This 3-Bean Salad recipe uses fresh green beans and canned garbanzo and kidney beans. The dressing is full of vinegar, herbs, and spices, which makes this salad more and more delicious as it marinates.
3-Bean salad is always a cookout favorite with my extended family. But it's almost never homemade: it's purchased from either Costco or some local deli.
And that has always been okay with us...it's always pretty good. But this got me thinking...
I can make this better and fresher. Oh yes, and cheaper.
Ingredients for 3-Bean Salad
I'm all about easy, where it makes sense.
For that reason I use canned garbanzos and kidney beans. They're pre-softened and ready to absorb the wonderful, tangy dressing.
BUT, I can't even think about canned green beans without gagging.
That's why I always use fresh green beans because they're crisp-tender and give the salad a vibrant, green color.
I always have them on hand as I buy them in bulk from Costco and blanch (pre-cook) them.
How to blanch green beans
To blanch green beans you simply dump them into boiling water and cook for 6 minutes.
Then drain them and immediately submerge them into a large bowl of ice water for 5 minutes.
This stops the cooking process and leaves you with vibrant green partially cooked green beans.
Additional vegetables in 3 bean salad
I add sliced celery because I like a bit of crunch and texture mixed into this salad.
I also add red onions, not just for their flavor, but also their gorgeous color, which deepens as they marinate in the dressing.
Herbs and seasonings
I've used both dried and fresh dill. I have to say that fresh gives you better flavor, but dried is more convenient.
I add a bit of onion powder and a seasoning mix that has mustard seed, rosemary, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf.
And of course, there's salt and pepper.
The tangy dressing
The part that makes Tangy 3-bean salad tangy is seasoned rice vinegar.
Standard vinegar will work great too, but just make sure to add a teaspoon of white sugar.
I also add a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Here's what prepping the salad looks like:
How to make 3-Bean Salad at home
First, drain and rinse the canned garbanzo and kidney beans.
While the beans are draining, make the dressing.
In a small tupperware container or bowl with a lid, add the vinegar, dill, seasoning mix, onion powder, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
Whisk all of these ingredients together.
Next, add the beans and vegetables to the dressing.
Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
How easy was that?
This 3-bean salad is an ideal side for just about anything.
I make a big batch and my family eats it for days afterward with meat, over rice, or just by itself.
I hope you find this recipe as easy and delicious as my family does. If you make it, please leave a comment to let me know how it went.
Stay safe. Stay well.
- 1 lb French-style green beans (haricots verts), boiled 6 minutes and shocked in ice water.
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped or thinly sliced
- 1 cup celery, cut on the bias ~¼" thick
- 16 oz red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 16 oz garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- ⅔ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried)
- Add 1 tsp seasoning mix (I like Bavarian seasoning from Penzeys)
- ½ tsp coarse onion powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk together the vinegar, dill, seasoning mix, onion powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil (or add it all to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake).
- Add all beans, onion, and celery to a plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Lid the container and shake well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: ¾ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 10gSugar: 8gProtein: 11g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!