A healthier take on an old classic! This easy Three Bean Salad recipe with a sweet + tangy vinegar dressing is oil-free and made with no refined sugar. So fresh and flavorful!
This is an old-fashioned bean salad but made lighter and healthier.
The classic recipe is typically made with quite a bit of oil and refined sugar.
However this salad combines three types of beans with a sweet and sour dressing that is made with no refined sugar and no oil.
Plus it is full of plant-based protein and fiber.
Ingredients for Three Bean Salad
For the salad portion you will need:
- Red kidney beans
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- Fresh green beans: Typically this salad is made with canned green beans, however I like the taste of fresh beans much better. I have not tested it with frozen green beans.
- Red onion
- Fresh parsley: Or you can substitute fresh cilantro.
- Fresh dill
It's versatile! Other beans could work too such as wax beans, black-eyed peas, black beans, cannellini beans, etc.
Ingredients for Dressing
For the sweet and tangy oil-free dressing you will need:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard: This adds a really nice tangy, sharp flavor to the dressing.
- Pure maple syrup: Or other sweetener of choice.
- Garlic cloves: I really enjoy the taste of fresh garlic best in the dressing, but you could substitute garlic powder if needed.
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Note: Be aware the dressing runs thinner than the traditional versions because there is no olive oil that solidifies and thickens in the fridge. But the flavors are delightful!
Make ahead: This recipe is great made 4 hours to 24 hours ahead of time so it can marinate in the fridge. (You can also serve it immediately if desired, however.)
It is a great side dish to toss together for picnics, potlucks, take along lunches, and meal prep.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. We find it keeps well in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.
Three Bean Salad with Vinegar Dressing
- 8 oz. fresh green beans (about 2 cups cut)
- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
- 15 oz. can kidney beans
- 1/3 cup red onion
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley (or cilantro)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh dill
For the vinegar dressing:
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or up to 1/3 cup)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Prepare green beans: Trim and cut green beans into about 1-inch pieces. Cook green beans for 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender.* Then rinse with cold water. Drain and pat dry.
- Add green beans to a large bowl. Add garbanzo beans and kidney beans (rinsed and drained). Finely dice red onion, and roughly chop herbs. Add to bowl.
- Make the dressing: combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.
- Pour dressing over salad and stir well to combine. Adjust flavors as desired. (More salt, herbs, sweetness, vinegar, etc.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
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