Italian Three Bean Salad

This is a very simple, old-fashioned recipe that I remember eating as a child.  I didn’t eat much as a child, but I did like this.  I don’t think anyone even told me it was technically Italian food.  We didn’t label food like that 50 years ago.  We just ate whatever was put before us, or starved.  Luckily, my family wasn’t so much into letting their kids starve.  I had a hamburger almost every night.  And I do not mean one from a fast food restaurant; a frozen one that Grandma took out of the freezer and fried for me.  No bun, no special sauce, just a hamburger.  Well, I did get ketchup.  Nevertheless, I did like this bean salad whenever we went to someone’s house and they served it.  Funny how kids will eat something “out” that they won’t eat at home.  Hint:  Sit your kids outside to eat, hahahahahah.  Just kidding.  Hahahahahah.


Italian Three Bean Salad




  • 2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped and pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 pound fresh shelled cranberry beans
  • 2 cups cut green beans
  • 2 cups cut yellow wax beans
  • 2 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/2 cup)




In a large bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, green onions, olives, oregano, lemon peel and juice, olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

In a large saucepan, bring the water and cranberry beans to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer beans until they are tender, about 15 minutes (please note that these directions are for FRESH beans – dried beans take much longer to cook).  You can also use canned beans, in which case you would just need to rinse, drain, and only heat them since they are already cooked.

Add green beans and yellow beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes or so.  Drain and rinse with water.

Add the beans to the tomato mixture and toss to combine.  Sprinkle with the shaved cheese and serve.  This is also good room temperature or cold.

Serves 12.

3 bean


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