Mabel Drake's Three Bean Salad

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 5 mins

This is one of those recipes that you just can't walk away from at the summer potluck. My sister's MIL makes it and I beg her for it every chance I get! Apparently it is a family recipe in her hubby's family, though I can't say I know who Mabel was. Regardless, I owe thanks to Mabel for a darn fine salad that is bright, refreshing, and COMPLETELY addictive! Number of servings is my best guess, and prep time does not include overnight refrigeration.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine beans through green pepper and set aside.
  2. Slightly warm remaining ingredients in a pan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Do not let this get hot!
  3. Stir into bean mixture to coat and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Drain well before serving and toss with oil to seal in marinade flavor.
Most Helpful

Yum-my! This is not like any bean salad I've every had before. Generally, I'll try the bean salad from a potluck, buffet, or BBQ, like a good vegetarian, sure I'll like it... I mean, I like the stuff IN it, right? But, what I end up coming away with is the oily, tasteless and mooshy stuff they pass off as bean salad; usually what's generated from store Delis or what exists in pails on the shelf. De-LISH! Now, your Aunt Mabel, she has a good recipe here... how'd you get this masterpiece from her? When I tried this, I'd reached bean salad heaven - no oversalted, mooshy, oily, tasteless goop! Hurray! I did make some minor adjustments - held back a bit on the sugar, tripped on the pepper, used frozen organic yellow and green beans instead of canned, and added a few stalks of crunchy celery. Thanks so much for holding down Mabel to get this recipe for us! ;) Made for Veggie Swap 28 - September.

Katzen October 20, 2011

Two enthusiastic thumbs up from our house! The day I made it we pushed aside other things on our plate and both went back for more green bean salad. The leftovers were even better the next day after the full 24 hour marinating period. I did use low sodium products wherever possible (beans & soy sauce) and omitted the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. We still found it pleasantly salty, but then again we are used to low salt foods. Rather than dicing the bell pepper I cut into thin strips & liked the presentation. Next time I may add red pepper strips too although the salad is colorful as written. I think the salad would be a hit at potlucks or summer BBQ's. Thank you for sharing this KEEPER of a recipe! It has now been added to my favorites cookbook & will be made again.

Susie D August 08, 2011

This is now my go-to three-bean salad! I loved how easy this was to make and oh so good! I had to use up some splenda, so I subbed that for the sugar. I didn't have celery salt, but I did have celery seed. And I just plain forgot about the oil. But it doesn't need it. When I make this again, I'm going to make it exactly the same. Love it!

Wish I Could Cook June 27, 2011