Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad!

Salads like this make me feel nostalgic.

I’m sure almost everyone has some sort of bean salad recipe in their family. This one came from my mom, possibly from my grandma, and most likely from someone like Betty Crocker or the Green Bean folks.

While we all try to eat fresh fruits and veggies ripe and in season, there’s something very appealing about the fact that you can open a few cans and have this salad prepared in minutes.

Also, since we’re using canned beans, Three Bean Salad works all year round.

I made this to go with the World’s Best Smothered Chicken but it would be great for tailgating or potlucks since it can be served cold or at room temperature.

Here’s what you need:

Three Bean Salad Ingredients

Green Beans, Yellow Wax Beans, Red Kidney Beans, Green Pepper, Red Onion, Vegetable Oil, Cider Vinegar, Sugar, Dried Oregano, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Three Bean Salad Shopping List

Plan Ahead:  While this comes together very quickly, for the best flavor this salad needs to marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Drain and rinse the beans well. You want to get all of that liquid from the can rinsed away…especially on the kidney beans.


Yellow Wax Beans…why don’t I eat these more often?

Cut a green pepper into thin strips. My pepper was huge so I only used half and I also cut the strips down to match the size of the green beans.


Thinly slice half of a red onion.


Add all the beans, peppers, and onions to your favorite bowl.

Sorry for the wonky photo but I wanted to show you my vintage yellow Pyrex bowl. Just like Grandma’s!

This is the bowl that started my Pyrex Addiction.


We make the dressing for this salad in the blender so it gets perfectly combined and emulsified.

If you don’t have a blender, I would suggest you use a jar or other sealed container and shake it like crazy. You want a creamy consistency rather than oily.

Pour 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup sugar into the blender. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of oregano.



See how creamy the salad dressing is? That’s exactly what we want so it doesn’t separate as the salad marinates.


Pour the dressing over the beans and gently toss to combine.

Let the salad marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours for the best flavor.

This is SO good. It’s funny that with all the food I cook around here, this was by far one of Jim’s favorites.

As they say, “Ain’t no school like the old school!”

Three Bean Salad

This makes about 6 servings but even if you’re only cooking for one or two people, I encourage you to make the whole bowl. It keeps for ages in the refrigerator and only gets better and better as it marinates.

With Thanksgiving only a little over 2 weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about side dishes and salads.

I know Three Bean Salad is going to be on our table….just like Mom makes!

Here’s the recipe:

Three Bean Salad

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3 Responses

  1. Wow. I’m all over this salad….looks so fresh and yummy to me too. I agree, ain’t no school like old school!!!
    I forgot to tell you that Jeff made the smothered chicken dish!!! (I’m not able to cut a chicken apart-much to violent for my sweet soul. HA HA!) It was absolutely delicious and we raved about it for days!!!

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