Three Bean Salad

Over the weekend I was visiting family in Minnesota and my sister Jane asked me if I wanted to look through mom’s old recipe boxes and see if there was anything I wanted. There were several that sparked inspiration in me for a nutritarian makeover, including an old classic — Three Bean Salad.

The original recipe called for canned green beans and canned wax beans, as well as a dressing that included 2/3 cup sugar (!), 2/3 cup vinegar and 1/3 cup “salad oil”. My version eliminates the oil, and vastly reduces the sweetener (I used a stevia-based sweetener because I had some on hand). I also added some Old Bay Seasoning to the recipe. This is a great seasoning blend to have on hand, but if you don’t you can substitute an additional 1/2 teaspoon celery seed and 1/2 teaspoon paprika.

Using a frozen “Prince Edward Medley” package makes this super easy to put together, and the carrots add some natural sweetness that replaces some of the sugar in the original recipe. I got mine at Aldi but I’ve seen this mix other places too. If you don’t have this at your store another idea would be to use a package of regular green beans and some baby carrots and have a two-bean salad.


16 oz package of “Prince Edward Medley” frozen vegetables (a combination of green beans, wax beans and carrots)
15.5 oz can of kidney beans
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sweetener
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Cook Prince Edward Medley according to package directions. Rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Chop in to kidney-bean sized pieces.
  2. In a large bowl mix Prince Edward Medly, kidney beans, bell pepper and onion together.
  3. In a separate container mix together remaining ingredients, then pour over veggie mix. Stir well. Allow it to sit for as long as you can hold off eating it, stirring frequently so it all gets coated.
  4. Optional: serve over your favorite salad greens.

Here is the final product:

Here is the recipe from my mom’s recipe box. You can see from the stains that it was a well-used recipe. I remember her making this for summer meals and pot lucks.

My mom, who I also visited over the weekend, is in memory care and no longer able to cook. But it was fun thinking about her and making this updated version of something she used to make for us.



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