Keep it simple with a timeless recipe for Classic Three-Bean Salad that’s a protein-packed and fiber-rich side dish for all seasons.
I’m always on the hunt for ways to dress up pantry staples like a good ol’ can of beans. Spruce them up with a fresh veggie or two, whip up a quick-fix dressing and ordinary beans become extraordinary!
I’ve taken a trio of my go-to canned beans and transformed them into Classic Three-Bean Salad. It’s a simple, refreshing and protein-filled side dish that works wonders alongside every entrée imaginable.
Going beyond its super powers as the ultimate side dish, I also scoop it atop my chopped salads or simple mixed greens for big flavor in every bite.
Classic three-bean salad has been around for decades (centuries?). My grandmother made a version starring a similar vinegar-based dressing, and my mom shared this recreation with me.
I’ve tweaked it a bit, subbing out the vegetable oil for olive oil in a bid to squeeze in some healthy fats.
The great news is that you really can’t go wrong with using this recipe as a template. Grab any varieties of the below ingredients for a flavor win:
- Canned beans
- Fresh veggies
Prefer white beans? Toss ’em in! Not a fan of green peppers? Leave ’em out! Dislike red onions? Try milder, sweeter yellow onions!
My biggest tip when it comes to three-bean salad: The longer it marinates, the better the flavor will be. So don’t hesitate to let this big bowl-o-beans go for a longer-than-average soak in the fridge before digging in.
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Classic Three-Bean Salad
can cut green beans, rinsed and drained
can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
diced red onion
green pepper, diced
apple cider vinegar
In a large bowl, combine the green beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, red onion and bell pepper.
In a small saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until the sugar is dissolved.
Cook the mixture for 2 minutes then pour it over the bean mixture and thoroughly toss to combine.
Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. (See Kelly’s Notes.)
This salad really is best if you let it marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight, so don’t hesitate to make it a day in advance.
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