Easy Bean Salad


An Easy Bean Salad is the perfect side dish for any potluck. This three bean salad is a bit traditional and a bit new and it’s one of my favorite salad recipes!


overhead bean salad in bowl

I love beans so much. They’re one of my favorite sources of protein and fiber, which is why I was stoked to make a bean salad recipe this year in time for summer.

Growing up I never ate bean salad because it freaked me out. I’m not sure if it was the canned green beans or the dressing that made me stay away, but this version is so light and flavorful you will be making it again and again.

Entertaining is something we love to do in the warmer months. Whenever we have a BBQ or pool party I always make a ton of side dishes. Usually I make pasta salads like pesto or caprese, and sometimes a big green salad like the one I made last year with Brussels sprouts. A few weeks ago when we had our new friends over, I decided to make a bean salad as well as some other great potluck recipes I’ll be sharing soon.

I kept some of the ingredients in this bean salad recipe the same as the traditional one but I created my own bean salad dressing that’s so refreshing!

bean salad in bowl

One of the best things about a bean salad is that you can make it ahead of time. I love having everything prepped when I’m having people over so I don’t have to do anything once they arrive.

Old fashioned Bean Salads like this almost taste better as they age anyway, so I love making it the night before. And if you have leftovers – even better.

My favorite way to eat leftover bean salad is over a bed of lettuce. It turns into the best lunch the next day!

bean salad ingredients in bowl

There are so many different types of bean salads out there. This one is a three bean salad or mixed bean salad, depending on who you’re talking to. The key to making any salad recipe is to use beans you like.

My favorite beans for bean salad are:

  • Kidney Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
  • Cannellini Beans (white beans)

Since beans are soft in texture, this salad needs a bit of crunch, which I got by adding chopped red bell pepper and celery.

bean salad in bowl

My Bean Salad dressing is refreshing and light and full of flavor.

I love making homemade dressings but I know how life gets sometimes, especially when you’re hosting a party with a million things to do. It’s perfectly okay to buy your favorite dressing to use on this salad. If you go that route, I suggest a light balsamic or red wine vinaigrette. Or, make my recipe!

This dressing is a simple red wine vinaigrette with tons of flavors.

A simple red wine vinaigrette is refreshing and light, which is perfect for this salad because beans are heavy and filling.

  • red wine vinegar
  • minced or pressed garlic
  • parsley
  • honey
  • seasonings

Homemade dressing is really easy to make. I just throw a bunch of stuff in a jar and shake it until it emulsifies (aka mixes). Then I taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

My rule of thumb is twice as much oil as vinegar unless I want a healthy bean salad, then I’ll use equal parts.

Salt and pepper are, of course, to taste. Add what I did and then adjust to your liking.

overhead bean salad in bowl

Kidney bean salads like this are perfect for when you’re entertaining or watching your weight. This salad will fill you up with lots of good for you flavors during your party or as a leftover the next day.

If you love easy side dish salads, check out these:

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Easy Bean Salad

This easy Bean Salad is a traditional three bean salad recipe that's the perfect side dish, complete with a homemade dressing.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Serving Size 1 serving



  • 15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can garbanzo peans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can white cannelloni beans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion diced small
  • 4 stalks celery diced small
  • 1 red pepper diced small
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning


  • Add all salad ingredeints to a large bowl. Make sure that you've drained and rinsed your beans first!
  • Add all dressing ingredinets to a mason jar. Cover and shake well to combine. Pour over salad, toss to combine.
  • Chill until ready to serve. This tastes best after soaking a few hours and will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 18.1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.8mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword beans, pasta salad

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

collage of bean salad photos

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