This super quick and easy bean salad recipe is made with 3 types of beans and a simple vinaigrette. Serve it up alongside any main dish for a nutritious side that the whole family can enjoy!

Wooden bowl full of bean salad with a golden spoon, ready to serve for dinner.

If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for healthy easy recipes to expedite the cooking process.

Well, I have great news for you! Bean salad recipes are incredibly versatile, inexpensive, quick to prepare, and nutritious to boot! 

This super simple bean salad was inspired by my mom’s husband, who is Sicilian. His father moved to the U.S. from Sicily and brought with him this magical, easy salad.

Rather then using three different types of beans, he used one type and made kidney bean salad, which is equally tasty but I personally prefer the variety.

Budget friendly and easy to customize, you can go as humble or as complex as you’d like with bean salads.

For instance, you can stick with one type of bean instead of three kinds of beans, add fresh vegetables like crisp cucumber, bell peppers, and corn, or whip up your favorite homemade dressing.

One of my favorite parts about 3 bean salads is that they pair well with just about any main entree.

Wooden bowl full of three bean salad sprinkled with parsley, ready to serve.

Serve it up alongside The Best Grilled Chicken Thighs, BBQ Tri Tip, Crispy Salmon, or add it to a green salad for more texture and nutrients.

The best part is this easy side dish requires just a few minutes of prep to toss together. Ideal for those times you’re looking for a healthy side dish to serve guests or to enjoy for weeknight meals.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for three bean salad! You can find the full ingredients list at any grocery store.

Ingredients for Bean Salad:

Three Types of Beans: Choose your three favorite kinds of beans to make bean salad! I use canned kidney beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and black beans.

Cannellini beans, pinto beans, white beans, and fresh green beans are also popular options.

Olive Oil: We need olive oil or avocado oil to add richness to the dressing and to enable the dressing to stick to the beans.

I like using extra-virgin olive oil for that unmistakable rustic flavor, but avocado oil works nicely if you prefer neutral flavor.

Red Wine Vinegar: Bringing tangy flavor to the vinaigrette, we need some form of vinegar.

I like red wine vinegar because I think it adds to the classic Italian rustic flavors, but balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar are great options too. Lemon juice also works.

Salt, Black Pepper, Dried Oregano: The seasonings! We add dried oregano, salt, and pepper to infuse herby flavor into the salad.

If the salad tastes bland to you, continue adding salt, pepper and vinegar until you achieve the flavor you’re going for.

Serving bowl with bean salad inside and a golden spoon for serving.

Optional Additions:

Fresh Garlic (optional): I like adding one small clove of garlic to add some flavor nuance to the recipe. You can increase the amount if you’re a garlic lover or skip it altogether if you aren’t into garlic.

Red Onion: A small amount of red onion goes a long way in adding a zingy pop of flavor and a tiny kick of heat. Use ¼ to ½ cup of finely chopped red onion or thinly sliced red onion. Green onions are great in this application too. You can also make my Pickled Red Onions recipe.

Fresh Parsley: Most dried herbs and fresh herbs flow magically in bean salad recipes! I like adding ½ cup of finely chopped parsley.

Feta Cheese: Mix in three ounces of feta cheese crumbles if you enjoy some tangy feta.

Green Pepper or Red Bell Pepper: Chop up 1 cup worth of bell peppers to make a Mediterranean bean salad.

Dijon Mustard: If you enjoy the flavor of mustard in your homemade dressing recipes, add 1 to 2 teaspoons to the vinegar dressing. 

Olives: Green olives, kalamata olives, or black olives are all great additions to make a Mediterranean or Greek bean salad.

Chili Flakes: For a kick of heat, add red pepper flakes to your personal taste.

Now that we’re familiar with the ingredients and possible customizations, let’s make this simple bean salad recipe!

How to Make Bean Salad:

Open all three cans of beans and drain them into a colander (strainer) in the sink. Run cool faucet water over the beans to rinse them well.

Colander with three types of beans inside, being rinsed with faucet water.

Give the colander a shake to shake off any excess water. If you’d like, you can use paper towels to pat the beans dry to remove more moisture.

Transfer the drained and rinsed beans to a large mixing bowl.

Mixing bowl with beans inside.

In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients (oil, vinegar, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper (and fresh minced garlic if adding)) until combined.

Small white bowl with vinaigrette inside, ready to

Pour the vinaigrette into the large bowl with the beans and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir everything together until the beans are well-coated.

Pouring vinaigrette into the bowl with the beans

Taste the bean salad for flavor and add more salt and pepper, oil and vinegar to your personal taste.

Mixing bowl with beans all mixed together and ready to serve as a side dish.

Serve bean salad as a side dish alongside any main dish and enjoy!

Store leftover bean salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Bean salad is even more flavorful the next day and the 2-3 days following preparation. For this reason, feel free to make this recipe ahead of time!

Wooden bowl full of bean salad with a gold spoon, ready to serve.

The next time you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious side dish to bring fiber and complex carbs to a meal, whip up this simple salad!

Canned beans make this great side dish so quick and easy to make! Plus, this perfect summer side dish is easy to store and transport, making it a fabulous potluck side.

Perfect for bean lovers, and ideal for any occasion!

More Healthy Side Dishes:

Because three beans are better than one!

Wooden bowl full of bean salad with a golden spoon, ready to serve for dinner.

Three Bean Salad

5 from 1 vote
This quick and easy three bean salad recipe is the perfect side to any main dish to complete a meal with complex carbs and fiber! Customize it to your heart's delight!
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-oz) can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-oz) can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 small clove garlic finely minced, optional
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Open all three cans of beans and drain them into a colander (strainer) in the sink. Run cool faucet water over the beans to rinse them well. Give the colander a shake to shake off any excess water. If you’d like, you can use paper towels to pat the beans dry to remove more moisture. Transfer the drained and rinsed beans to a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients (oil, vinegar, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper (and fresh minced garlic if adding)) until combined.
  • Pour the vinaigrette into the large bowl with the beans and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir everything together until the beans are well-coated.
  • Taste the bean salad for flavor and add more salt and pepper, oil and vinegar to your personal taste.
  • Serve bean salad as a side dish alongside any main dish and enjoy!
  • Store leftover bean salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Notes

Bean salad is even more flavorful the next day and the 2-3 days following preparation. For this reason, feel free to make this recipe ahead of time!
Customize this recipe by adding goodies like chopped red bell pepper, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, chopped cucumbers, and more.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 6) · Calories: 250kcal · Carbohydrates: 34g · Protein: 12g · Fat: 8g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 5g · Sodium: 863mg · Fiber: 12g · Sugar: 2g
Author: Julia Mueller
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 3 bean salad, bean salad recipe, easy garbanzo bean salad, garbanzo bean salad, three bean salad
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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