Three Bean Salad is a classic for a reason - it's easy, healthy and delicious! Packed with fiber and tossed with a bright lemon dressing.
Three bean salad never goes out of style - and for good reason. Most of the ingredients can be stocked in your pantry, making this a side dish recipe that you can count on in a pinch. I used green beans, chickpeas and dark red kidney beans in this version, but yellow wax beans, cannellini (or white kidney) beans are also popular options.
Bean recipes are something I count on regularly - they're cheap, easy and a great way to boost your fiber and non-animal protein intake. My 5-Minute Black Bean Dip is regularly on call for afternoon snacking and Slow Cooker Italian Chickpeas are a crowd-pleasing option if you're shooting for a meatless meal.
Tips for making this 3 bean salad:
This recipe is really very easy to make, but there are a couple of “must do” tips that will ensure that the flavors and textures are everything they should be.
First, cook the green beans properly. And by that I mean don’t overcook them and be sure to season them. Start with well-salted water – the salt will seep into the beans while cooking.
To avoid overcooking the green beans, prepare a large bowl ice water. Cook the beans in the salted boiling water until just tender, which shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Drain, then immediately plunge the beans into the ice water. This will stop them from cooking further and give them a brighter green color.
As for the other legumes – chickpeas and dark red kidney beans – remove as much water as possible so that the dressing doesn’t get diluted when everything is tossed together. Drain the beans into a fine mesh sieve, rinse, then drain again. Drain WELL!
What to serve with three bean salad
This salad is a fantastic option for potlucks, picnics and backyard barbecues. Almost any grilled entrée will pair well.
For a vegetarian option, try Grilled Zucchini & Eggplant Parmesan. For the meat lovers, try Grilled Salmon Burgers, Tandoori Chicken Kabobs, Grilled Salmon in Foil or Greek Grilled Pork Chops
Frequently Asked Questions
According to the USDA, opened canned beans last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator when stored properly in an airtight container.
That being said, this salad is best when served in the first 24 hours. After that, the green beans start to discolor and soften slightly.
One ¾-cup serving of this three bean salad boasts an impressive 9 grams of fiber and 8 grams of plant-based protein.
As noted by the American Heart Association, both the protein (the kind without saturated fat) and fiber can help to reduce LDL, the bad kind of cholesterol. In turn, that can lower the risk of heart disease.
And let’s not forget that all of that fiber can help keep you full longer, which can help with weight loss. I know that when I eat fiber-rich meals, I do far less mindless snacking!
Other potluck salads
Three Bean Salad Recipe
- ¾ lb. green beans, trimmed & cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 1 (14 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas drained & rinsed
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoons agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Salt the water. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Add the green beans to the boiling water. Cook until the beans are tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer the green beans to the ice water to stop them from cooking further. Drain and transfer the beans to a serving bowl.
- Add the kidney beans, chickpeas and parsley to the bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to combine. Serve.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, agave nectar, thyme, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
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