Dorothy Sietsema's Three-Bean Salad 8.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

May 21, 2018

This classic, sweet-sour vegetable salad is open to interpretation. Chickpeas may be substituted for any of the beans, for instance, and crumbled cheese (tangy feta or blue) can be added shortly before serving; for the latter, start with 1/4 cup and add more, as needed.

To read the accompanying story, see: 8 trusty tips for hosting a cookout in a public park (no holiday required).

Make Ahead: For best flavor, the salad needs to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. It can be made up to 3 days in advance.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes about 7 cups

  • 14 1/2 ounces canned green beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 14 1/2 ounces canned yellow wax beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 15 ounces canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley, or more as needed
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme


Combine the green beans, yellow wax beans, kidney beans, onion and parsley in a mixing bowl, tossing to incorporate.

Whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and the thyme leaves in a liquid measuring cup. Pour over the bean mixture and stir to coat evenly.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and up to 3 days.

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From Dorothy Sietsema.

Tested by Tom Sietsema.

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