This classic three bean salad is all in the name – three beans! Kidney beans, chickpeas, and green beans tossed in a refreshingly light dressing. Perfect for potlucks, cookouts, or simply an easy side dish for dinner.
I’m kicking off Summer with a classic. Something I grew up eating and if you didn’t, well you’re about to!
Let’s just start with the things that I love about three bean salad:
- Super EASY to make
- Cheap ingredients
- Refined sugar-free
- Great for cookouts or BBQs
- Perfect make-ahead recipe
- Naturally gluten-free and vegan
- Freakin’ delicious
Ingredients in three bean salad:
With most classic recipes, there’s no cookie cutter way to make it. Everyone has their own renditions and this way I’m sharing is how my mama taught me.
Beans: For starters, we need three beans: chickpeas, kidney beans, and green beans. Some recipes call for other types of beans like black beans or great northern beans, but stick to three beans people! It’s in the name!
Veggies: Celery, red onion, and shallot are added for a flavorful crunch.
Dressing: The dressing a sweet and tangy vinaigrette made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Then a little bit of salt, pepper, and celery seed are added.
How to make three bean salad:
- Drain beans, thaw green beans and combine in a large mixing bowl
- Add chopped vegetables
- Whisk together ingredients for the dressing
- Pour over salad and mix with rubber spatula until well combined
- Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably 24 hours to let the juices soak in
- Serve chilled
Ways to customize:
- Add bell pepper
- Substitute chickpeas or kidney beans with black beans or northern beans
- Use black beans and add corn and cilantro
- Add crumbled feta, although this negates the vegan aspect (but would be super tasty!)
How to serve three bean salad:
This salad is best served the next day but consumed within 5 days. Giving the salad 24 hours to marinate makes the dish more flavorful. After 5 days the beans tend to get slightly mushy.
I would not recommend freezing the three bean salad because the chickpeas and kidney beans would be very mushy once thawed.
This recipe is also great for lunch for those of you who are over lettuce-based salads. This salad is full of fresh veggies and plant-based protein!
If you tried this vegan and gluten-free three bean salad, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Classic Three Bean Salad
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 1 cup green beans frozen; see notes if using fresh
- 3/4 cup celery about 2 stalks
- 3/4 cup red onion about 1/2 medium onion
- 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1/3 cup honey can substitute with agave to make vegan
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Drain kidney beans and chickpeas. Combine kidney beans, chickpeas, and green beans in a large mixing bowl.
- Add celery, red onion, shallot, and parsley
- In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for dressing and whisk together
- Pour dressing into the large mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, mix well
- Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours; preferably overnight
- Serve chilled. Leftovers keep in the fridge for 5 days.
- Add to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes
- Drain and transfer to bowl full of ice water
This recipe was loosely adapted from Simply Recipes
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