Three Bean Salad

This easy and healthy Three Bean Salad features a Mexican-inspired cilantro salsa dressing. A classic 3 bean salad recipe that is perfect for BBQs and meal prep!

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a bowl of three bean salad.

Hearty salads are always on repeat during the warmer months. Beans are an awesome protein-packed ingredient to add to salads like this yummy Cowboy Caviar Salad or this Fiesta Brown Rice Salad.

Beans are obviously the star of the show for this 3 bean salad.

Also, in the summer heat, there is nothing better feeling than a refreshing, cool salad out of the fridge – prepped, ready to go and full of flavour.

a bowl of three bean salad.

How to make this hearty salad

First, start with drained kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas, as well as sliced bell peppers and red onion.

ingredients in a large white mixing bowl.

The base for my salad dressing is salsa. You can use your favourite brand or make your own! I like the pico de gallo style Herdez makes. It tastes super fresh!

I like to use a mason jar to shake my homemade dressings like this Balsamic Vinaigrette or Healthy Honey Mustard Dressing – but since I had the amount I needed in the salsa bottle it served as double duty when I made the dressing for this old fashioned three bean salad.

homemade dressing in a jar.

Next, pour the dressing over the beans, peppers and onions and tossed everything together thoroughly.

dressing being poured on ingredients.

The bowl was covered then stored in the fridge for a couple of hours to let all the flavours marry together.

a healthy salad in a bowl.

This dish has taste, tang, and texture.

Serve this alongside your favourite grilled items like chicken, burgers and steaks. It is perfect for potlucks or BBQs paired up with some protein-packed deviled eggs.

OR enjoy this as meal prep. The salad tastes even better the next day and is a great option for a light lunch.

a bowl of 3 bean salad.

More healthy salad ideas:

**This recipe was originally posted on July 4, 2014. Updated April 24, 2019, and updated again on June 11, 2021, with recipe notes, writing, and photos.**

If you’ve tried my Three Bean Salad, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out by leaving me a comment below. I’m always interested in feedback!

Be sure to follow me on social media! I love pinning to Pinterest, sharing on Facebook and posting pics to Instagram. See you there.  🙂

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a bowl of three bean salad.

Three Bean Salad

Sharon Rhodes
This easy and healthy Three Bean Salad features a Mexican inspired cilantro salsa dressing. A classic 3 bean salad recipe that is perfect for BBQ's and meal prep!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chill 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 191 kcal



  • Place the beans, peppers, and onion in a large bowl and toss together.
  • In a small mason jar (or the salsa bottle!) combine the remaining ingredients and shake well.
  • Pour dressing over the bean mixture and toss until well combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour up to overnight. This salad will keep stored in the fridge for up to four days.


  • After the salad has been sitting in the fridge use a slotted spoon to serve and drain the excess liquid from the bottom of the bowl.


Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 12gSodium: 233mgPotassium: 690mgFiber: 10gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 890IUVitamin C: 31.6mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 4.1mg
Keyword 3 bean salad, three bean salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. This salad sounds delicious. I’m going to try it Sat.. I like the way you give he calorie count. How much is the serving size. A cup or 1/2 cup?

    Thanks, Rita

  2. 5 stars
    This is a great tasting salad for anytime of the year especially if you want to eat more plant based meals. This was really hearty and full of flavor! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 5 stars
    I love this salad! I’ve always been a fan of bean salads, but the salsa really takes it to a new level. Delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Great idea using up the end of the salsa in a vinaigrette. The flavours would compliment the bean perfectly. I love a salad that gets more flavourful the longer it sits too. Perfect for a picnic or backyard bbq.

  5. This would be such a popular dish at BBQ’s and picnics this summer. Looks delicious, Sharon!

  6. hell yeah! What a perfect salad for the summer, and I love the cilantro addition! Pinning this to make!

  7. We like to take bean salad with us when we travel with our trailer. I love the simplicity of this one!

  8. Finally a bean salad recipe that does NOT contain oil! Thank you for sharing, we will be making this ASAP because we are in the middle of our own version of a juice/raw diet cleanse and I really need to eat something substantial with protein and fibre.

  9. Having read this I believed it was really informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this
    information together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time
    both reading and leaving comments. But so what,
    it was still worthwhile!

  10. I’ve never had bean salad but I love beans so I should give this a try! And it’s funny, I always think of beans as “eating clean” but people are being told to avoid them now and I don’t get it! Mostly Paleo diets…it just doesn’t make sense to me!

    1. Avoid beans! Gasp! I can only think of one good reason to avoid beans, but it’s not because they’re unhealthy;)

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