This classic Three Bean Salad recipe is the definition of tried and true! It’s an American staple that’s graced picnic baskets for generations. Chickpeas, cannellini beans and red kidney beans have never been so good!

A bowl is filled with three bean salad.

Three Bean Salad

There’s a reason that three bean salad has been around for as long as it has! It’s the definition of delicious and nutritious. Chickpeas, cannellini beans and red kidney beans are the stars of the show here. They’re accompanied by fresh, crisp veggies and the very best sweet and tangy dressing. It’s a satisfying salad for those hot summer days!

The nutritional benefits of three bean salad are pretty spectacular. All of the beans offer a variety of vitamins, fiber, protein and more – too many great things to list here! Then there are cucumbers, red onions and celery in the mix, all of which have their own long lists of health benefits. Tying it all together is a simple salad dressing that features natural ingredients.

Three bean salad is recognized as an all-American picnic staple. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy it, too! Serve it as an appetizer, lunch, or as a potluck staple on the 4th of July. It’s the perfect light bite that’ll actually hit the spot from all of those protein-packed beans. In fact, if you’re on a meatless diet, this would be an excellent way for you to get some protein on your plate.

Ingredients for three bean salad are spread on a place mat.

How to Make Three Bean Salad

This bean salad recipe is so easy to toss together! For more exact step by step instructions, just scroll down to the recipe card below.

  1. Toss the beans and veggies. Add all three beans, onions, cucumber, celery and parsley to a bowl and give it a good toss to combine.
  2. Make the dressing. Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey and seasonings. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you keep whisking to emulsify it all.
  3. Toss it all again. Drizzle the dressing all over the salad and toss until everything is well coated.
  4. Enjoy! You can serve the salad right away or store it in the fridge for later. Give it another good toss right before you serve it.
Dressing is being poured on top of three bean salad.

How to Store Leftovers

Once the salad is tossed with the dressing, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Just note that the veggies and beans will soften the longer it all sits with the acidic dressing!

If you want to make it ahead of time, I recommend tossing everything together EXCEPT for the dressing. Then, add the dressing within a few hours of serving it (or even right before serving it if possible).

I do not recommend freezing three bean salad.

Tips for the Best Three Bean Salad

Check out these quick tips and tricks before you toss your bean salad:

  • Drain everything well – This is so important! Make sure all of the beans are rinsed and drained very well. You don’t want any excess liquid in the mix.
  • Use an English cucumber – English cucumbers have no seeds and are known to be a bit crisper than standard cucumbers. I like them so much more in this salad than other cucumbers.
  • Try not to use another type of vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is perfect for this dressing because it has a nice natural sweetness to it that helps tame the acidity.
  • Adjust the level of sweetness – You can add more or less honey to control the amount of sweetness in the dressing.
  • You can swap the olive oil – Feel free to use avocado oil instead if preferred.
A wooden spoon is placed in a bowl of three beans salad.

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A bowl is filled with three bean salad.

Get the Recipe: Three Bean Salad Recipe

Three bean salad is a classic, refreshing side dish perfect for potlucks and picnics. It combines the textures of three different canned beans, with crisp vegetables, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
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  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinse
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup diced English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup diced celery stalk
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • 1 mixing bowl


  • To a large mixing bowl, add the chickpeas, cannellini beans, kidney beans, onion, cucumber parsley and celery. Toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, dijon, honey, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk until the dressing is well combined and emulsified.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
  • Serve room temperature or chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Toss before serving.
Calories: 370kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 259mg, Potassium: 1328mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 370IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 177mg, Iron: 8mg