You’ll make this healthy 3 Bean Salad with corn all summer long! A classic combination of green beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans makes a delicious vegan meal or a fun and flavorful side dish for your summer gatherings. The 3 bean salad dressing is spiked with lime juice and herbs keeping it fresh and playful!
The Freshest 3 Bean Salad with Corn
This salad is one I’ve made for years. It’s the perfect meal prep option, a great light summer meal, and a crowd pleaser when made for potlucks.
If you buy a canned 3 bean salad, you’ll be especially delighted with this fresh and flavorful homemade option.
The 3 bean salad dressing has a Mexican flair to it. To compliment the fresh and crisp green beans, juicy cherry tomatoes, and grilled sweet corn, I use a combination of lime juice, vinegar, and cumin, making it zesty, a little sweet, and absolutely addictive.
Pick up some fresh green beans at a farmer’s market, and start cooking!
If you’re looking for a more classic twist on this salad, try this fresh Three Bean Salad.
A Delightful 3 Bean Salad Dressing
This salad breaks away from a classic oil and vinegar dressing.
It’s bright, a bit sweet, and full of summer flavor.
Lime juice and cumin are the perfect compliments to the sweet corn, beans, and cilantro in the salad!
How to Make this (Quick & Easy) Vegan Salad
Step 1: Lightly steam the green beans. Once my pot is steaming, I add the green beans and the lid, and steam them for only 2-3 minutes. It doesn’t take long if you’d like your green beans to stay fresh and crisp tasting!
Step 2: Add the green beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking so they stay a vibrant green color and have a crisp taste.
Step 3: Prepare the corn for the salad by first removing it from the husk. If desired, either grill the corn, or heat it in a frying pan with a little olive oil, to blacken some of the pieces. It’s also okay to use the corn raw!
Step 4: Slice the tomatoes, and chop the herbs. Rinse the canned beans to remove excess sodium.
Step 5: Into a large bowl, add the drained and chilled green beans, the rinsed canned beans, the sliced tomatoes, and the corn.
Step 6: Add the fresh herbs, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper, and toss the salad to combine.
Variations on this Salad
We love this fresh combo, but you can add or swap in the following suggestions:
- Black beans or white cannellini beans instead of chickpeas or kidney beans
- Add chopped red onion
- Use fresh parsley instead of cilantro
- Chopped red and yellow bell peppers instead of tomatoes
- Try lemon juice instead of lime juice in the dressing
Can 3 Bean Salad be frozen? I don’t recommend freezing this salad as it’s written. If you’d like to have a salad to freeze, omit the fresh herbs and tomatoes, and then freeze it. When you’re ready to enjoy it, allow it to thaw at room temperature, and then add the fresh herbs and tomatoes for a fresh pop. The green beans won’t stay as crisp.
Is 3 Bean Salad served hot or cold? This version is served chilled. However, if you’d like a hot side dish, don’t blanch the green beans, and heat the canned beans before combining them. It will be delicious either way!
What to serve with a 3 bean salad:
Summer’s Freshest 3-Bean Salad
- 3 cups green beans trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 ear sweet corn
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/3 cup basil chopped
- 1 can kidney beans 15 ounce
- 1 can chickpeas 15 ounce, or white cannellini beans
- 1/4 cup lime juice + 2 tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, I don't add salt when using salted beans
- In a saucepan, boil water with a vegetable steamer inside. Add trimmed green beans, and place the lid on top. Steam for 2-3 minutes, then remove, being careful not to overcook.
- Add the green beans to a bowl with ice water to stop the cooking and keep the beans a vibrant green.
- Roast the corn on a bbq or a grill pan inside over medium-high heat for about 5-6 minutes, until hot and lightly charred. Cut the corn off the cob.
- In a bowl, add the beans, cherry tomatoes, corn, and herbs to a large salad bowl.
- Add all the dressing ingredients into the bowl, and mix well. Taste, and season with sea salt and black pepper.
Love it. I’m so making this and your photography is gorgeous.
Thanks Cristie. I hope you do make it, and let me know how it goes over!
This salad reminds me of my mother who loved 3 bean salad. During the summer she kept a big jar in the fridge. Yours looks just fabulous.
Yes– my Grandma always has 3 bean salad from Costco in her fridge in the summer. That has never worked for me because traditionally they are made with garbanzos, which I am allergic too– plus, the oil content in those premade ones!!
This looks amazing! Pinned for my next backyard BBQ!
Thanks for pinning, Jennifer! If you make it, please let me know how it goes!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
I am a sucker for a cold summer bean salad! Looks delish!
It was delish– I am a sucker for any cold salad that has protein in it and I can just scoop it out for meals. So perfect for summer 🙂
This salad looks delicious! I love anything with beans. They are so versatile. The quinoa idea is great too. I have a bag of green beans in the fridge put aside for another recipe but I think that is about to be put on hold……
Would love to hear how it turns out for you if you try it! I am a huge fan of beans too. So simple to put together, and such a great high protein accompaniment to so many meals.
This looks amazing! I happen to love bean salads and I love that you added leafy greens and other veggies too. So yum!
Thanks Jenn. It was amazing. It will be on normal rotation here this summer since we both loved it so much.
Tina Marie says
I enjoy beans in any form. My favorite is a cold salad. This looks so fresh and inviting.
Me too, Tina! Beans are a great easy protein source in the summer.
Byron Thomas says
Looks very summery! But I’d probably eat it for breakfast too. 🙂
It works all day long.
Sara | Belly Rumbles says
Looks so colourful and vibrant! The perfect summer salad.
Ify Nzeka says
Mmm mmm mmm! These look so yummy and fresh! 🙂
Yes, the freshness of it is what really sold me.
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
How fresh, healthy and delicious. This salad makes such perfect use of seasonal produce and I totally need to make it! I could live off salads like this.
Kennedy Cole|KCole's Creative Corner says
I actually love salads that don’t have lettuce in them! I love your use of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Looks great!
My husband loves salads minus the lettuce too — unless the greens are spinach, he doesn’t care for them too much. And having a lettuce free salad also means it holds up in the fridge longer!
Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners says
Gorgeous, Michelle. I’ll share this with the farms over the weekend. Gosh, I so want a bite of that right now!
You should try Robyn– my favorite salad I’ve made in a long time 🙂 Thanks for sharing!