the drained beans, blanched green beans, red onion, oregano, and parsley. Stir to combine. 
  3. Store in the fridge, giving a stir a few times to distribute the dressing ensuring all the beans get marinated. Chill for at least 2 hours. This salad is at its peak flavor the day after making it.

This salad is “pickled” and meant to have tangy pickled flavor. If the salad is too vinegary for your taste, you can adjust it by adding more maple syrup. Additionally, you can also modify the flavor by incorporating a touch more olive oil or using apple cider vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar.

What to serve with Three Bean Salad

Faqs

1. Can I use different types of beans in the three bean salad?
Absolutely! The recipe mentions cannellini beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas, but feel free to use any types of beans you prefer. Black beans, white beans, pinto beans, navy beans, or lima beans are all viable choices.

2. Can I use home-cooked beans?
Definitely! Canned beans are convenient and work perfectly fine in this salad, however, if you prefer, you can also use home-cooked beans as a great alternative.

3. How long does homemade three-bean salad last in the fridge?
The three bean salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. It’s a great make-ahead dish that you can enjoy throughout the week.

4. How do I blanch green beans for the salad?
To blanch green beans for the salad, follow these steps: place whole string beans in boiling water and simmer for 3 minutes. Then, strain the beans and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This keeps the texture tender-crisp and the color bright.

5. Do I need to rinse canned beans before adding them to the salad?
Yes, when using canned beans in a salad, it’s recommended to rinse them under cool water and drain. This helps remove any excess liquid and prevents the salad dressing from becoming watery. However, if you’re using canned beans in soups or sauces, it’s fine to use the beans and their liquid.

I hope these FAQs help! Let me know if you have any more questions.

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Health Benefits of Beans

Incorporating beans into your diet can provide a wide range of health benefits. They are versatile and can be enjoyed in soups, salads, stews, or as a side dish.

  1. Heart Health: Beans are rich in soluble fiber, which helps in lowering cholesterol levels. They also contain antioxidants and important minerals like magnesium and potassium, which support heart health.
  2. Weight Management: Beans are low in fat and high in fiber and protein, making them a great option for weight management. The combination of fiber and protein can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce calorie intake.
  3. Blood Sugar Control: The high fiber content in beans helps regulate blood sugar levels. They have a low glycemic index, which means they cause a gradual rise in blood sugar, preventing spikes and crashes.
  4. Digestive Health: The fiber in beans promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation. It nourishes the beneficial bacteria in the gut, promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
  5. Cancer Prevention: Beans are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, which help protect the body against free radicals and reduce the risk of certain types of cancers, including colorectal cancer.
  6. Bone Health: Beans are a good source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones. They also contain phytoestrogens, which can help prevent osteoporosis.
  7. Energy Boost: Beans are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a slow and sustained release of energy. They also contain iron, a mineral necessary for oxygen transport and energy production.
  8. Brain Health: The folate and antioxidants found in beans contribute to brain health and help in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
  9. Muscle Development and Repair: Beans are a good source of plant-based protein, which is essential for muscle development and repair. They provide amino acids necessary for the synthesis of proteins in the body.
  10. Nutrient-Dense: Beans are packed with essential vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium. They are also a good source of plant-based antioxidants and phytonutrients.
3 Bean Salad in a bowl.

Hope you enjoy this 3 Bean Salad!

~Tonia

   Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

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This classic Three Bean Salad recipe is full of tangy flavor, fiber and lots of plant protein! An easy make-ahead side dish for picnics, potlucks, and BBQs. Vegan and Gluten-Free.

Three Bean Salad Recipe

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  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups 1x
  • Category: salad, side dish
  • Method: tossed
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This classic Three Bean Salad recipe is full of tangy flavor, fiber and lots of plant protein! An easy make-ahead side dish for picnics, potlucks, and BBQs. Vegan and Gluten-Free.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (add more to taste- see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard (or dijon)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • 15 ounces cannellini beans, drain and rinse
  • 15 ounces kidney beans, drain and rinse
  • 15 ounces garbanzo beans, drain and rinse
  • 1 1/2 cup green or yellow fresh beans, blanched and cut into 1 inch pieces (see notes on blanching)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano (or add 1 extra teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, whole grain mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne. (Taste the dressing, add more olive oil or maple syrup if too tangy).
  2. To the bowl add the drained beans, blanched green beans, red onion, celery, oregano, and parsley. Stir to combine. 
  3. Store in the fridge, stirring a few times the first couple hours to distribute the dressing, ensuring all the beans get marinated. Adjust with salt, pepper or maple syrup.

Notes

To blanch green beans: place whole string beans in boiling water, simmer for 3 minutes, strain and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water. 

Toss in more veggies if you like! Fresh bell peppers, corn, and cucumbers (added just when serving).

Salad will keep up to 3 days in the fridge. 

This salad is “pickled” and meant to have tangy pickled flavor. If it is too vinegar for your taste add more maple syrup can also adjust with a touch more olive oil.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 313
  • Sugar: 4.2 g
  • Sodium: 637.8 mg
  • Fat: 10.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.5 g
  • Fiber: 11.6 g
  • Protein: 13.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. Hi Sylvia, I have been loving your recipes and they have all been 5 star until I made this 3 bean salad. It was too vinegary and if I make it again I will use half the vinegar or use a nice basalmic vinegar. The organic red wine vinegar I used is Madhava from Italy and it was probably the problem. Do you have a recommendation for a good red wine vinegar? Thanks.

    1. Hi Denise, Sorry this didn’t work for you. To adjust it you could add more maple syrup and/or a little more olive oil. It does mellow as it sits in the fridge for a day or two. I just added a note in the instructions to taste the dressing after mixing so adjustments can be made to taste. We have used Spectrum Organic and Napa Valley Organic Red Wine Vinegars.:)

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