Three Bean Salad Recipe, made with affordable pantry essentials including garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and cannellini beans, takes less than 15 minutes to toss together. Dressed in a light vinaigrette, this delicious three bean salad is the perfect summer potluck or barbeque side dish.
I love all kinds of salads. But simple pantry salads like this vibrant three-bean salad one holds a special place in my heart since it is so easy to prepare (and transport!)
Unlike my plan-ahead, think-ahead, do-ahead husband, I have a tendency to procrastinate everything. One would think I’d have the cooking for potlucks and parties figured out by now, but it’s the opposite. In fact, until recently I was always the one to bring store-bought food to potlucks and family gatherings.
Fortunately, this delicious three bean salad is super easy, coming together really quickly as the bulk of it is made from canned beans. Other yummy additions include celery, red onion, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley, but it’s easy to adjust those ingredients based on what you have stashed away in your pantry and refrigerator.
This salad is also:
Read more about the Most Popular Types of Beans; And How to Use Them
How to Make Three Bean Salad
Make this yummy 3 bean salad in just a few easy steps:
Mix together the salad ingredients.
Prepare the vinaigrette.
Combine and toss well to coat.
That is it.
Should You Rinse Canned Beans?
I highly recommend rinsing the cannellini, garbanzo, and kidney beans. The reason being that they’re canned in a mixture of water and salt which, over time, causes the beans to release starches creating a thick, cloudy, and unappealing liquid.
Although it is completely edible, it is also very salty and will alter the overall taste (and look) of the final dish.
Simply drain the beans using a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cool water before adding to your mixing bowl.
Are Bean Salads Healthy?
Beans are an excellent source of fiber, particularly the soluble kind, with approximately 1 cup of cooked beans providing 9-13 grams. Fiber helps lower blood cholesterol, promotes regularity, and helps manage blood sugar levels by helping you feel full for longer. All great things, right?
But beans are not only high in fiber; they’re also high in protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, B vitamins, and many other important vitamins and minerals. All very good things.
As for the other ingredients in the salad? Just be sure to take it easy on the olive oil and sugar (aka moderation) and you’ll be good to go!
Bean Salad Variations
As I mentioned above, have some fun and play around with different beans and flavors for countless bean salad variations. Here are some examples to get you started.
- Four Bean Salad – Garbanzo beans, Kidney beans, Green beans, and Cannellini beans
- Greek Bean Salad – Garbanzo beans, Cannellini beans, cucumber, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and bell pepper.
- Mexican Bean Salad – Black beans, Kidney beans, Cannellini beans, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño
- Black Bean Salad – Just black beans…and any other favorite veggies (plus avocado, of course).
- Caprese Bean Salad – Cannellini beans, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette
How Long Does Three Bean Salad Stay Fresh?
How long does three-bean salad last in the fridge? 3-5 days
To maximize shelf life, freshness, and safety, I recommend keeping leftovers stored in a clean airtight container. Sometimes, I’ll add a little sprinkle of fresh parsley to freshen it up.
How to Serve
I often prepare this salad (or a similar version) with baked chicken breasts and fresh fruit for an easy, delicious, healthy dinner that makes for even better leftovers.
However, any kind of protein will do including garlic butter steak bites, baked salmon, lamb chops, and even your favorite pork chop recipe.
Usually, however, a big scoop pairs really well with most simple and summer-focused recipes. The vinegar contrast is always a fun surprise, but never so overpowering that it’s all I taste.
Looking for more easy easy salad recipes? Try these reader favorites:
- The Best Italian Pasta Salad Recipe
- Creamy Pea Salad Recipe with Bacon
- Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Drunken Beans with Poblanos
- Chickpea Tomato Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing
- Loaded Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
Have you tried making this Easy Three Bean Salad Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Easy Three Bean Salad Recipe
- 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans - drained and rinsed
- ½ medium red onion - peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery - chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley - chopped
For the Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar - plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt - plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon fresh black pepper - plus more to taste
- Mix together the salad ingredients - In a large mixing bowl, first mix together the red onion, celery, and parsley. Add the beans (garbanzo, cannellini, kidney) and gently toss to combine.
- Prepare the vinaigrette - In a separate, smaller bowl or mason jar, whisk together the vinegars, sugar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Combine - Drizzle the beans with the prepared vinaigrette and toss well to coat.Optional- allow the vinaigrette-soaked beans to chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so to allow them to absorb the flavor.
- Feel free to use your favorite canned beans to make this recipe including green beans, wax beans, or black beans.
- If you're sensitive to the spiciness of red onion, soak your chopped onion in a bowl of cool water for a few minutes to take the edge off. Just be sure to drain the water before adding to the salad.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
Best recipe that I have found and I’ve been searching for a while. Absolutely delicious and refreshing on a hot summer day. Thank you!
Susan Baylor says
Nice mix of vinaigrette. I didn’t have the celery or onion so I added a jar of giardiniera. Ate it for lunch, delicious.
Jessica Randhawa says
Thanks for the delicious feedback Susan 🙂