Clicky

Classic Three Bean Salad

Delicious and easy three bean salad that we all grew up eating in the 60's and 70's! This is the classic recipe.

Jump to RecipePinSave to Favorites

Site Index 3 bean salad Bean salad Salad Three bean salad

This post may contain affiliate links. See my privacy policy for details.

This is a classic recipe for three-bean salad that we all grew up eating in the ’60s and ’70s! It’s zesty and tangy and filled with kidney beans, yellow and green beans just like you remember!

Why I Think You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This is best prepared hours in advance or even the day before for the best flavor making this a great make-ahead recipe for busy families.
  • You can make this in mere minutes, as using canned ingredients makes this so simple!

Types of Beans to Use

This recipe uses the classic canned yellow beans, green beans, and kidney beans. You can easily substitute your favorite cooked canned beans with white beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, romano beans, or baby lima beans. Just make sure the volume stays the same as the recipe card.

Karlynn’s Tip for The Best Bean Salad

Three-bean salad is best if left in the fridge overnight as it needs to marinate and soak in the vinegar and sugar. You can toss it a few times to coat the beans more evenly while it marinates for the best flavor.

ingredients for three bean salad

How to Make This Salad

This salad is so easy to throw together and put in the fridge for the next dinner or snack between meals.

  • Combine the marinade ingredients in a large 4-cup capacity measuring glass. Whisk until combined.
  • Add the beans and onions in a large bowl or lidded container. Pour the dressing over the beans and stir gently to coat.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours before serving for the best taste.
  • Serve cold.

Using Onions or Scallions

The classic recipe uses white or yellow onions, but if I happen to have them on hand I prefer to use scallions in this recipe instead. Simply slice one up in place of the onion in the recipe. Scallions tend to be milder in flavor so it is a personal preference.

three bean salad in a large blue bowl

More Great Salads

How to Store Leftovers

You can easily store this three-bean salad in the fridge as long as it is in a sealed container. It will last up to 4 days in the fridge.

This three bean salad has been used in our family for many years and we change out the beans for other favorites for those who are picky and we enjoy it just the same.

Happy Cooking

Love,

Karlynn

Three Bean Salad

Delicious and easy three bean salad that we all grew up eating in the 60's and 70's! This is the classic recipe.
5 from 1 votes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Course
Salad
Cuisine
American
Servings
10
Calories
128
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

Dressing Ingredients

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Salad Ingredients

  • one 14 ounce can sliced green beans drained
  • one 14 ounce can sliced yellow wax beans drained
  • one 14 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • cup diced onion see notes

Instructions
 

  • Combine the marinade ingredients in a large 4-cup capacity measuring glass. Whisk until combined.
  • In a large bowl, or lidded container, place the beans and onions. Pour the dressing over the beans and stir gently to coat.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours before serving for the best taste.
  • Serve cold.

Recipe Notes

  • I like using one scallion instead of the onion in this recipe, however the original recipe is simply diced white or yellow onion

Nutrition Information

Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 0.1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.05g, Sodium: 117mg, Potassium: 11mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Made this recipe?

Share a photo of what you made on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @thekitchenmagpie or hashtag it #thekitchenmagpie.

Please rate this recipe in the comments below to help out your fellow cooks!

Learn to cook like the Kitchen Magpie

A Very Prairie Christmas Bakebook

Vintage Baking to Celebrate the Festive Season!

Learn More

a copy of Flapper Pie cook book

Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky

A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts

Learn More

The Prairie Table

Suppers, Potlucks & Socials: Crowd-Pleasing Recipes to Bring People Together

Learn More

Delicious and easy three bean salad that we all grew up eating in the 60's and 70's! This is the classic recipe.

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index 3 bean salad Bean salad Salad Three bean salad

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Heidi says

    Definitely best to make this a day ahead (and stir every couple of hours) so that the beans pull in the dressing, it’s so good and always a big hit at family pot lucks! I also add 1/2 green pepper, diced, 1/2 red pepper, diced, a stalk of celery, also diced, as well as 1/3 to 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.

  2. Heidi says

    Definitely best to make this a day ahead (and stir every couple of hours) so that the beans pull in the dressing, it’s so good and always a big hit at family pot lucks! I also add 1/2 green pepper, diced, 1/2 red pepper, diced, a stalk of celery, also diced, as well as 1/3 to 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.

  3. Edward Benton says

    I’m a diabetic how much less sugar can your recipe have?

    • Heidi says

      I’ve had to make this sugar free for the diabetics in our family, so I just use Splenda in place of the sugar.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Comment or Recipe Tip

Recipe Rating




EMAIL YOURSELF THIS RECIPE!
Enter your email to get this recipe emailed to you, so you don’t lose it and get new recipes daily!