I can’t tell you how many times I have eaten this 3 Bean Salad recipe for lunch in the last few months. It’s such a super simple recipe that I almost didn’t even share it. But like my “Quickest, Healthiest and Easiest Blackberry Jam Recipe“, it’s too good (and too easy!) not to share.
One thing I have noticed while putting together my soon-to-be-released Clean Cuisine Cookbook for the past year is that the food I prepare for myself and my family when I am not intentionally trying to develop a recipe almost always leans towards being rather simple and uncomplicated. I tend to do clean versions of basic recipes, such as French Toast (I need to share my Peanut Butter French Toast recipe soon, by the way), chili, Instant Pot Stroganoff, Potato Salad, etc. I don’t think I was always like this though. In the past I tended to lean towards more complex recipes, but it was almost always with recipe-development for a book or the website in mind. The older I get (I am now over 40), the more I realize simple can sometimes be best 😉 Anyway, this 3 Bean Salad recipe definitely leans towards simple!
Beans Once a Day
If you have our Clean Cuisine nutrition book, have taken our free online 8-Week Challenge or read our article on the benefits of beans, you know we are BIG bean eaters. We’re so big on beans that we make it a point to eat one serving every single day. Nutrient-dense beans are one of the cleanest sources of detoxifying “clean” plant protein, they are incredibly filling and loaded with fiber.
And no, we don’t worry about the phytates in beans. There are so many fad diet habits these days and one of the popular ones is to avoid foods containing phytates, including foods like beans and whole grains. It’s too much to get into in this blog post, but if you happen to avoid beans because you are worried about phytates, please be sure to read this article!
Making the Best 3 Bean Salad Recipe
I’ll be honest, if you want the absolute very best-tasting 3 bean salad recipe then you’ll want to start with dried beans rather than canned. But I’ll be honest again, I don’t do that. I use canned beans.
Consider the Time Factor
I know from my own experience that using dried beans delivers a more complex, deeply flavored bean than you could ever get from a can. But I also know cooking dried beans can be a pain and it’s especially a drag if you have to cook three different types of beans, which is what you would have to do for the 3 Bean Salad recipe. I stick with canned beans, but over the years I have learned two tricks for making canned beans taste better…
How to Make Canned Beans Taste Better
- Trick #1: If you want to get rid of the “tin can” taste in canned beans the quickest and easiest thing to do is to simply rinse the beans with water and drain well. (Note: I have included that step in the recipe below)
- Trick #2: If you want to take things to the next level you can always simmer your canned beans in water for 5 or 10 minutes. Doing this is definitely an extra step, but it does make a big difference as far as taste is concerned. And no, I don’t always do this step (wink).
A “Cleaner” Canned Bean
If you are buying canned beans it is super important to look for beans packaged in BPA-free (bisphenol-A) containers. BPA is a toxic chemical and endocrine disruptor. Consumers are now more savvy about the dangers of BPA and some manufacturers have replaced the chemical with bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF), which are also harmful. Most organic brands are packaged in cans without these harmful toxins. Soft cans are also generally a non-toxic option.
Oh! And as for how to serve the beans, you can always just serve them straight-up in a bowl. If you serve them over a bed of greens with sliced avocado on top then you’ve practically got a meal (this is what I have been doing for lunch a lot lately. They are also to die for smashed and then pan-fried between two sprouted corn tortillas. Beans on toast is also always a winning combo!
For those of you with food allergies and food sensitivities, it’s helpful to know this 3 Bean Salad recipe meets the following dietary restrictions:
Grain Free / Gluten Free / Vegetarian (eliminate anchovy paste) / Nut Free /Egg Free / Vegan (eliminate anchovy paste) / Dairy Free
Beans are an excellent source of detoxifying fiber and plant protein and making them taste delicious couldn’t be any simpler! This delicious and easy 3 Bean Salad Recipe (with Italian seasoning) can be made in 15 minutes and leftovers keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or unrefined avocado oil)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ¾ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, plus more to taste
- ½ to 1 teaspoon anchovy paste, optional
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup minced red onion
- 2/3 cup minced celery
- 2/3 cup minced red bell pepper
- 2/3 cup minced green bell pepper
- Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the oil to a medium sized microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 1 minute, until garlic softens. To the dish, add the remaining oil, lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and anchovy paste (if using). Whisk until ingredients are well blended.
- To a separate large serving bowl, add the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, red onion, celery, red bell pepper and green bell pepper. Drizzle in the dressing and toss everything to thoroughly mix. Season with additional salt and Italian seasoning if desired. (Note: Allow salad to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving for the flavors to develop.)