Three Bean Salad With Easy Dressing

Three Bean Salad
Three Bean Salad. Spencer Jones/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 10 to 12 Servings
Ratings (22)

It can be difficult to find yellow wax beans in some areas. Consider buying them fresh in season from farmer's markets and freeze them. Or use more green beans, canned lima beans, or another vegetable in their place.

This is the kind of salad that people love at familly reunions, potluck dinners, and cookouts. Or keep it chilled in a cooler and take it along to a tailgating party or picnic. 

Chickpeas are another good bean to add to the salad. They add a crunchy texture. See the tips and variations below the recipe for more add-ins and serving ideas.

What You'll Need

  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) cut green beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 to 16 ounces) cut yellow wax beans, drained
  • 1 can (about 16 ounces) red kidney beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper or use a combination of red and green
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

How to Make It

Drain the canned beans in a colander and rinse with cold running water. Transfer the beans to a large serving bowl. Add the chopped bell pepper and sliced onion and toss to blend ingredients.

In another bowl whisk together remaining ingredients; pour over bean mixture.

Toss the salad until the ingredients are thoroughly coated with the dressing. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

Serves 10 to 12.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Tips and Variations

  • Three Bean Salad With Green Onions - Replace the red onion with 1/4 cup of sliced green onions.
  • Bean and Cauliflower Salad - Omit the yellow wax beans. Cut florets from 1/2 of a medium head of cauliflower and add them to the salad with the beans.
  • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of drained pimiento to the salad along with the bell peppers.
  • Add 1 cup of cooked corn kernels.
  • Use multicolored bell peppers in the salad.
  • Four Bean Salad - Add chickpeas, black beans, or white kidney beans to the salad.
  • If you're short on time (or pantry ingredients) dress the salad with bottled Italian dressing or the vinaigrette of your choice. A light Italian dressing works well and tastes great.
  • Garnish the bean salad with hard-boiled egg slices, diced tomatoes, fresh chopped parsley, crumbled bacon, or pepper rings. 
  • Serve the salad on romaine lettuce leaves with tomato wedges or avocado slices.


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