10-Minute 3 Bean Salad (Vegan + Gluten-free)

5 from 2 votes
This easy 3 bean salad recipe is perfect for picnics and potlucks! It's vegan, gluten-free and protein packed. Keeps you fuller for longer, nutritious and delicious!
Prep Time: 7 mins
Cook Time: 3 mins
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Jul 11, 2022 (Last updated Jan 23, 2023) by Hannah Sunderani

10-Minute 3 Bean Salad (Vegan + Gluten-free)

This easy 3 bean salad comes together effortlessly! Made with chickpeas, kidney beans and fresh green beans, it’s the perfect salad to prepare in advance for picnics or potlucks. Vegan, gluten-free, protein-packed and keeps you full! It takes 10 minutes to make.

Now that The Two Spoons Cookbook has launched I’m back to creating new and easy recipes in the kitchen – with simple summer dishes in mind.

All-in-all, this 3 bean salad recipe is simple, delicious and nutritious!

So, let me tell you exactly how to make this 3 bean salad so that you can enjoy it pronto!

bright and colourful bean salad in white bowl

3 bean salad recipe

As a vegan I’m always looking for recipes that are protein-packed and keep you full. But to be honest, I usually pass on pre-prepared 3 bean salads at a parties because they’re waaay to sweet! (What’s with all the sugar in bean salads!?)

So, I usually defer to bringing some sort of slaw like my Crunchy Asian Slaw with Peanut Dressing or my Apple Slaw.

But, it looks like I have another recipe to add to my rotation… because this is the 3 bean salad recipe that I WISH they served at picnics and potlucks!

This recipe is:

  • vegan
  • gluten-free
  • protein-packed
  • keeps you full
  • not overly loaded with sugar (uses just a bit of agave to sweeten)
  • mostly pantry ingredients
  • crisp, fresh, and wonderful!

How to make 3 bean salad

Making a 3 bean salad is simple and effortless. In fact, the whole recipe will take no longer than 15 minutes to create, and can be prepared well in advance!

This makes it a perfect recipe for picnics, parties, or potlucks. It keeps really well, in fact – I love it on Day 2 because the flavours have had time to meld together. So the beans are full of zingy dressing flavour.

I find this recipe is the perfect blend of canned beans and fresh vegetables: using canned chickpeas and kidney beans, fresh green beans, red onion and fresh parsley.

The result is a fresh and vibrant 3 bean salad that’s crisp, fresh and wonderful!

In fact, my husband loves this recipe so much that he asked if we could put the ingredients in our standard weekend shopping list to enjoy for lunch through the week.

Blanching the green beans

To make this recipe, it involves blanching the green beans to be deliciously cooked and tenderized, but still hold that crisp bite.

To do so, we will toss the green beans into boiling water for 3 minutes, then immediately plunge them into a bowl of icy water. (This is what helps them keep their vivid green colour).

green beans blanched in glass bowl with icy water

When I’m planning to serve green beans cold, I like to blanch them to maintain their vibrant colour for longer, and for a more tender bite. If I’m planning to enjoy them straight away, like with my Green Beans Almondine, then I don’t bother.

Since this recipe is served cold, I prefer to blanch as described above. Jessica Gavin has a great explanation on how to blanch green beans like a pro if you’re interested in a follow-along.

Preparing the 3 bean salad:

When the green beans are blanched, chop and add to a bowl along with the canned beans, red onion, and fresh parsley.

In a separate smaller bowl prepare the dressing by combining apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, agave, avocado oil, mustard and sea salt. Whisk to combine.

Then pour the dressing overtop of the beans and toss everything to combine.

That’s it!! I told you this recipe was simple and straight forward. It truly doesn’t get much easier than this! Which is why I have given it my newbie cook stamp of approval.

3 bean salad recipe in white bowl

Bean Salad Variations:

What I love most about this recipe is that you can switch up the variations for the beans to always keep it new and interesting!

Or, feel free to add another can of beans to the mix

Here’s some of my favourite variations:

  • 3 bean: green beans, white bean, kidney bean
  • 4 bean: green beans, chickpeas, white bean, kidney beans
  • 5 bean: green beans, wax beans (canned or blanched), chickpeas, white bean, kidney beans

Healthy substitutes for sugar:

This recipe uses agave to sweeten – most recipes use sugar, but I prefer a more whole food form like agave. And just a little bit.

If you don’t have agave on hand, you can also substitute the agave for maple syrup or honey (if you eat honey – keep in mind that hard-line vegans don’t).

Alternatively, you can use white sugar or brown sugar as a direct substitution. I.e. substitute the 2 tbsp agave with 2 tbsp maple syrup, or honey or sugar.

I have not tried this recipe with stevia, but if you do then I recommend halving the amount as stevia since it’s much more sweet. In fact, you could even add the stevia to taste until preferred sweetness.

(If you do use stevia I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below).

3 bean salad recipe

Can I prepare this salad in advance?

Yes! One of the advantages of preparing a 3 bean salad recipe is that it can be prepared in advance! In fact, I personally feel that it’s tastier on Day 2 when the juices from the dressing have had time to soak and meld with the beans.

In this recipe we blanch the green beans to give it a bright and vivid colour, and I notice they stay the most vivid on Day 1. However, the taste is still delish on Day 2 and Day 3. So, as long as you’re okay with your green beans being slightly less vivid than Day 1 – you’re good as gold to make this recipe in advance.

3 bean salad in white bowl

How long does 3 bean salad keep?

This 3 bean salad will keep for up to 5 days. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container.

Other salad recipes you might like:

If you’re digging this recipe, you might like some of these which are perfect for picnic and pot lucks!

So there we have it, a delicious 3 Bean Salad Recipe that’s perfect for picnics and potlucks, gluten-free, vegan and protein packed!

I’m sure you’re going to love this recipe as much as we do. If you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I truly love hearing from you, and I’m always here to answer any questions you might have.

Easy 3 Bean Salad (Vegan)

5 from 2 votes
This easy 3 bean salad recipe is perfect for picnics and potlucks! It's vegan, gluten-free and protein packed. Keeps you fuller for longer, nutritious and delicious!
3 bean salad recipe in white bowl
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Serves 4 people


  • 200 g fresh green beans (tips removed)
  • 1 can kidney beans (14 oz/400mL)
  • 1 can chickpeas (14 oz/400mL)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley tightly packed, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves (optional)


  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt


  • Add 4 cups of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Meanwhile fill another bowl with icy water. Add the green beans to the pot and boil for 3 minutes, or until just tender. Then scoop out the green beans and submerge immediately into the icy water to cool. Drain and pat dry.
  • Chop the green beans into bite sized pieces and add to a large mixing bowl. Strain and rise the canned kidney beans and chickpeas and add to the bowl, along with the red onion and fresh parsley.
  • Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl combine the apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, avocado oil, dijon mustard, agave and sea salt. Pour the dressing over the bean salad and toss to combine. Chill in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours. Transfer to a serving bowl, optional to sprinkle with a handful of fresh basil leaves before serving.


This 3 bean salad can be prepared in advance. In fact, I personally feel that it’s tastier on day 2 when the juices from the dressing have had time to soak and meld with the beans.
This 3 bean salad will keep for up to 5 days. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container.



Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 947mg | Potassium: 640mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 707IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 4mg

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