This isn’t your mother’s Three Bean Salad recipe! It’s packed with fresh green beans and veggies, hearty beans, and it’s tossed in a sweet, tangy apple cider vinegar dressing. It’s low in sugar, gluten-free and vegan, and makes a great side dish or meal prep lunch!

Three bean salad in white bowl with spoon inside

When it comes to picnics and barbecues, what is your go-to side dish?  I have so many favorites including my orzo pasta salad and Mexican corn salad, but this three bean salad reminds me of my childhood.

I grew up in the canned food era, so there weren’t any fresh vegetables in the version that I grew up on, and the dressing was full of sugar.

Growing up during the canned food era gave me the appreciation that I have for fresh produce, so I added plenty to this recipe for a fresher take.

The fresh green beans, additional veggies and herbs add freshness and much needed texture, and the bright colors make it even more appealing.

If you love this salad, be sure to try my Greek three bean salad to change things up!

Bowl of three bean salad close up

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This three bean salad recipe is wholesome and satisfying. It’s packed with hearty beans, fresh veggies and a homemade apple cider vinegar dressing that’s low in sugar.
  • It’s a versatile dish that’s great served with almost anything, and it’s also a satisfying lunch!
  • It may be made entirely in advance so it’s perfect for meal prep.
  • It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.

Recipe ingredients

Most three bean salad recipes only include canned beans, a sugary dressing and little, if any fresh produce.

This recipe is a refreshing change with fresh green beans and veggies to make it more nutritious, with much needed texture, flavor and color.

The apple cider vinegar dressing is nice and tangy with just enough sweetness to compliment the ingredients.

Three bean salad ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Beans. I used canned chickpeas and kidney beans, but they can be customized with what you have on hand.
  • Green beans. I highly recommend using fresh green beans as they really elevate this dish, but you can certainly use canned green beans in a pinch.
  • Veggies and herbs. I used a combination of red and yellow bell pepper, red onion and parsley, which can be customized with your favorite ingredients.
  • Dressing. I highly recommend using my homemade apple cider vinegar dressing as it’s the perfect compliment to this salad, but it can be substituted with your favorite store bought brand.

How to make this recipe

This three bean salad is perfect because it’s extremely easy to make and it may be made entirely in advance.

Pro tip: The green beans may be cooked in advance and the veggies, herbs and dressing may be prepped ahead of time as well to make this recipe go even more quickly.

How to make three bean salad collage
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the green beans, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 3-4 minutes or until they reach the desired doneness. Place in a colander and rinse well with cold running water to stop the cooking process, drain well and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Place the green beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, bell pepper, red onion and parsley in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Prepare the apple cider vinegar dressing.
  4. Pour the desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

FAQs

What is three bean salad made of?

Classic three bean salad typically includes chickpeas, kidney beans and green beans, along with onions and a tangy dressing. This recipe includes fresh green beans, additional veggies and herbs for a fresher take on the classic, with a tangy apple cider dressing that’s lower in sugar.

How long will 3 bean salad last?

Three bean salad will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, making it great for meal prep.

Does three bean salad need to be refrigerated?

Three bean salad does need to be refrigerated as it includes perishable ingredients.

Bowl with three bean salad and parsley on top

Serving suggestions

Three bean salad is extremely versatile and may be eaten as a satisfying meal prep lunch, or alongside almost any dish such as the options listed below:

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: The green beans may be cooked in advance and the veggies, herbs and dressing may be made ahead of time as well to make prep even easier.
  • The salad is best made a few hours ahead so the flavors can meld.
  • The beans and veggies may be customized with your favorite ingredients.
  • Leftover three bean salad will keep for up to 5 days making it great for meal prep.
Plate of three bean salad with fork

More salad recipes you’ll love:

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Three bean salad in white bowl with spoon inside

Easy Three Bean Salad

Easy Three Bean Salad is packed with hearty beans, fresh green beans, veggies and a sweet, tangy dressing. It's an easy side dish that's perfect for picnics, potlucks or lunch!
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Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 8 ounces fresh green beans washed and trimmed*
  • 15 ounces chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounces kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium bell pepper seeded and chopped (I used half red bell pepper and half yellow)
  • ½ medium red onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • apple cider vinegar dressing or your favorite store bought dressing
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the green beans and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer 3-4 minutes or until they reach the desired doneness. Place in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain completely. Once cool enough, cut into 1" pieces.
  • Place the green beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, bell pepper, red onion, and parsley in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Prepare the dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Pro tip: The green beans may be cooked in advance and the veggies, herbs and dressing may be made ahead of time as well to make prep even easier.
  • Nutrition information does not include the dressing as it is included in a separate post.  Use the desired amount of dressing…you probably won’t need it all.
  • The salad is best made a few hours ahead so the flavors can meld.
  • The beans and veggies may be customized with your favorite ingredients.
  • Leftover three bean salad will keep for up to 5 days making it great for meal prep.

Nutrition

Calories: 171kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 476mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 760IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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