Classic Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad is a classic side dish or salad. This dish uses a variety of beans that are mixed with vegetables and and then tossed in a yummy sweet dressing. The most common beans used are green beans, waxed beans and light red kidney beans. I changed it up a bit this time and used Italian white kidney beans also know as cannellini Beans.

You can also substitute garbanzo beans in place of wax beans. If you do go with a garbanzo beans, I would use light red kidney beans instead of cannellini. So as you can see this salad is quite versatile and there really isn't any right or wrong combination. Just have fun with it and use your favorite bean variety.

By using three beans this also means three times the protein and that's always a plus. I recommend serving this salad cold, because the longer the salad marinates the better it will taste. If you're in a pinch for time you can serve this salad immediately. I usually prepare this salad the morning of the day I want to serve it.

Three bean salad is the perfect picnic, potluck or BBQ side dish. I hope you will give this recipe a try it's one of my favorite salads. The first time I had this salad was at my mother in laws house, and it was love at first bite. I am so thankful that she shared the recipe with me.

Drain and rinse the cannellini or light red kidney beans. I used my nifty little bush's bean strainer that I have become quite fond of. You don't have to rinse the green and waxed beans, just drain those

 I love cannellini Beans they are such a versatile bean.
Prepare the dressing and let it cool down.

When the dressing is cool pour it over the beans and veggies and lightly toss to coat.

I love how colorful and pretty this salad is.

Three Bean Salad

1 - Can (14.5 oz) cut green beans, drained

1 - Can (14.5 oz) cut yellow wax or garbanzo beans, drained
1 - Can (15.5) bush’s light red kidney beans or cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 - green and 1 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces (remove membranes)
1 - small red/purple onion, chopped
3 - 4 stalks celery chopped

Toss all of the above ingredients together and then add the dressing.

¾ - cup sugar
2/3 - cup vinegar
¾ - cup water
1/4 - cup oil (vegetable or canola)

Bring mixture to a boil, remove from heat and let cool. When cooled down pour the mixture dressing over the veggies and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Disclosure: I’m excited that I’ve entered into a paid, formal partnership with Bush’s Beans but the post above isn’t a part of that agreement. I just love this recipe and couldn't wait to share it.


I've never had 3 bean salad before, but it sounds excellent! I look forward to making this. It sounds like the perfect summer salad. -
nancy huggins said…
sounds much easier and sounds like it would taste better than other 3 bean recipes I have seen :)
Julie said…
I think my family would love this. We like the canned variety and homemade looks even better :)
I love bean salads and this one looks so refreshing Tina! Bush's are the best.
Anonymous said…
THAT looks so refreshing, Tina!! And congrats on your partnership with Bush's!
Unknown said…
Your salad looks delicious! I was wondering where you got the Bush's Bean strainer. It looks really handy.
Anonymous said…
I'm trying this recipe tonight! It looks better than the usual 3 bean salads I've tried before. I love your addition of the cannelini beans.

Jamie said…
This is a great recipe. I make the same dressing, only use Le Suer peas, French style green beans and shoepeg corn. It's delicious.
Julie M. said…
Mmmm. I love three bean salad! this one looks light and tasty. Thanks for sharing!
VicB said…
Where did you get the Bush bean strainer? Looks like it would come in handy
Barb said…
This has always been one of my all time favs. My mom used to make it and now I do the same. Thanks for posting this. It's a staple for our summer meals.
Unknown said…
This bean salad looks delicious.
Mrs. Walker said…
We have green, purple, and yellow beans growing in our garden as well as green peppers. I love to make bean salad with fresh beans. Your dressing sounds yummy. I can't wait to try it with our fresh bean salad.
Mrs. Walker said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret44 said…
I love you salad!!! :)

I have a similar Bush Bean Salad recipe, here it is:

2 cups green beans
2 cups yellow wax beans
1 can of Bush Beans
1 can of chick peas

3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients to mix thoroughly.


margaret.imecs at
Peggy said…
Looks great!!
Blanca said…
I had this salad and I loved it, but it had also poppy seeds