Rating: 4.5 stars
295 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 207
  • 4 star values: 74
  • 3 star values: 10
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 1

This tasty three bean salad is great for buffets, summer picnics, and cookouts. It's easy to make but tastes best when chilled for at least 12 hours. It keeps well and serves a lot of people.

Recipe Summary

15 mins
12 hrs
12 hrs 15 mins

Looking for a simple side that's sure to impress at your next picnic, potluck, or barbecue? We've got you covered with this three bean salad. The perfect make-ahead side dish, it's easy to make with convenient ingredients. 

Three Bean Salad Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this easy three bean salad recipe:

The three beans in this salad are green beans, wax beans, and kidney beans. Some reviewers suggest adding a can of chickpeas. It's easiest to use canned beans, but you can use freshly cooked beans if you like. 

Slice one white or yellow onion into thin rings. 

This three bean salad recipe calls for ¾ cup white sugar, but you can use less if you'd like it a little less sweet. 

Oil and Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar and vegetable oil come together to make a simple salad dressing. 

This recipe is simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and celery seed

How to Make Three Bean Salad

close up view of Three Bean Salad in a bowl
Credit: KAM

It truly couldn't be simpler to throw this three bean salad together. You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect: 

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld. 

How to Serve Three Bean Salad

This three bean salad recipe serves 16, so it's the perfect potluck recipe to feed a crowd. It's delicious served alongside crowd-pleasing entrees such as pulled pork or burgers. For more delicious inspiration, explore our entire collection of Potluck Recipes

How to Store Three Bean Salad

Store three bean salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to five days. There's no need to reheat, as this dish is served cold. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I needed a quick and easy salad to take to a potluck and decided to make this salad," says Debra Knight. "Fast preparation the night before and a delicious salad for the table."

"Just what I was looking for — simple and foolproof," raves Emmy. "I substituted bell peppers for the onion, since I'm not a fan of onion, and the flavor and colors were a good complement."

"The beauty of this salad is that nearly all ingredients can be kept on the shelf until you need them, so you can whip this up whenever you need it," according to LIZZYG2

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Mix together green beans, wax beans, kidney beans, onion, sugar, vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Chill in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.


Nutrition Facts

112 calories; protein 2g; carbohydrates 15.9g; fat 4.7g; sodium 298.6mg. Full Nutrition