Get ready for an easy and satisfying salad that’s full of fresh flavors and bright colors! This Green Bean Salad is made with tender green beans, toasted almonds, juicy cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese, all tossed in a simple homemade vinaigrette. A tasty side dish recipe that pairs well with grilled chicken, salmon, steak and more!

Green bean salad topped with almonds.

Bean salad, yawn…. no big deal, right? Usually it’s a mixture of canned beans with a vinegar dressing, sometimes called three-bean salad or five-bean salad. You’ll often see these served in cafeterias, because they keep forever. Or maybe it lasts forever because nobody eats it.

Well, this particular bean salad is a far cry from the typical. With spectacular flavor, Greek-inspired green bean salad is SO good, you’ll want to serve it on the regular.

In fact if you grow your own green beans and tomatoes, this recipe is a wonderful way enjoy them. If you don’t garden, I highly recommend visiting the farmers market to stock up on fresh produce because it always tastes best!

How to Choose Fresh Green Beans

Green Beans are fresh and at their peak at most local farmers markets from around May to October in the US. For this green bean recipe, I use fresh haricots verts (French green beans). If you can’t find haricots verts, traditional green beans (fresh, not frozen or canned) will work just fine. Look for bright green colored green beans with no brown spots. They should be firm (not limp), and they should snap when you bend them in half. If you follow these guidelines, then your salad is sure to turn out wonderful!

cooking fresh green beans in a skillet

Key Ingredients Needed

Here’s the lineup of simple, nutritious ingredients you’ll need to make this green bean salad recipe:

  • Almonds. Be sure to take the extra time to toast the almonds for extra flavor. I love the nutty crunch, but if you’re not a nut fan or you have an allergy, you can omit.
  • Green beans. The star of the recipe! Buy slender green beans, as fresh as possible.
  • Tomatoes. Use grape or cherry tomatoes, which are especially delicious in the summertime.
  • Feta cheese. The creamy, salty flavor crumbled feta cheese gives to the salad is incredible. Feel free to swap the feta for goat cheese for a little more tang, or even gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles. Parmesan cheese is a great option too!
  • For the dressing. This salad is tossed in a tasty homemade white balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a simple mix of minced shallots, avocado or olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper.

Pro tip: I recommend buying a block of feta cheese and crumbling it yourself. I find that the block feta has more flavor than the tubs of pre-crumbled cheese.

The above list is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!

pouring vinaigrette over green bean salad ingredients

How to Make a Fresh Salad with Green Beans

  1. Toast the almonds. Place almonds in a skillet over medium heat. Stir them frequently until they are golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them because nuts can burn very quickly.
  2. Cook the green beans. I borrowed this cooking method from Cookie+Kate, which she found from America’s Test Kitchen. Instead of blanching the green beans in boiling water, they are added along with about 1/4 cup water to a skillet, covered and cooked until tender. You’ll then uncover the skillet, raise the heat, and cook until the water evaporates. The green beans turn out so flavorful when cooked this way.
  3. Make the vinaigrette. While the green beans are cooking, you can whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar.
  4. Assemble salad. Once the green beans have cooled, add the almonds, tomatoes and feta. Give the dressing one more stir, pour it over the salad and toss to coat. Serve room temperature or place in the fridge, if you’d like to serve it chilled. If it’s going to be a little while, reserve the almonds and sprinkle them on right before serving. Enjoy!

 

Customize This Recipe

This side dish recipe is really versatile and there are many different ways to change it up to your taste preferences! Here’s some ideas:

  • Nuts. Omit the almonds, or replace with chopped walnuts, pecans or pine nuts.
  • Plant-based protein. Add in a can of drained chickpeas or a cup of cooked quinoa for a little more heartiness and a boost of protein.
  • Veggies. Feel free to add other vegetables such as marinated artichoke hearts, red onion, grilled zucchini, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms or pepperoncini peppers.
  • Vinaigrette. Substitute red wine vinegar for the white balsamic vinegar. You could also use another favorite dressing.
  • Replace the green beans. These toppings and vinaigrette would taste great on almost any vegetable. Replace the green beans with another vegetable of your choice. Broccoli or asparagus would work well.
salad made with green beans, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Green Beans Healthy?

Green beans are a very healthy vegetable and are packed with nutrients such as Vitamin A, C and K, potassium, iron, and calcium. They are also low in calories, low sodium, low carb and high in fiber.

How Do You Prepare Fresh Green Beans?

To get your green beans ready to be cooked, give them a good wash, then trim off the stem end. The fastest way to trim off the stem end is to line up a handful of green beans, then cut the stems off all at once. It makes prep time go much faster.

Can You Blanch the Green Beans?

Yes! If you’d prefer to blanch the green beans rather than using the cooking method listed here, that will work fine. Blanching is a process where you boil the beans in salted water until they’re just tender, then drain and the beans get transferred to an ice bath (large bowl of ice water) to stop the cooking process.

Serving Suggestions

  • Straight out of the bowl. This salad is hearty enough for a light meal. You could also add chickpeas, diced grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken to make it even more satisfying.
  • With fresh greens. For even more veggie goodness, toss this with fresh greens, then drizzle on a bit more vinaigrette to create a fresh green salad with tons of texture.
  • As a side dish. I usually serve this salad as a side dish to grilled meats, burgers or sandwiches.

Make Ahead + Storage Recommendations

  • Make ahead. This salad is great to make several hours in advance of serving it because it gets tastier over time. You can also mix the vinaigrette together up to 3 days in advance, and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Storing leftovers. Store the leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Before serving again, give it a good stir and taste and season again as needed.
green beans tossed with a homemade vinaigrette

More Side Dish Recipes

Looking for some different sides to serve this spring and summer? Here are our favs:

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

Green bean salad topped with almonds.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Leave a Review »

Green Bean Salad

Get ready for an easy and satisfying salad that’s full of fresh flavors and bright colors! This Green Bean Salad is made with tender green beans, toasted almonds, juicy cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese, all tossed in a simple homemade vinaigrette. A tasty side dish recipe that pairs well with grilled chicken, salmon, steak and more!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 pound fresh haricots verts (French green beans)*, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3-inch long pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots, about 4 shallots
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper , plus more to taste
  • 1 pint (about 25) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions 

  • Place almonds in a large skillet over medium heat. Use a spatula to stir the almonds; stirring every 30 seconds or so until they are nice and golden brown, about 5 minutes total time. If pan begins to smoke, make sure to reduce the heat to prevent burning. Watch them closely, as they burn quickly. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
    toasting sliced almonds in a pan
  • Set heat to medium-low and place the skillet back on the heat. Add the green beans, water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the green beans are close to tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until the liquid evaporates, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and place green beans in a large serving bowl.
    cooking fresh green beans in a pot
  • While the green beans are cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together shallots, oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Let flavors marinate for about 10 minutes while green beans finish cooking and then cool.
    whisking together vinaigrette in a small bowl
  • Once the green beans have cooled, add toasted almonds, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese to the green beans. Whisk dressing again, pour over top, and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature and enjoy.
    pouring vinaigrette over salad

Notes

*If you can’t find haricots verts, traditional green beans (fresh, not frozen or canned) will work just fine.
  • Make ahead. This salad is great to make several hours in advance of serving it because it gets tastier over time. You can also mix the vinaigrette together up to 3 days in advance, and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Storing leftovers. Store the leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to about 3 days. Before serving again, give it a good stir and taste and season again as needed.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 231kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 282mg, Potassium: 503mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 935IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 112mg, Iron: 2mg

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @kimscravings on Instagram and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy and delicious recipes straight to your inbox!