Green Bean Salad

Pouring lemon dressing over green bean salad

This is a lovely green bean salad with a lemon dressing that presents nicely and is fairly quick to make. It can largely be made ahead making it ideal for meal planning, or getting ahead for dinner parties and festive holiday gatherings!

Pouring lemon dressing over green bean salad

Green Bean Salad

This is a salad I like to make when I’m planning a large menu ahead because I can prepare most of it in advance then there is very little prep on the day. The beans can be cooked a day or two ahead, the dressing made and onion chopped. Then the only thing that needs to be done on the day is chopping a tomato which is best done fresh (it goes soggy if done ahead).

And – it looks great and tastes fab! Zingy lemon dressing that’s been thickened with mustard so it clings to the beans nicely. The chopped tomato and onion serves 3 purposes:

  1. Freshness and juiciness – nice contrast to the beans;
  2. Acts as a sort of “sponge” so the dressing soaks into it then slowly drips down over the beans;
  3. Colour!

What you need

Here’s what you need:

What goes in Green Bean Salad

Not the tossing sort of salad!

And here’s how to make this Green Bean Salad

  • Shake dressing in jar – the best way to bring a salad dressing together!
  • Trim beans
  • Cook beans to your taste – I like mine JUST cooked!
  • Pat dry– otherwise the dressing won’t cling to the beans!
  • Sprinkle tomato and onion over the beans, then drizzle dressing all over

How to make Green Bean Salad

Close up of forkful of green bean salad

What goes with green bean salad

This is the sort of salad that will literally go with “anything”. And I really mean it – it will go with any Western food  but will also pair really well with Asian food, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods, to name a few. Even Indian food – lovely fresh flavours to cut through the heavily spiced curries!

Try it on the side of Steak, or simple crispy pan seared Garlic Chicken Thighs. Serve it with Meatloaf, Bolognese, Roast Chicken, crispy Pan Fried Fish or some sticky baked country Pork Chops.

I could go on and on…I really can’t think of anything this wouldn’t go with!

Also, I know I said that I usually make this for large gatherings, but I also think it presents elegantly enough to appear on a dinner party table too! Not that I’m known for elegant dinner parties. I’m more of a rustic-food-large-platters sort of girl. 😂 – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Green Bean Salad

A very easy green bean salad that I like to make when I’m entertaining because it can be largely prepared ahead.

  • 1 lb / 500g green beans (, trimmed)
  • 1 tomato (, diced)
  • 1/4 red onion (, finely diced)


  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice ((or white wine vinegar))
  • 3 – 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil ((adjust to taste))
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper


  • Finely chopped parsley ((optional))
  1. Combine the Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well. Set aside – or refrigerate up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the beans, bring it back up to a boil and boil beans for 60 seconds – no more!
  3. Drain and plunge in ice cold water (or run under cold tap water) to stop them from cooking.
  4. If making ahead, leave in the colander to dry before transferring to the fridge.
  5. To serve, pile the beans on a plate, top with tomato and red onion, drizzled over dressing. Sprinkle with parsley if using.

Originally published May 2015. Updated November 2019 with brand new photos, new writing and new video! No change to recipe.

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