Three-Bean Pasta Salad Recipe


We combined two potluck classics—pasta salad and three-bean salad—to make one tasty new side dish. Blanched celery is the unexpected star in this side dish; it has a tender-crisp texture and bright green color. Swap out the canned beans for your favorite cooked field peas.

Three-Bean Pasta Salad
Photo: Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Lydia Pursell; Food Styling: Toni Brogan
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
8 serves


  • 8 ounces uncooked small shell pasta

  • 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-in. pieces (about 2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (about 1 stalk)

  • 1 (16-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (16-oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions for salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.

  2. Cook green beans and celery in boiling salted water to cover until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. Combine pasta, green beans, celery, pinto beans, and kidney beans in a large bowl.

  3. Combine shallot and vinegar in a medium bowl; let stand about 5 minutes. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, and honey, stirring with a whisk. Gradually whisk in oil until well combined; pour over bean mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss gently. Sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.

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