Three Bean Salad Recipe

Three Bean Salad Recipe

This is the perfect Three Bean Salad recipe – it will be the star of any potluck or backyard barbecue! It’s easy to make and full of flavor from garlic, herbs and a delicious homemade dressing.

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

Marinating time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30mins

 Servings: 8 servings 


For the dressing:

⅓ cup olive oil

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey OR maple syrup OR white sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard OR yellow mustard

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard optional

1 cup finely chopped onion red or white onion, or a mix

2 cloves garlic minced

1 ½ teaspoons salt or more to taste

ground black pepper to taste

For the salad:

1 pound green beans trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

2 (15-oz) cans white beans rinsed and drained

2 (15-oz) cans red kidney beans rinsed and drained

3 small celery ribs finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley or a mix with dill, thyme and/or oregano



Make dressing: Combine all ingredients for dressing in a medium salad bowl. Set aside.

Cook green beans: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water, then add beans and simmer until done to your liking (2-8 minutes depending on firmness you want – please see notes below for tips!).

Drain and season beans:

For crunchy green beans, drain and rinse under cool water for 15-30 seconds. Combine warm beans with dressing.

For soft green beans, drain and immediately combine steaming hot beans with dressing (this is my preferred method).

Either way, allow beans to marinate in dressing for 15 minutes.

Finish salad: Add remaining salad ingredients. Either serve salad at room temperature, or cover and place in fridge for several hours and up to 3 days to serve it chilled.


Cooking time

2 minutes of cooking time followed by rinsing 15-30 seconds under cool tap water will give you crunchy beans with a good bite.

5-6 minutes of cooking time will give you beans with a bite, but no crunch. You can either rinse for more firmness, or not rinse for more softness.

7-8 minutes of cooking time will give you soft beans without a bite, but they will not fall apart. I usually do 7 minutes, and I do not rinse.

Celery: If you’re not a fan of celery, you can skip it. If you want to add something for the crunch, a chopped Granny Smith apple is also delicious.

Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is my favorite here, but red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar all work as well.

Garlic: Fresh garlic is a must for me in this recipe, but you can use ½ – 1 teaspoon of dried garlic powder instead.

Onions: I highly recommend chopping the onions as finely as you can, without mincing them. Finely chopped onion is much more pleasant to eat vs large chunks, and they will distribute more evenly in the salad.

Stirring: This salad needs to be stirred somewhat carefully, as the canned beans tend to get smashed otherwise.


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