Wiener Bean Bowl – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday

Posted on Mar 30 2014 - 8:00am by Erica

You know that old jingle, the one that goes: “I wish I was an Oscar Mayer Wiener, that is what I’d truly like to be, ’cause if I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener, everyone would be in love with me!”


This dish is what happens after you’ve been dating the beloved Oscar Mayer Wiener for a while, and start discovering some strange habits — like swimming in French dressing with lima beans.

Wiener Bean Bowl – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday
  • 1 package (1 lb.) Oscar Mayer Wieners
  • 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen lima beans, cooked and drained
  • ¾ cup chopped dill pickle
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • ½ cup French dressing
  • 1 medium head lettuce
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
  1. Cut wieners into thin slices; combine with kidney beans, lima beans, pickle and onion in large bowl. Stir in dressing. Chill thoroughly.
  2. Just before serving, line salad bowl with leaves of lettuce. Break remaining lettuce into chunks. Add hard-cooked eggs and lettuce chunks to wiener mixture. Toss lightly.
  3. Spoon into lettuce-lined salad bowl. Makes 5 servings.


I expected the lima beans to be the problem with this. After all, they’re a punch line—the go-to vegetable that everybody loves to hate.


As soon as ingredients started coming together, it started looking… weird. All of it. Not just the lima beans.


But after mixing, it looked a little more reasonable. Until you notice the wiener slices hiding under the beans and onions, lying in wait.


After it had chilled for a while, I asked Buzz to put it into a bowl, along with lettuce and eggs. He decided to put the egg slices on top rather than mix them in; considering it hides all the crap, it was a very good choice.


Buzz laughed when he looking at his plate. It’s that sort of resigned, nervous, and regretful laugh that comes when you know something’s going to be pretty bad, but you are going to have to eat it anyway.


So he took a bite, chewed, and grimaced. “Uh-oh. No good?”


“Never put French dressing on hot dogs.”

The Verdict: Pretty bad. Why, Oscar Mayer Wieners, why?

From the tasting notes:

There were some weird things about this recipe. French dressing and hot dogs don’t play well together. Wieners don’t taste good cold. Pickles and hard-boiled eggs didn’t add much to the overall flavor. Once you get past all that, the two kinds of beans (particularly lima) were fairly tasty when mixed with onions, lettuce, and dressing. Serve it to people you mildly dislike who want to eat a lot of protein.

WordPress Author Box

Erica was inspired to learn to cook by a complete lack of home economics classes in high school, and a love of old books. When using antique cookbooks to teach herself some skills, she realized a lot of the recipes were pretty strange by modern standards. All that fun testing just begged to be shared with the world. Regular recipe testing can be found here on Mid-Century Menu, on Erica's Retro Recipe Attempts blog, and also I Ate The 80's.

6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. thelmaritter March 30, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Love the new format, guys! We eat a lot of beans and bean- like substances because of my husband’s high cholesterol but even i grimaced once i saw the french dressing with no addition of another acid or flavor to counter the slippery sweetness. Ewww! Thank u Buzz for taking another one for the team.

  2. Thomas the Red March 30, 2014 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    It might be that you’re using the wrong “French Dressing” many cook books before the 1980’s include recipes for French Dressing that is an Oil and Vinegar mixture with garlic and herbs, not the bottled orange mixture sold as French Dressing now.

    • Chris March 31, 2014 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      I agree. The French Dressing referred to in most mid-century cookbooks is closer to what we would call a vinaigrette today, not the sweet, tomato based French dressing in bottles.

      Might make a difference? You and Buzz are real troopers though!

  3. Alan C April 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I don’t think any kind of dressing could make me try that dish.

  4. Thursday April 2, 2014 at 5:36 am - Reply

    I think this is a good moment to say thanks to Erica and Buzz for stepping up for recipe guest test Sundays. You guys are doing a great job. The least I can offer to Buzz for enduring this one is my thanks!

  5. veg-o-matic April 2, 2014 at 10:24 am - Reply

    Sometimes you come across a recipe that has something wrong with it. This recipe, unfortunately, has nothing *right* with it. As you go down the list of ingredients, it just gets worse and worse.
    On the other hand, that Cathrineholm bowl in the picture is great. I guess they used it to distract the reader’s eye from the craziness that is happening within.

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