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Old-Fashioned Three Bean Salad

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The zippy flavors and textures of this old-fashioned three bean salad really do make it the perfect summer salad to serve at any barbecue, potluck, or relaxing weekend meal.

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Old-Fashioned Three Bean Salad
Old-Fashioned Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad Ingredients

Kidney Beans. I use canned kidney beans because it is easy. I love the fiber that they add to the salad.

Green Beans. Most often, I use the canned fresh cut green beans. You can use frozen or fresh beans if you blanch and cool them.

Yellow Beans. I add these for color. I get the canned fresh cut beans.

Bean Variations. Be creative and add the type of bean that you enjoy. Often, this recipe is made with Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas). They are the same thing.

Onions. If you can get them, sweet onions are the best in this recipe. However, red, white, yellow, or scallions, work great too.

Three Bean Salad four photos showing the kidney, green, yellow beans, and diced onion
Three Bean Salad _ Quick and Easy Recipe

Easy Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

OIL: Canola oil or vegetable oil can be used because they are generally flavorless. However, if you use olive oil, it will thicken slightly in the refrigerator. I do find that the olive oil will add to the taste of the vinaigrette, so you might want to do a taste test to see which why you prefer your oil.

Vinegar. White vinegar gives this salad a delicious and bold flavor. However, if you do not have it on hand, you can substitute this with cider vinegar, red or white wine vinegar. Our favorite to use though is rice vinegar. It gives just enough tang for us.

Sugar. Granulated sugar we use most of the time for this recipe. However, you can use an equal amount of honey. Just be sure to incorporate it well.

Seasonings. Just a bit of salt and pepper. Another option is to add a teaspoon of celery seed. It gives a nice flavor pop once in awhile when you bite into one.

Herbs. Today, I used dried parsley. However, fresh dill or cilantro would work well too.

Whisking Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Ingredients
Whisking Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Ingredients

What to do if Your Onion Flavor is Too Strong?

If your onion flavor is too strong, rinse and drain them in a colander before adding to the salad. This will make them a bit milder.

Dried Parsley for Salad Dressing
Dried Parsley for Salad Dressing

Fresh Herbs Versus Dried Herbs

This recipe uses dried parsley. However, if you happen to have fresh parsley on hand, go ahead and use that. The ratio of dried to fresh herbs is two to one. In other words, use half the amount for dried herbs as you would for fresh herbs.

Can I Use Fresh Green Beans?

Yes. Just blanch them first so they are tender. Then add them to the recipe.

Do I have to cook canned beans?

No. They are already cooked and all you need to do is drain them, rinse them, and add them to this salad.

Green Bean Salad Make Ahead Holiday Side dish
Make Ahead Holiday Side dish

How to make Three Bean Salad

This is the easiest salad in the world to make. If you can get a can of beans opened, you are halfway done with the recipe.

  1. Drain and rinse the kidney beans in a colander. Add those to a mixing bowl.
  2. Drain the green beans and add those to the mixing bowl.
  3. Drain the yellow beans and those go in the mixing bowl as well.
  4. Dice the onion and add that to the bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and parsley. Pour this over the beans and onions in the mixing bowl and gently toss to incorporate.
  6. For best taste, refrigerate 2 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld together. However, you can serve this right away if you choose.
Serving the Three Bean Salad
Serving the Three Bean Salad

How long will Three Bean Salad keep?

This salad is best if enjoyed within 24 hours; however, it will keep in the refrigerator and stay fresh for 3 – 5 days.

Deli Counter Three Bean Salad

The first time I enjoyed this salad was as an adult at a deli counter. I wish I knew about this recipe sooner in my life. It is so easy to make and yet, so darn scrumptious.

The sweet and tangy dressing paired with the beans, onion, and herbs are hard to beat for a side salad to compliment any meal.

Make Ahead Potluck Salad Recipe
Make Ahead Potluck Salad Recipe

Old-Fashioned Three Bean Salad
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Old-Fashioned Three Bean Salad

The zippy flavors and textures of this old-fashioned three bean salad really do make it the perfect summer salad to serve at any barbecue, potluck, or relaxing weekend meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Salad, Salad Dressing, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas recipe, Easter recipe, Make ahead, summer recipe, Thanksgiving recipe
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 206kcal

Ingredients

  • 15 ounce kidney beans 1 can
  • 15 ounce green beans 1 can
  • 15 ounce yellow beans 1 can
  • 1/2 cup onions 1/2 small-medium onion diced
  • 1/3 cup canola oil can also use olive oil
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBSP dried parsley optional

Instructions

  • Drain and rinse the kidney beans in a colander. Add those to a mixing bowl.
  • Drain the green beans and add those to the mixing bowl.
  • Drain the yellow beans and those go in the mixing bowl as well.
  • Dice the onion and add that to the bowl.
    Three Bean Salad _ Quick and Easy Recipe
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and parsley. Pour this over the beans and onions in the mixing bowl and gently toss to incorporate.
    Whisking Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Ingredients
  • For best taste, refrigerate 2 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld together. However, you can serve this right away if you choose.
    Green Bean Salad Make Ahead Holiday Side dish

Video

Notes

Keeping salad.

Keep the bean salad in the refrigerator in a sealed container or covered with plastic wrap for up to 5 days.

Substitute beans.

If you do not like one of the kinds of beans you can substitute for another type of canned beans. Using mixed beans makes the salad more flavorful and pretty.

Honey or sugar.

You may substitute equal amounts of honey instead of adding sugar.

Seasonings.

Just a bit of salt and pepper. Another option is to add a teaspoon of celery seed. It gives a nice flavor pop once in awhile when you bite into one.

Herbs.

The herbs are optional, but they add so much flavor. Dried herbs may also be used instead of fresh herbs. Reduce the amounts by half.

Can I Use Fresh Green Beans?

Yes. Just blanch them first so they are tender. Then add them to the recipe.

Do I have to cook canned beans?

No. They are already cooked and all you need to do is drain them, rinse them, and add them to this salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 124mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

Environmental Information

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