Three Bean Salad Recipe: Healthy, Simple, Fresh


Three Bean Salad Recipe Goes Fresh!

Three bean salad is a side dish screaming for a makeover. This canned bean deli staple has the potential to sing not hum when fresh ingredients are used and the syrupy sweet dressing is toned down to enhance not overwhelm.  (I think pancake syrup has less sugar in it.)

I start with fresh green and yellow beans. To that I add an onion, kidney beans and a kinder, gentler dressing. The result is a very fresh, crunchy sweet-sour salad. It keeps well, but likely won’t last long.

Above, freshly picked from my garden, Soleil yellow beans, Fortex green beans and Gold of Bacau romano beans make an exceptional salad. Blanching brings out their color and flavor.

RECIPE: Garden Fresh Three Bean Salad

Ingredients – Salad

  • 2 pounds of your favorite beans
    • (a mixture of gold and yellow, filet and romano beans)
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 can of red kidney beans

Ingredients – Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey (or sugar)
  • pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • optional twist: add a couple drops of sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds to dressing

Preparation – Salad

  1. Blanch beans: dip fresh beans in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Remove when colors brighten, rinse with cold water to cool down beans
  3. Chop into bite-size pieces and place in bowl
  4. Thinly slice a sweet onion into rings, then halve rings
  5. Add to chopped beans
  6. Rinse 15 oz. can of kidney beans, drain and add to chopped beans
  7. Mix all the ingredients, refrigerate
  8. Make dressing

Preparation – Dressing & Salad

  1. Add all dressing ingredients to small bowl
  2. Whisk to combine ingredients
  3. Drizzle over bean bowl and toss salad
  4. Cover and refrigerate for an hour
  5. Toss before serving

You’ll never think of three bean salad the same way again.

Oh and one last thing…Here’s to trying new things and playing with your food.



  1. What a beautiful multi coloured bean salad, Tom!! I love your tasty dressing too!

    I think I will make this this evening because I still have fresh runner yellow beans & fresh smaller green beans from my father’s garden!!

    MMMMM,…Lovely food!
    I just added your blog to my favourite blogs on my blog!

  2. The three bean salad, done well (as you have shown), is so unbelievably underrated. Yeah, healthy, simple, fresh, sure. But freaking delicious, too! That looks incredible. Seriously, it looks awesome …

  3. Hi Lin, apple cider vinegar would work, but I don’t know much about stevia. Mix a tablespoon of vinegar and pinch or so of stevia to test it out. See how that sample tastes. You may just have something there.

  4. k thanks have apple cider vinegar never thought of that alternative, and stevia is just a natural herbal sweetener been using it for some time in anything that calls for sugar and for your followers ya just a tiny tiny drop of it in a recipe of 2 T of olive oil and 3 T vinegar. So will try it and let u know hope doesn’t wreck the recipe!!! Thanks Tom

  5. hey Tom , k tried the recipe with the stevia family loved it. But i did add a bit of oregano, was great salad thank you. Can be used as side dish with family or like me can be a meal thank you!!!

    • Hi Jo, simply cut and paste the recipe in a word doc and print. Sorry that my post don’t support a print widget, but I’m working on it.


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