This easy bean salad with lentils is a fresh and simple take on the classic three bean salad. It's a perfect summer salad, potluck side or meal prep recipe for easy weekday lunches.
Bean salad is a staple in my house. From family potluck dish, to make ahead salad for boating (or camping), to meal prep lunches this dish is in heavy rotation. In fact, I probably make this easy bean salad at least twice a month.
Usually we make the salad with canned beans, but during the summer when green and yellow beans are plentiful, I've taken to using fresh beans in my bean salad. If you don't have fresh beans on hand, or even just don't feel like blanching your own feel free to swap out the fresh beans for a tin each of yellow and green beans.
3 bean salad with a twist
This salad is a lot like a traditional 3 bean salad but it differs in that I also add lentils to it.
I grew up eating 3 bean salad a lot, but when I started making it on my own somewhere along the line I started adding lentils and it was love at first bite! Now I never make bean salad without lentils in it. I just love the extra flavour that they give to the salad, and the extra protein is great too - which is why I love having this salad around for an easy vegetarian lunch option.
Also, what you might also notice is different from the classic bean salad is the dressing. Where most recipes call for some type of vinegar and sugar, this recipe does not. Instead, I like to dress the salad with a simple lemon garlic dressing. I just love the freshness that the lemon juice brings to the salad!
How to make this easy bean salad
You can make this salad 2 ways: either with canned beans or with fresh.
To make the salad with canned beans, simply drain and rinse all the beans and then toss them with the salad dressing ingredients along with the diced onion.
If you want to use fresh beans you just substitute with half a pound each of yellow and green beans trimmed and halved. Steam the beans for 5 minutes (or until the are just tender) then cool and mix together with the rest of the salad.
Don't forget to marinate!
Although you can serve this salad immediately after making it, for best results plan ahead, and allow the salad to marinate for at least an hour before serving - I promise it is worth the wait 🙂
This recipe for easy bean salad is suitable for the following diets:
- vegan and vegetarian
- clean eating
- gluten free, dairy free, and allergy friendly
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Easy Bean Salad
- 1⁄2 pound green beans - (OR 1 can green beans drained and rinsed)
- ½ pound yellow beans - (OR 1 can yellow beans drained and rinsed)
- 1 19 oz can red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 19 oz can lentils - drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic - crushed
- sea salt and pepper to taste
For Fresh beans:
- Trim the ends off of the beans then cut them in half.
- Steam the green beans for 5 minutes, or until tender.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss thoroughly.
- For best flavour, allow the salad to marinate for a couple of hours before serving.
For canned beans:
- drain and rinse all the beans and lentils
- Combine them all in a large bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and toss thoroughly
* nutritional information is calculated by online tools and may not be 100% accurate.
I love easy side dishes like this that are packed with nutrients + good stuff! I'm going to have to try adding lentils to my next bean salad 🙂
You should! They are delicious, and I just love the added protein.
Krissy Allori says
This looks so colorful and healthy! YUM!
I can see why you make this so often. It's healthy, delicious and looks super impressive! Very pretty!
Thank you 🙂
Thanh | Eat, Little Bird says
What a beautiful looking salad! Sounds so delicious too - I love beans of all kinds and this sounds perfect!
Thanks so much! 🙂
We forget how wholesome and tasty beans can be. Great salad!
Helen of Fuss Free Flavours says
Bean salad is such a delicious dish to make; easy to make, looks amazing and full of flavours. Perfect for a family meal, and it would be nice packed in to a lunch box to take to work.
You can't go wrong with a 3 bean salad! I love this as a side dish or a healthy meal in itself.
Alisa Infanti says
I agree... beans salad is always better if it can sit overnight and draw out all the flavour goodness.
Julie @ Running in a Skirt says
What a great healthy recipe! I love all the plant-based protein in this and the lemon garlic dressing sounds dreamy!
It's great that you mentioned allowing the salad to marinate. I've noticed that it is the case for many salads - they do become super flavorful after some time, and it is completely worth waiting!
Looks like a perfect dish for a potluck, and so pretty! Can't wait to try.
Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says
This is my kind of salad!! I love me a good bean salad, but rarely make it myself for some reason!
Kristen King says
I was just looking for a good bean salad because beans are 0 points on Weight Watchers. This is definitely the one I'm going to make!
Enjoy! Hope you love it 🙂
Such a simple and delicious classic - and it goes so well with all kinds of family meals!