The Easiest Mediterranean 3-Bean Salad

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This 3-bean salad is incredible. I’ve found that working with beans might feel complicated or difficult to make them taste good. Thankfully, this mediterranean-inspired bean salad can use up just about any vegetable in your fridge while bringing vibrancy into an otherwise plain meal. Feel free to customize it to your liking as this recipe is just a basic guideline of how I usually make my bean salads. It goes well with fresh focaccia bread for dipping, or some hot steamy rice. You could also serve it as an appetizer. Get creative!

What is 3-Bean Salad Made of?


In the recipe I mention using cannellini, kidney, black, or garbanzo (chickpea) beans. You can really use any type of beans you’d like. Kidney beans are very robust with a thick skin, so if you plan on keeping it in the fridge for a few days, these could be a good option. On the other hand, some prefer a softer bean, so I would go with cannellini, great northern beans, or black beans for this.


Again, you can use basically any chopped vegetables you’d like. I like to add red or white onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, and olives. You could also add in marinated artichokes, chopped asparagus, carrots, or celery. The list is endless!

Fresh (or dried) Herbs

Of course I prefer fresh herbs. Fresh parsley, dill, basil, thyme, marjoram, oregano, sage- these are all melt-in-your-mouth herbs that add so much to the dish. But you can also add in dried herbs of these same ones I listed. When I really want to pack a flavorful punch without much effort I use za’atar. This is a spice blend made up of wild thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt.

“Sauces” and Add-ins

Red wine vinegar, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, mustard, and honey are my go-to’s, but you can also squeeze in some lemon or lime as desired. For add-ins, I love using capers for an extra punch of saltiness, marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, or even raisins if you want to add in a sweet element!

How Long does 3-Bean Salad Stay Good in the Fridge?

This is a great question. Typically 3-5 days is a good amount of time to eat up food in the fridge. If it does not contain dairy or animal products, then it can be left a little longer without worries. From my experience, you can leave the salad for up to a week in the fridge as long as you don’t leave it out of the fridge for hours on end (say at a party and then you go to put it away in the fridge).

Should You Rinse Canned Beans?

Generally I do. This is because they might have added salt to it, or because the juice is particularly thick. Sometimes they can feel slimy too due to added water, salt, or starch. That being said, I prefer to rinse my beans before using them, unless I am using the excess liquid in a different recipe (for example, chickpea liquid, called aquafaba, can be used as a vegan substitute in meringue recipes and other desserts).

bean salad in beautiful mediterranean bowl with a spoon
3 bean salad

Mediterranean 3-Bean Salad

Print Recipe


  • Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney or black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cucumbers diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup capers whole
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese optional if vegan
  • Additional options: chopped bell peppers arugula, any other fresh herbs like cilantro, thyme, basil, chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1-3 tsp za’atar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 large pinch sea salt to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional


  • For the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients into a small bowl.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the other ingredients.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette dressing into the large bowl, stirring to combine the salad. Enjoy. Stores well in the fridge for 7-10 days.
  • Note: If you are a novice cook and this recipe looks terrifying to you, then start with the basics. The recipe below is what I start with if I really have very little time but want to make a nutritious and delicious meal.


The Super Easy Version of the 3-Bean Salad
3 cans of any type of beans you have on hand
chopped onion, about 1/2 cup
chopped cucumbers and tomatoes if you have them, about 1 cup
parsley, capers, and/or olives if you have any of them on hand, a couple of spoonfuls
1/2 part vinegar (about 2-3 tbsp, using red wine vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar)
1 part olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
Sea salt, 1 big pinch, but you might need more
Other options spices: 1/2 tsp Black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme
Mix all the ingredients together in the same bowl. Mix super well, taste it, and if you like the taste then great, you’re done!
If you don’t like the taste, then you likely need to add 1) salt, 2) an acid like lemon juice or some type of vinegar (red wine vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar do well), or 3) something creamy like cheese, maybe a little yogurt, or olive oil to bring in some extra fat. Problem solve until you have a taste that you like. Enjoy!
Author: Olympia Rusu

Want Another Bean Recipe instead of the 3-Bean Salad?

Homemade Hummus with Tahini

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