Three Bean Salad

This salad has been around for years and shows up in many varieties depending on the choices of the cook preparing it. I remember trying three bean salad when I was younger and I didn’t care for the wax beans. I told my Mom your food should not squeak against your teeth when you eat it. I surmised that three bean salad was “old people food.” Fast forward to my 40s and this salad showed up at a dinner meeting I had recently. This one was not made with wax beans so I gave it another try. I’m not going to lie ya’ll. I had two helpings and then later decided to have another scoop instead of dessert.


First of all, green beans are my favorite vegetable. Secondly, I also love beans of all kinds but chose kidney and garbanzo beans for this one. I found the trick to this salad is to make it with ingredients you like. After more research on this dish, I found many people prefer fresh green beans. In this particular situation, I prefer the canned option because I don’t want the crunch. I think the green beans should have the same texture and bite as the other beans involved. Bonus: Making this with canned beans makes it quick and easy to throw together at the last minute. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to marinate the beans in the liquid mixture for optimum flavor.

Speaking of the liquid mixture, here’s another change I made from the usual recipe for this salad. It calls for 1/2 cup olive oil but I wanted a fresher taste and not so much oil in mine. I used 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup water. It worked perfectly. I also tend to play around with different vinegars in this recipe. However you choose to make three bean salad, I hope you enjoy it!



Three Bean Salad


  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cut green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced small


  1. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, add drained and rinsed beans, onion and liquid mixture. Toss until evenly coated.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight to blend flavors.
  5. Remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving and bring to room temperature.


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