Three Bean Salad Recipe

With Bacon

3 Bean Salad Recipe

Three Bean Salad Recipe with bacon, colored bell peppers, and onions, marinated overnight will add color, fresh flavor and convenience to your family meal.

I didn't like 3 Bean Salad until I made it this way. Now I can't get enough of it.

This recipe involves a little more than opening three cans of beans and throwing them together with a homemade vinaigrette dressing.

For those who like their beans cooked well, it means cooking some of them 2 to 10 minutes more. Not long for a scrumptious salad.

Three Bean Salad Recipe

  • 1 (15 oz.) can french cut green beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans (or any other red beans)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can white beans (can use waxed beans)
  • 1 cup (1 large) red bell pepper
  • 1 cup (1 large) orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup white onion
  • 1 lb. (about 1 cup) thin bacon slices (hickory smoked taste best.)
  • 3 bean salad dressing (recipe below)

Drain the beans and use right out of the can if they are cooked as done as you prefer. If not, place the three beans including liquid, separately, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil on medium heat.

Reduce heat and simmer to the the tenderness you prefer.

(My preferred simmering time; french cut green beans, 2-3 minutes, kidney beans and great northern beans, 8-10 minutes or more. Cook yours until just right for you.)

Remove from heat and drain immediately. (Save nutrient laden liquids to use in vegetable soups or other dishes where you use vegetable stock in, if preferred).

Cool beans.

Fry bacon slices until well done and crispy. Drain on paper towels and break each slice into pieces. Set aside.

Cut peppers and onions into thin strips about one and a quarter inches long. I cut mine julienne style.*

Prepare 3 Bean Salad Dressing. 

3 Bean Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (virgin olive oil is best)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Measure all ingredients into a small sauce pan. Stir and bring dressing to a rolling boil on medium heat.

Reduce heat and simmer and stir a couple of minutes to make sure the sugar has dissolved completely.

Cool.

Assemble salad adding the dressing to coat all veggies. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight

How To Assemble Salad

There are two ways to assemble this salad:

  1. Place the beans, peppers, onions and bacon in a medium size bowl. Pour on the dressing and lightly toss all together making sure to coat all ingredients.
  2. Layer the vegetables and dressing in a glass bowl or dish.

I do a combination of both because I have cooked the beans to soften them. I prefer they remain whole (like in the above image). 

I first layer my ingredients, excluding the dressing, in a salad bowl making two layers of each ingredient.

Then I drizzle the dressing over the entire bowl and toss very carefully using a slotted spoon to keep beans intact as mush as possible.

Tips

This salad is widely know to include green beans, wax beans and kidney beans,

Substitute other beans in this Three Bean Salad Recipe if you like them better.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of beans that work well :

  • baby lima
  • black
  • cannellini
  • garbanzo
  • light red kidney
  • navy
  • pinto
  • small red (Mexican)

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