This cold green bean salad is packed with Italian flavours and so easy to make. Easy to adapt with other ingredients, this is a quick and fresh salad you are going to fall in love with. A new and delicious way to use this vegetable.
About this green bean salad
Put together in just 10 minutes, this green bean salad really has it all. Tender green beans, an Italian style dressing, olives, tomatoes and plenty of fresh herbs, all finished off with some parmesan. Serve it with grilled chicken or fish or as a BBQ side.
We came up with this salad when we had lots of green beans that needed using up after growing them in the garden. We kind of just threw them together with whatever we had, which shows just how adaptable it is.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Green beans - These are so easy to grow if you want to give it a try. Our kids did them all by themselves this year and we had loads. You can use fresh or frozen for this recipe. The thicker beans will take longer to cook.
- Tomatoes - We added some fresh tomatoes for a pop of colour. Chopped sun-dried tomatoes work well too.
- Olives - These add SO much flavour. Any olives will work and you can even use stuffed olives for extra flavour. Because they are so salty, you don't need to add much extra salt.
- Oil - A really good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Balsamic vinegar - Again, good quality is best, as it has more flavour.
- Mint - Fresh mint can be swapped for basil.
- Parmesan - If you want to keep this vegetarian, then use a vegetarian Italian hard cheese. You can also crumble some feta on top for something a little different.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make green bean salad - Step by step
One: Add the beans to a pan of boiling water and boil for 4-5 minutes.
Two: Drain the beans and immediately put into a bowl of iced water.
Three: Put the beans into a bowl with the remaining ingredients.
Four: Mix well to combine everything.
We also love putting some halloumi on top. Have you tried cooking halloumi in the air fryer?
Protein - If you wanted to add some protein to this green bean salad, then some beans like chickpeas, butterbeans or cannellini beans will work. If you wanted to add some meat, then cooked chopped bacon is SO good in it. Why not try cooking bacon in the air fryer? We also like adding, boiled eggs and tuna, kind of like a niçoise salad.
Crunch - The green beans themselves have a little bit of bite to them, but we love serving them with some added crunch on top. We used pine nuts, but you could add flaked almonds or some chopped cashews too.
Warm - We have this as a cold salad, but there is no reason why it can't be served warm too. Just mix all the ingredients together as soon as the beans are drained and serve straight away.
Asian twist - If you wanted to give an Asian twist to this green salad, then swap the oil, vinegar and Parmesan with sesame oil, soy sauce, honey and a little rice vinegar.
Store: This is best eaten straight away, because the dressing will cause the beans to go soggy. It will still be fine to eat the next day if stored in an air tight container, but the beans won't have the same vibrant green colour.
Freeze: We do not recommend freezing this.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can eat this straight away, but you can also leave it to marinate for for an hour to let all the flavours develop. Any longer than that and it will go soggy.
Green beans aren't really one of those vegetables that you immediately think of when you think of a nutrient dense food, but they are bursting with health benefits.
Not only are green beans low in calories, but they are a great source of iron, vitamin C and K, dietary fibre, folate and silicon, which is needed for healthy bones, skin, and hair.
Yes, you can cook the beans beans in advance and make the dressing up in advance and then mix it all together when you are ready to serve.
We wouldn't recommend it, as they tend to be more mushy and don't mix with the other ingredients well. But in a pinch they can be used. You can use frozen green beans too.
More salad recipes
Green Bean Salad
- 220 g (2 cups) Green bean - ends trimmed
- 10 Cherry tomatoes - halved
- 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil - extra virgin
- 5 g (0.25 cups) Fresh mint - finely chopped
- 30 g (0.25 cups) Olives - chopped
- 10 g (0.25 cups) Parmesan - grated
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper
- Add 220 g Green bean to a pan of boiling water and boil for 4-5 minutes.
- Drain the beans and immediately put into a bowl of iced water.
- Put the beans into a bowl with 10 Cherry tomatoes, 30 g Olives, 3 tablespoon Olive oil, 2 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar, 10 g Parmesan, 5 g Fresh mint, 1 pinch Sea salt and 1 pinch Black pepper.
- Mix well to combine everything.
- My top tip for trimming the ends of green beans is to do it in bulk, rather than snapping off the individual ends. Line all the ends up, and chop them off. Flip them over, line the ends up again and chop them off.
- Choose fresh, crisp beans that are bright green in colour. Avoid any beans that are wilted, discoloured or have brown spots. The beans should be trimmed and blanched until they are tender, but still have a slight crunch.
- If you want to give these a kick of heat, then some red chilli flakes are a good addition.
- A little touch of sweetness goes well with the saltiness of the olives. Why not add a squeeze of runny honey?
- You can make this more filling with some grains like quinoa or rice.
- To really bring out the flavour of the green beans, you can try roasted them first. It gives it a really nice texture too.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.