Salad, Side Dishes

Overnight Three Bean Salad

Are you searching for a healthy salad to serve at your next summer event?  This overnight three bean salad is not only incredibly easy to make, it’s perfect if you’re wanting to lose a few pounds.

bowl of three bean salad with a spoon

Are mixed beans good for you?

They certainly are.  Below are some of their health benefits.

  • High in fiber
  • Little to no fat
  • Cholesterol free
  • A plant-based, low cost source of protein
  • Full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

What beans are traditionally in a three bean salad?

A classic three bean salad contains green beans, yellow wax beans, and kidney beans.  For this recipe, I changed out the wax beans for garbanzo beans and used both light and dark kidney beans for extra color.

ingredients for three bean salad

What’s the difference between a three bean salad and a five bean salad?

A five bean salad usually has the addition of garbanzo beans, lima beans, or black eyed peas and a green pepper.  The yellow onion is swapped for a red onion and more spices are added.

How do you make a bean salad?

Start by gathering and measuring your ingredients.  You’ll have 7 ingredients for the salad and 5 for the dressing.

dressing ingredients for three bean salad

To make the salad dressing, heat up in the ingredients in a small saucepan.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Boil for three minutes.

mixing the dressing for three bean salad

Pour the hot salad dressing over the veggies.

pouring dressing on three bean salad

Toss well to combine.

mixing up the three bean salad

Put it in a pretty bowl, then cover and place in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.  This salad really needs the extra chilling time to marinate and soak up all the delicious flavors.  Making this the night before is the best way.

bowl of three bean salad with a wooden spoon

Three bean salad has been a summer classic for a long time.  It’s popular because you can make it the night before, it’s perfect for outdoor gatherings, and it’s quick to prepare.  Get in the kitchen, grab your ingredients, and soon you’ll be gobbling down some real good summer eats!

Summer salad central.  What one would you like the best?

person squeezing lime juice onto cowboy caviar bowl of broccoli salad with two spoons person pouring dressing on the pepper salad

Did you make this recipe? We would love it if you would leave a review of how it turned out.

holding a bowl of three bean salad

Overnight Three Bean Salad

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 9 cups
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Overnight three bean salad is the perfect summer recipe for your clean eating weight loss plan.  This classic salad is large enough to serve a crowd at your next outdoor party.  It’s easy, healthy, and low carb.  What’s stopping you from making this tasty salad to enjoy?


For the Salad

  • 1 14.5-ounce can green beans, no salt added
  • 1 16-ounce can reduced sodium garbanzo beans
  • 1 15.5-ounce can dark red kidney beans, no salt added
  • 1 15.5-ounce can light red kidney beans, no salt added
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup vinegar (white balsamic, distilled white, or apple cider)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper


Making the Salad Dressing

  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, pour in the vinegar, oil, sugar, and spices.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil for three minutes, then remove from the heat.

Making the Salad

  1. Drain each can of beans, rinse them under cold water, and drain in a colander.  Place the beans in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Dice the onion and celery stalks into small pieces using a sharp knife or a food processor, then add to the bowl.
  3. Pour the hot salad dressing over the beans, onions and celery.  Mix well.  Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Put the salad in a serving bowl, then cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours to give it time to marinate.
  5. Before serving, stir and adjust seasonings to taste.  For example, I like the salad with extra vinegar, so I would add some more at this time.


  • It’s best to make this salad the night before you need it.
  • The salad keeps well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
  • Bean salad tastes best when served cold.

Keywords: bean salad, homemade, kidney beans

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