Aggie's Kitchen

Three Bean Salad with Vidalia Onion

My favorite time of year for fresh salads! This Three Bean Salad with Vidalia Onion is a perfect side dish for your weekend barbecue or great to make ahead to serve at dinnertime during the week.

This recipe and post were created in partnership with Shuman Farms’ Real Sweet Vidalia Onions.

green bean, garbanzo bean, kidney bean and onion salad in a clear glass bowl


This Three Bean and Vidalia Onion Salad has to be one of my favorite salads to make when we are barbecuing over the summer.  It’s a classic salad that you probably have seen more than once on a salad bar – but homemade is so much better! Wow, can you taste the freshness. I love to add sweet Vidalia onions for extra flavor, especially when they are in season mid-April to early August.


How to make three bean salad

So easy! All you need is a few ingredients for the base of the salad and a few for the dressing. The base of the salad is fresh green beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans and sliced Vidalia (or sweet) onion.

The dressing is vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. You boil the dressing for a short time to meld the flavors then combine with the beans. That’s it!



Vidalia Onions

I love using Vidalia onions in a lot of my recipes, especially salads, because of their mild, sweet flavor. Did you know that the reason these onions are sweet is because they are grown in the sandy soils of southeast Georgia with average rainfall that washes away the sulfur compounds that give onions the ability to make you cry? No tears when slicing up these sweet onions.

Another fun fact you may not know – Produce For Kids was founded by John Shuman in 2002 with the purpose to help inspire families to eat more fresh produce while raising money for charitable causes. If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you already know I’ve been a big supporter of Produce For Kids for several years as a contributor to their blog and recipe developer. I stand behind their mission and love seeing how they are working with the communities and charities they support.



I originally started making this recipe for Three Bean Salad when I first started blogging years ago after seeing a recipe for homemade 3 bean salad on another blog. I tweaked it a bit by using apple cider vinegar and adding a good amount of sliced Vidalia Onions.  Leftovers are awesome because you can continue to use the dressing along with the beans by adding it to a nice green salad.  And bonus, this salad is super portable so go ahead and take it to your next summer get together.  Your friends will love it!


More recipes using Vidalia Onions:

Greek Grilled Cauliflower and Vidalia Onion Quinoa Salad

Grilled Broccoli and Vidalia Onion Salad with Pine Nuts and Parmesan

Check out How To Caramelize Onions – 3 Ways (Stovetop, Instant Pot, Slow Cooker)


Three Bean Salad with Vidalia Onion

  • Author: Aggie Goodman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad

This Three Bean Salad with Vidalia Onion is a perfect side dish for your weekend barbecue or great to make ahead to serve at dinnertime during the week.



  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can red kidney beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced


  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press (or minced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper


  1. Heat vinegar, sugar, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Steam green beans in a large pot with 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon salt added to it; cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, fill medium bowl with ice water. When beans are done, immediately add to ice water to stop cooking process; let sit until chilled, about 2 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Add green beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans and onions to a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad mixture and gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) to let flavors meld. Toss salad with dressing occasionally while chilling.


Dressing makes a large amount but is used more as a marinade for the salad so you will have a lot leftover at the bottom of the bowl. Be sure to occasionally stir salad when in fridge so it is distributed to all the beans.

Serve with a slotted spoon.

Salad can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 days.

Recipe inspired by Mixed Salad Annie

Disclosure: This recipe and post were created in partnership with Shuman Farms’ Real Sweet Vidalia Onions and Produce For Kids. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Aggie’s Kitchen!


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40 comments on “Three Bean Salad with Vidalia Onion”

  1. The salad looks awesome Aggie! I love when green beans in salads like this still have a nice crunch to them. Enjoy the conference. Bush’s is the best. I have been eating their vegetarian baked beans on the regular :). Can’t wait to see your featured recipe.

  2. Enjoy the conference Aggie. It is so much fun to get together with other foodies as passionate about food as we are. I drove into the Sates on the weekend for Mexican but we also had a picnic so this salad would have been perffect. Plus Canada Day is coming up, the King of all days for picnics and barbecues.

  3. This is definitely one of my most FAVORITE salads! Thanks for reminding me Aggie! Have a great summer!

  4. I love this salad! That is so exciting about Bush’s Beans! I would LOVE to get into something like that eventually and do more with my blog. It’s hard right now having to work full time with a little one. I’m so excited to hear about your adventures!

  5. Sounds yummy. I’m making the green bean, feta, walnuts, red onion salad from Southern Living that you got me hooked on years ago. Will try this one next. : )

  6. love these beans this way! the kids are so adorable too!

  7. What a pretty summer salad! I love that it’s packed with protein, too.

  8. What a super healthy salad Aggie. Looks perfect for summer!

  9. Love salads like this one… so perfect for summer entertaining!

  10. Pingback: RE Friday Round-Up: Fresh Green Beans – Reluctant Entertainer - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening by Sandy Coughlin

  11. I just stumbled upon your blog when I saw your salad posted at Reluctant Entertainer.

    Oh my! What a find! You have a lovely blog. Your photos are a delight to look at. This salad looks especially delicious and I can’t wait to try it…so colorful!

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes. I look forward to visiting your blog again.



    • Mary, your comment put a huge smile on my face! Thank you for coming over to visit! Sandy is a dear friend of mine and her roundup was so delicious today!

      Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you soon 🙂

  12. I do love this three bean salad but can I recommend using dried beans and peas that you’ve soaked and cooked yourself? Adds a BIT more health by cutting out some processing chemicals!


  13. Never did I try the kidney Bean in salad. I love kidney beans😍. In India we cook kidney beans with spices and gravy. Definitely going to try it:)

  14. looking Tasty the Salad
    I will also try

  15. This is one of my favorite side dishes at potluck and barbecues! I have never made it myself, but I always enjoy eating it! I am excited to try this version with vidalia onions in it – sounds amazing! I also love that you use apple cider vinegar for a little extra zip! I can’t wait for this summer! 

  16. This is such a tasty and easy side dish! The perfect summer salad!

  17. They were wonderful, not nearly as pretty as yours, but still wonderful! Thank you!

  18. wow yummy i will try to make this salad recipi thanks 4 sharing 🙂

  19. This salad recipe is really nice and healthy and also, it looks delicious. I am going to add this salad in my daily routine. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Thank you so much for sharing.

  21. Vidalia Onions are my favorite being they are so rich and good for body! I am so glad to see, these 3 recipes with Vidalia Onions. Suppa Healthy Salads and I am gonna try all three for myself and my kid 🙂

    A Big Thank You!

  22. thanks for sharing really good article

  23. Just love this salad! Thank you for this sharing of salad recipes! I am always trying to find ways to make unique salads so that my veggies don’t get boring,

  24. This is very healthy food for us. Salad is one of the best food in the world. If you eat salad regularly your skin will be very beautiful.

  25. woww its amazing recepie i liked it

  26. love these beans this way! the kids are so adorable too!

  27. eventually, i got some time to view some of your recipes i have tried some of your main course and dessert recipes and it turn out to be so great we rarely go out for dinner thanks to you and i really need a handy book of your recipes please let me know if its available thanks 🙂

  28. this is so delicious recipe. i love it

  29. I live salad right from my child hood, but sometimes salad do give me a running stomach, I wonder why, any idea?

  30. it’s one of the my eye catching food

  31. I love beans this is a really must try recipe. I will surely try it.

  32. Amazing tasty summer salad, Thanks for Sharing

  33. Three Bean Salad is My favorite salads.Thanks aggieskitchen to explain in better way

  34. Loved this recipe

    Thanks for posting

  35. My childrent really like it. Thanks for share