3-bean salad is one of those quintessential American summer picnic foods. It’s comforting, protein-rich, and easy to put together quickly with pantry ingredients. 3-bean salad is usually made with canned green beans instead of the cannellini white beans I’m using here. But I’ve yet to meet a canned green bean I like, so cannellini it is.
This bean salad is traditionally dressed with a sweet and sour dressing made with vinegar, oil, and sugar. You can cut back the sugar if you want, but I wouldn’t cut it out completely, or the dressing will be too acidic.
Three Bean Salad Recipe
We are using cannellini beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans in this salad. You can easily swap out any of them for cooked green beans, wax beans, or black beans.
Prep the onion first and soak the chopped onion in a small bowl of water to take the edge off the onion while you prep the other ingredients.
- 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 red onion, chopped fine, soaked in water to take the edge off the onion
- 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
- 1 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (more or less to taste)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 In a large bowl, mix the 3 different types of beans, the celery, onion (drained of soaking water), parsley, and rosemary.
2 In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat.
3 Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.