Easy Three Bean Salad Recipe

Easy Three Bean Salad Recipe – a protein packed salad, that is made with Chickpeas, Cannellini and Kidney beans. Delicious salad, that could be served at parties, potlucks or brought to picnics. Perfect for summer and grilling season.

A speckled bowl filled with three bean salad

How to make Three Bean Salad?

Nutritious, flavorful and very simple to make, this is healthy option for lunch, dinner or celebration.

A combination of Kidney, Cannellini and Garbanzo beans, red onions and parsley, sour and salty dressing, this salad is made with basic ingredients, but tastes super refreshing.

Combine all ingredients together and let the beans absorb the tasty dressing in the fridge for a few hours. Serve as a salad or as a side dish for meat or vegetables.

Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Three bean salad in a bowl with wooden spoon

How do you dress this salad?

This three bean salad is dressed with a basic – flavorful, savory and sour dressing, made with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice (optional), sweetener salt and pepper. Adding dried herbs like mint, thyme or oregano to the dressing for extra flavor.

How long does three bean salad last in the fridge?

Keep the dressed salad in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can add more salt, olive oil and vinegar if needed, after the second day.

Can you freeze bean salad?

This salad with beans can be frozen in an air-tight container or zip lock bag for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and serve when ready.

Recipe tips:

  • Get good quality beans – if you have a chance, don’t get the least expensive canned beans. Not that they will not work in the recipe, but well picked beans will be firm, non bruised and make a prettier salad.
  • Rinse well – this is important, so the beans don’t bring any brine flavor to the salad and they don’t stick together in the bowl.
  • Peel the chickpeas – this is an optional step and it will require about 10 extra minutes. If you don’t have the time, you can skip this step, but trust me – it is all worth the effort. Peeled chickpeas are much easier to consume, the skins won’t stick to your teeth and this way chickpeas have a little more flavor. They also absorb the dressing better. I always peel my canned chickpeas for salads and hummus.
  • Let the beans soak the dressing for at least 2 hours, before serving. This way they get a lot of flavor and turn slightly tender.
  • Warm up the dressing – this is a great tip for certain types of salads, like potato grilled vegetable or bean salad. If you have a chance to slightly warm uo the dressing and add it to the room temperature beans, they will absorb the flavors even better and more quickly. Keep in mind, that this is just optionl.
  • You can add any toppings or herbs of your choice to the salad. Some examples are toasted pine nuts, chopped pistachios, fresh mint leaves, dried thyme, oregano or sumac.
  • Can you boil your own beans? Of course you can. I understand that some people have certain concerns with canned foods and this is ok. You can cook your own beans and use them in this salad recipe.

A bowl with colorful three bean salad.

Can you use any other types of beans? 

Yes, you can use other beans (either substitute for the Garbanzo, Kidney or Cannellini beans, or use more than three different kinds). Keep in mind, that the salad will have a different taste, depending on the type of beans you decide to use.

Here are some options:

  • Green beans
  • Black beans
  • Fava beans

Non bean options:

  • Peas
  • Canned corn 
  • Cooked lentils

Salad with three types of beans in a bowl

What to serve this salad with?

While you can make bean salad from canned beans pretty much year round, I personally make it more often in the summer. It is easy to make with minimal prep work (excluding removing the skin from the chickpeas), which makes it perfect for lazy grilling season.

You can serve this salad on its own, since it could be a great vegetarian meal.

This Easy Three Bean Salad can be served with grilled meat like chicken, steak, skewers or even fish.

Pair with my favorite Grilled Chicken Thighs, Grilled T-Bone Steak or Easy Grilled Mahi Mahi.

More Bean Recipes:

Servings: 6

Three Bean Salad

Prep Time:
5 minutes
Easy Three Bean Salad Recipe - a protein packed salad, that is made with Chickpeas, Cannellini and Kidney beans. Perfect for summer and grilling season.
A speckled bowl filled with three bean salad
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  • 15 oz Garbanzo beans — chickpeas, rinsed and drained (you may peel them, if you have time)
  • 15 oz Cannellini beans — rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz Kidney beans — rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 medium red onion — chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley or less — chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 4 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar to taste — or more
  • 1/2 tsp salt — or more to taste
  • Ground Black pepper — optional
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp sugar for the dressing — to balance the taste


  1. In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
  2. Place the chickpeas, Cannellini and Kidney beans in a bowl. Add the onion, parsley and pour the dressing on top. Stir to coat all beans with the dressing.
  3. Add more salt, pepper, oil or vinegar if needed.
  4. Serve.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Three Bean Salad

Nutrition Information

Calories: 291, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 545mg, Potassium: 409mg, Carbohydrates: 38g, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 14g, Vitamin A: 20%, Vitamin C: 3%, Calcium: 90%, Iron: 5%