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Three Bean Salad (No Sugar Added)

Our make-ahead Three Bean Salad is the perfect side dish for any picnic or barbecue. This bean salad is packed with fresh green beans, chickpeas, and cannellini beans then tossed in a homemade red wine vinaigrette dressing.

This three bean salad is a classic side dish with tons of variations. It’s a great Summer recipe that’s easy to make and comes together in minutes which makes it perfect for get togethers, a picnic lunch, or family barbecue.

We make our salad with canned beans and lightly blanched, fresh green beans, diced purple onions, and a homemade red wine vinaigrette dressing. It can easily be switched to all canned beans (any variety you like) and store-bought dressing if that’s easier.

The best part may be that it’s a “make-ahead” dish that needs to sit in the fridge overnight and allow the red wine vinaigrette dressing plenty of time to soak into the beans and add tons of flavor. Whenever you’re ready to leave for your outing or serve the salad, simply grab it out of the refrigerator and let it warm at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes and you’re good to go!

Top down view of bean salad next to a wooden spoon.

How to make three bean salad:

  1. Trim the green beans and cut them into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and blanche the green beans for 2 to 3 minutes until they’re bright green in color.
  3. Immediately transfer them to an ice bath, and drain.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the green beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), cannellini beans, diced purple onions, fresh rosemary, and red wine vinaigrette.
  5. Cover, and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
  6. The following day, remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with an extra side of dressing if desired.
Collage style photo showing how to make three bean salad.

How long does 3 bean salad keep?

Three bean salad stays good for about 2 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze three bean salad?

Yes, this salad can be frozen. Wrap it tightly in a freezer safe container, and it should stay good for about a month. Allow it to thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight prior to serving.

Three Bean Salad variations:

Here are some swaps and additions for your salad:

Kidney Beans
Fresh Parsley
Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing
Wax Beans
Lime Juice
Pinto Beans
Top down view of three bean salad in a serving bowl.
Top down view of green bean salad in a round dish.

Three Bean Salad (No Sugar Added)

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 23 minutes
Calories: 213kcal

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  • 1 Pound Fresh Green Beans ends trimmed and beans halved
  • 1 15 Ounce Can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 Ounce Can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
  • Cup Purple Onion diced
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Rosemary chopped
  • ¾ Cup Red Wine Vinaigrette


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the green beans into water for 2 to 3 minutes until they’re bright green but still crisp. Drain, and transfer to an ice bath. Drain a second time, and transfer the beans to a large bowl.
  • Add the chickpeas, cannellini beans, rosemary, red onion, and the red wine vinaigrette. Toss to combine. 
  • Cover and let the salad set overnight in the refrigerator. The following day, set it out to come to warm slightly, and serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 additional days.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ½ cup of bean salad. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
*If desired, serve with extra dressing on the side.


Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 271mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g

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