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This Easy Three Bean Salad recipe mixes canned green beans, wax beans and kidney beans with a tangy dressing.  An easy side salad for spring or summer!

easy three bean salad classic recipe

Old fashioned three bean salad is another one of my grandma’s recipes, and it’s been in the family for ages and ages. It’s her recipe for three bean salad from canned beans, and it’s the absolute best three bean salad recipe in the universe. Well, to me it is, anyway.

Growing up, 3 bean salad was on the table at Easter and at just about every special spring or summer holiday. We also had this almost every summer weekend for Sunday supper.

I am so stinkin’ excited to be sharing this salad because I have been trying to re-create the recipe forever, but I could never get the flavor right. So when I found this little gem nestled in the mountain of old family recipes my parents gave me recently, I literally squealed.

My kids thought I was really overreacting, but if you’re into heirloom recipes, you’ll get it. I love it about as much as my grandma’s potato salad recipe and our favorite  Instant Pot Potato Salad recipe. So does the Hubs, which tells you something, because he normally does not like three bean salad!

3 bean salad made from canned beans is a great summer side dish because it’s so easy to make, and you can throw it together in a few minutes. It goes with just about any kind of main dish, and the recipe is perfect for potlucks because it’s also gluten free and vegan.

Even though I love Grandma’s old fashioned bean salad recipe, I did change a few things.

  • I reduced the amount of sugar
  • I subbed yellow peppers for green
  • I used olive oil instead of salad oil as the original recipe called for

The original salad recipe called for 3/4 cup of sugar, which seemed like a lot to me. So, I used only 1/2 cup of sugar, instead.

The rest is easy.

How to make Old Fashioned Three Bean Salad

Just drain and rinse the beans, then toss them into a large bowl. Add a few chopped ingredients, then prepare the dressing.

mix easy three bean salad dressing in bowl with whisk

Whisk, whisk, whisk the dressing together until it’s all nice and blended. Then, pour the dressing into the bean mixture.

easy three bean salad pour dressing into beans

Stir it all together, and stick the bowl in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the salad. I let it sit for an hour, but I’ve heard other people say to let it sit for several hours. Personally, I think an hour is fine, but do whatever works for you!

mix 3 bean salad ingredients in mixing bowl

Store this easy three bean salad in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Then, you can let your guests dig in and enjoy!

old fashioned three bean salad recipe in white serving dish

Easy Three Bean Salad Recipe

5 from 5 votes

Easy Three Bean Salad

By: Dee
A classic recipe for old fashioned Three Bean Salad that combines canned green beans, wax beans and kidney beans with a tangy homemade dressing.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
refrigeration time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 1 15-oz can green beans
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans
  • 1 15-oz can wax beans
  • ½ cup yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • cup vinegar
  • cup olive oil
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
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  • Empty the beans into a colander, rinse well, and pour into large mixing bowl
  • Add the chopped peppers, onions and celery
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the vinegar, olive oil, sugar and sea salt, and whisk together until well blended
  • Pour the dressing over the bean mixture, stir well, and refrigerate until ready to serve



Calories: 107kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Fat: 7g, Sodium: 233mg, Potassium: 15mg, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 15IU, Vitamin C: 13.6mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

If you’re looking for a quick and easy salad recipe that’s perfect for spring and summer parties and potlucks, I think you’ll love this easy three bean salad. Do you have a similar recipe that you absolutely love? Let me know!


Happy Munching,

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Recipe Rating


  1. Louis says:

    Hadn’t made this for some time! Made for a potluck last night and there were no left overs!5 stars