Friday, January 13, 2012

Iowa recipes: Three bean salad

I realize this salad is a bit of a departure from my usual Cookie Friday recipes. But it's definitely worth sharing.

My husband and I are trying to eat more vegetables (or "green things" as he likes to say). I saw this recipe for Three Bean Salad in a local ag newspaper and decided to give it a try just to see if my husband would like it.  According to the newspaper article, this salad is one of the most popular items offered at a family-owned diner in central Iowa.

Overall, I think this salad was excellent. My husband's only complaint was that he still isn't that fond of kidney beans. But I think the kidney beans add a lot to the texture and color. So next time, I'll probably only put half a can of kidney beans in the salad.  This would be an excellent salad to take to a potluck or picnic because it doesn't include any mayo. You can find the recipe below, if you want to give it a try. Recipes don't get much easier than this!


Three Bean Salad

  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can cut green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can wax beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/2 C. vinegar
  • 1/4 C. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C. water

Combine all beans, onion, green pepper, salt and pepper in a bowl. Combine sugar, vinegar, oil and water, and mix with beans.


  1. Holy Cow, a whole cup of sugar! I'd try cutting the "dressing" ingredients in half and see what the salad is like. The kidney beans add not only texture and color but vegetable protein too. Try Garbanzo or Black beans and see what he thinks.

  2. I just found a recipe in another cookbook that calls for 3/4 cup sugar instead of 1 cup. Still a lot of sugar, though. I agree the recipe could use some tinkering. Thanks for the good suggestions.


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