This three bean salad is the perfect make-ahead dish for any BBQ or weekly meal prep idea. Ready in under 10 minutes it is quick and easy to prepare without forgoing any flavor. This salad is a great summer meal for those days when it’s just too hot to cook and is filled with plant-based protein to keep you fueled for your day.
My mom used to make three bean salad all the time when I was a kid, it was a staple dish in our fridge during the summer months that we could just grab for a quick lunch when we needed it. To me, those are the perfect type of summer meals, the ones where you can arrange your own combination of cold goodies based on whatever you have on hand.
There are certainly many different ways to make a three bean salad, so this just happens to be mine. I like this combination because there is no cooking required and you can load it up with as many veggies as you like, and if you are feeling a little extra, a sprinkle of feta cheese goes well on top!
Why You’ll Love This Three Bean Salad Recipe
- Easy – This salad is super easy to make.
- Tasty – It’s full of fresh and vibrant flavors.
- Make Ahead – It stores well in the fridge making it great for meal prep.
- High in Fiber – Filled with all the beans and lots of vegetables, this salad is fiber packed.
- Lots of Protein – The combination of beans in the salad provides a decent amount of vegetarian protein to the dish.
Three Bean Salad Ingredients
The most common ingredients in three bean salad are kidney beans, green beans or wax beans, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas). For this version, I opted to add kidney beans and add some extra veggies, as well as a little Mediterranean flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Garbanzo Beans – A can of garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas.
- Black Beans – A can of black beans.
- Kidney Beans – A can of red kidney beans, you could also use white kidney beans, also known as cannellini beans, if you like.
- Tomatoes – To give it some Mediterranean flare.
- Cucumber – To add some veggies and texture.
- Red Onion – For some color and crunch.
- Bell Pepper – The recipe calls for a yellow bell pepper but you could use red or orange as well.
- Fresh Parsley – To add some freshness and greens. You could also add other fresh herbs such as basil, chives, or dill.
- Dressing – A combination of olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper.
Although the recipe doesn’t call for it, a bit of crumbled feta cheese on top would pair very nicely.
To Make it Gluten-Free: No adaptations are needed, this recipe is gluten-free.
To Make it Dairy-Free: No adaptations are needed this salad is dairy-free.
How to Make Three Bean Salad
- Drain the beans. Add the chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans to a colander to remove excess liquid, and then rinse them well.
- Chop the vegetables. While the beans are draining, chop your tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and bell pepper into bite-size pieces.
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl or jar, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, minced garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk or shake until well combined.
- Mix your salad. Add the beans and vegetables to a large mixing bowl, top with dressing and chopped parsley, and toss until well combined.
- Season to taste. Taste the salad and adjust the salt and pepper seasoning to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
The Best Three Bean Salad Dressing
While a classic three bean salad recipe will call for a mixture of vinegar, oil, and sugar, I think the salad needs a little more flavor. The best dressing for three bean salad is a homemade dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
This three bean salad works equally well as a main course or a side dish. You can enjoy it on its own or on a bed of leafy greens for a light meal, or pair it with grilled meat or burgers for a more filling meal.
What to Serve with Three Bean Salad
Here are some my favorite things to serve with three bean salad:
- Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers
- Salmon Burgers
- Black Bean Burgers
- Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
- Honey Lime Chicken Skewers
- Honey Ginger Grilled Salmon
Yes, three bean salad is very healthy. Beans are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein, as well as many other vitamins and minerals. When topped with a homemade dressing filled with healthy fats, three bean salad is a very healthy and well-balanced dish.
Beans as primarily a source of carbohydrates, therefore, three bean salad is high in carbohydrates. One serving of this three bean salad contains 51 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of fiber, 17 grams of protein, and 18 grams of fat.
Yes, there is a good body of scientific research showing that regular consumption of beans provides a variety of health benefits. The consumption of beans has been linked to decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity (1).
Three bean salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More Healthy Bean Salad Recipes:Print
Three Bean Salad
This bean salad works well as a main course, side dish, or meal prep idea. If you are making the salad in advance, you can freshen it up with a bit more dressing and/or salt and pepper when you’re ready to serve.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Salads
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup parsley, minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Black pepper
- In a large colander, strain and rinse chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans and set aside.
- In a small bowl or jar, combine the olive oil, mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and black pepper, and whisk together until emulsified and well combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the diced vegetables and beans, and give it a good stir to ensure everything is well combined.
- Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss again to ensure everything is well coated. Taste the salad and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- The salad can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 416 calories
- Sugar: 7 grams
- Fat: 18 grams
- Carbohydrates: 51 grams
- Fiber: 17 grams
- Protein: 17 grams
Keywords: easy three bean salad, healthy three bean salad, mediterranean three bean salad