three bean salad featured photo

Three Bean Salad

The first time I ate three bean salad was in a restaurant on a family vacation.  The next time I encountered it was on a salad bar in a pizza parlor.  Stores sell it in jars and cans, but I have never tried to make it myself until today.  Probably, the best way to make this salad would be to cook the beans from scratch, but I wanted to make this as simple as possible.

An onion and bell pepper are halved and then thinly sliced. The only real work that was needed was to thinly slice some red onion and bell pepper.  We used half of a small-medium red onion.  This measured about a cup.  Then 1/2 of a small bell pepper was thinly sliced.  This was about 1/2-3/4 of a cup.the cans of beans are drained and rinsedOnce the vegetables were sliced, cans of cut green beans, cut yellow wax beans, and kidney beans were drained and rinsed.    Rinsing helps to remove some of the salt, and in the case of the kidney beans, removes the canning liquid which can muddy up the appearance of the salad. three kinds of beans made into a saladThe beans and vegetables were then tossed together in a bowl with about 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and Italian dressing.  We like a lot of black pepper.  If you don’t, you may want to use less.   Like my mother said.  You can always add more pepper later when you serve it, but you can’t take it out.

For best flavor, the three bean salad should be chilled in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.

It’s simple and delicious.  Here’s the printable recipe.  Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Thanks for Visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

Three Bean Salad
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Three cans of beans drained and rinsed beans are combined with sliced onion and bell pepper and store bought salad dressing to make this simple and delicious salad.
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion (cut onion in half first)
  • ½-3/4 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper (cut pepper into quarters first)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can cut green beans
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can cut yellow wax beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1 cup bottled zesty Italian dressing or more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste (for us, that means about ½ teaspoon)
  1. Slice onion and bell pepper.
  2. Drain and rinse each can of beans separately and place into a large bowl
  3. Add onion and pepper
  4. Sprinkle with black pepper. Remember, you can always add more black pepper when you serve it, but you can't take it out.


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