Here’s a fresh spin on an easy green bean salad that’s also a great side dish that goes well with so many things. Instead of pasta salad, next time try this Italian Green Bean Salad!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Easy green bean salads of any kind are a favorite way to make a side dish, and there’s so many variations and ways to prepare them. Instead of another potato salad, this is a great addition to your next gathering. It’s an easy recipe and the perfect side dish!
Here’s a few good reasons to make this Italian Green Bean recipe:
- Fresh beans are crunchy and savory, and this is a super simple recipe with minimal prep time and great quality ingredients
- Cheese, Kalamata Olives and Italian Parsley are center stage in this recipe
- A bright, mustard and lemon vinaigrette with shallots is a delicious way to pull all the ingredients together
- If you like a good classic side dish, here’s a few more you might want to bookmark for later? Carrot Currant Salad, Simple Chickpea Salad, Superfoods Salad, and one of my absolute favorites, Celery Parmesan Salad. These are great served together on a buffet table with grilled meats or other main dishes.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe, instructions and ingredients, please scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Fresh Green Beans: Sometimes called “string beans,” you can’t have a green bean salad without them! 🙂 We’ll use a pound and a half for this recipe, organic, if possible.
- Olives: Kalamata’s are salty olives with an almost floral quality, and salads like this are an excellent way to showcase them…..delicious!
- Fresh Herbs: Italian Parsley makes everything taste better, I’m convinced 🙂
- Cheese: Manchego cheese for this recipe thanks to its mild, savory, nutty flavor
- Shallot, Lemon Juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Black Pepper, Dijon Mustard, plus a good pinch of salt: For a robust Italian dresssing…use a small bowl to combine or see my tips for using a glass jar with lid!
Tips For Cutting Green Beans
There’s more than one technique to cutting and prepping fresh green beans – it does take a few minutes – but the results are really worth it.
- Wash and pat dry the green beans
- Working a handful at a time, place beans upright and lightly tap the bottom to make the beans stand up evenly on the base of your cutting board
- Now lay them flat on the board so the ends line up on one side
- Cut the ends off that side, then pick them up and tap again to make the other side uniform, and trim those ends too.
- If your beans are long like these, cut them in half after trimming the ends. You’ll want the finished size to be a couple of inches long.
- Use a small, sharp paring knife to make easy work of this task!
Tips For Blanching Green Beans
I know what you’re thinking: Why, oh WHY must I blanch? Maybe you don’t feel like blanching, or you don’t do it very often, or maybe it just sounds intimidating? 🙂
Got you covered, because this is a super easy cooking method that tenderizes the green beans, or any fresh vegetable. A cold water ice bath quickly stops the cooking process and locks in the vibrant green color.
This is one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables…the best part is it’s a technique you’ll use regularly, because the results speak for themselves!
Let’s break down the steps:
- Rinse beans and trim the ends
- Add them to a large skillet or saucepan on medium heat to a boiling pot of water with a teaspoon of salt and enough water to cover the green beans for about 5 minutes
- Transfer them immediately to a large mixing bowl with an ice bath (a large pot or bowl of water with ice) with a slotted spoon. Let it sit for about 5 minutes for crisp green beans!
- Drain and blot dry, then assemble the salad as directed!
- Make the vinaigrette in a small canning jar with a lid
- Add the cooked, drained green beans to a bowl
- Also add the Kalamata olives, the cheese and the Italian Parsley
- Salt and pepper come next, then pour over the vinaigrette dressing
- Toss together and serve!
Expert Tips and Serving Ideas
- Making a homemade, flavorful vinaigrette is simple when you use a small canning jar with a lid. Just add the ingredients, put on the lid and shake! This can be made ahead and will stay fresh for a week refrigerated.
- You may have some leftover dressing, which is fabulous on any leafy greens, so experiment!
- This cold salad looks really nice on a large serving platter, but you can also use a serving bowl, small individual bowls, or small plates instead.
- Try a variety of beans for this salad – wax beans, yellow beans, that kind of thing, and add different herbs for a change of pace, like fresh basil. Add sliced cherry tomatoes for a variation too!
- This salad is best eaten the same day its assembled, but the components can be prepped in advance and assembled right before serving.
- Double this recipe for a crowd! It’s a nice menu item if you’re serving multiple things (think grilled meat) because it tastes delicious at room temperature.
- This recipe works well for picnics, lunch boxes, family gatherings, summer cookouts, and holiday meals.
- Serve it with almost any chicken entree, like this Citrus Chicken, or as a make-ahead side dish to Taco Pie or Turkey Burgers. Or try it with Sausage Ravioli or Pan Seared Chicken.
- Then for dessert, have a bite of nostalgia with the best rice krispy treats you’ve ever had, or maybe these amazing Strawberry Cheesecakes in a Jar, whip up some easy fresh fruit crepes, or go simple with this fabulous, soft and frosted Lemon Shortbread, this jammy, delicious Blackberry Galette, or, these outstanding jelly filled peanut butter cookies!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Just wash and trim the ends of the beans, cook them as directed and submerge in a large bowl of ice water, dry them, then wrap well and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
Yes! Asiago cheese or Parmesan cheese would both be delicious with a similar flavor. You can also try Feta Cheese or White Cheddar!
Your best bet is always an air-tight container with a tight fitting lid, then stored in the refrigerator to eat the next day.
Prep the green beans in advance and refrigerate, same with the vinaigrette. Chop the cheese into cubes, and keep the separate too, same with the olives. This green bean recipe is best assembled together and served the day it’s made, but the components can absolutely be made ahead!
Yes! Shallots have a milder flavor than most onions, and they’re made even milder in the vinaigrette (the acids mellow the intensity) but that said, feel free to substitute a thinly sliced sweet red onion instead!
You can certainly use a good quality store-bought vinaigrette for this fresh salad.
You can certainly use a variety of green beans. Try whatever looks good and is fresh, like purple, white, romano, Hericot Vert….experiment!
More Recipes to Try:
- Roasted Pear Salad: This is an amazing salad, take my word for it!
- Green Bean and Pea Salad: Refreshing and crunchy with lots of great flavor!
- Roasted Vegetables with Vinaigrette: These vegetables are transformed when roasted!
- Party Olives: It‘s not a party unless there’s olives!
- Strawberry Asparagus Salad: Fresh, pretty, delicious!
- Cranberry Crostini: Delicious as an appetizer or alongside a salad
- Maple Roasted Squash: A favorite recipe, this one is delicious and versatile…
- Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Skillet: An easy & delicious one-pot meal!
- Superfoods Salad: Full of hearty, healthy ingredients.
- Pan Seared Chicken Thighs: A delicious, easy recipe!
If you’ve tried Italian Green Bean Salad, or any other recipe on Studio Delicious, please rate the recipe five stars and & I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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Italian Green Bean Salad
- 1 ½ pounds Green Beans, ends trimmed, cut in half Buy organic, if possible
- ⅓ cup Manchego Cheese, cubed
- ½ cup Kalamata Olives, halved
- 3 tablespoons Italian Parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt Diamond Crystal
- ½ teaspoon Pepper, freshly ground Lemon Pepper
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons Shallot, finely chopped or thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper, freshly ground
- Bring a large pot of water with a rounded teaspoon of salt to a boil. Wash the green beans, trim both ends, cut in half if the beans are long. Add the beans to the boiling water, cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Remove and strain the beans, and immediately submerge them in a large bowl of ice water. Let them sit in the ice water bath for about 5 more minutes, then drain the beans and gently blot dry with a clean kitchen towel. (The ice bath stops the cooking and sets the color of the beans). Transfer the beans to a large mixing bowl with the cubed cheese, the Kalamata olives, the Parsley, and the salt and pepper.
- MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE Using a glass canning jar with a lid, (or any type of jar with a tight-fitting lid), add the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, maple syrup, shallot, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Shake until the ingredients are combined.
- To finish the salad, pour just enough vinaigrette over the bean mixture to coat it – you may not need all of the vinaigrette – and toss gently with a large spoon. Drizzle a bit more on top if needed. Transfer to a serving dish, add more parsley to the top as garnish.
- Making a homemade, flavorful vinaigrette is simple when you use a small canning jar with a lid. Just add the ingredients, put on the lid and shake! It can be made ahead and will stay fresh for a week refrigerated.
- You may have a bit of leftover dressing and it’s great on greens and keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- This recipe looks nice on a large serving platter, but you can use a bowl or small individual bowls or small plates too.
- Double this recipe for a crowd! It’s a nice menu item if you’re serving multiple things (think grilled chicken or fish) because it tastes delicious at room temperature.
- This salad is best eaten the same day it’s dressed, but the components can be prepared in advance and assembled the day you plan to eat it.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible