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Quick and easy green bean salad tossed in zingy Italian dressing is bright, fresh, flavorful, make-ahead friendly, & perfect for BBQs, potlucks, picnics, and holidays!

completed Green Bean Salad plated
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Why You’ll Love This Italian Green Bean Recipe

It’s that time of year again – in-season green beans are appearing in gardens, farmers’ markets, and grocery stores, begging to be turned into dishes like crispy green bean fries, lime tofu with green beans, and this cold green bean salad recipe.

This refreshing marinated green bean salad combines tender-crisp green beans, juicy tomatoes, fresh parsley, and crunchy onions in a savory, vibrant, zingy Italian vinaigrette for vibrant flavors in every bite. It’s also naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.

Best of all, this beautiful and healthy Italian green bean salad gets from kitchen to table in just 35 minutes, is easy, versatile, can be made ahead, and holds up well at room temperature. It’s perfect for a taste of summer at any gathering, any time of the year (and a lighter alternative to vegan green bean casserole on your holiday table!).

The Ingredients and Substitutes

Refer to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and quantities.

ingredients for Green Bean Salad measured out

What Could I Add?

Swap the veggies and add-ins based on the season and how you plan to serve this cold green bean salad recipe.

  • Vegan cheese: Make this tomato green bean salad with tofu feta cheese for salty, tangy, creaminess. Shaved vegan parmesan or vegan blue cheese will also work.
  • Potato: Add baby/new potatoes (15-20 minutes boiled/10-15 minutes steamed) for a hearty Italian green bean and potato salad with Italian or maple mustard dressing.
  • Vegetables: Choose the veggies based on the season for extra color and nutrients, adding between ⅓-1 cup for a delicious, nutritious vegan green bean salad.
    • Corn (canned, frozen, or grilled for sweeter green bean summer salad)Carrot (sliced and steamed/boiled or shredded raw)Cucumber (Persian or English cucumbers, halved and thinly sliced)Asparagus/ broccoli (blanched or steamed, then plunged in an ice bath)Beetroot (steamed or roasted and diced)Radishes (thinly sliced for crisp texture)
    • Kalamata olives (halved – for salty tang)
  • Chickpeas: (or kidney beans/cannellini beans) For creamy texture, fiber, and plant-based protein in the Italian bean salad.
  • Quinoa/pasta: Add a cup of cooked quinoa(check out this quinoa guide) for a hearty, protein-dense salad.
  • Dried fruit: Add sweetness and chew with raisins or cranberries.
  • Nuts/seeds: Raw or toasted almonds or pine nuts add crunch.

How to Make Italian Green Bean Salad

process shot showing green beans in pot
process shot showing adding lemon to onion

Step 1: First, rinse and trim the ends of the green beans and transfer them to a small saucepan of boiling water. Blanch for 2-5 minutes (or boil up to 10 minutes if you prefer more tender green beans) to your preferred texture. Then, drain and leave them in a colander to cool (or shock in an ice bath) and pat dry.

Step 2: Next, combine the garlic, onion, and lemon juice in a large salad bowl, mix well, and set aside while the green beans cool.

process shot showing ingredients in a bowl together
completed Green Bean Salad plated

Step 3: Add the green beans, cherry tomatoes, parsley, and ¼ cup of dressing and mix, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Finally, taste the marinated green bean salad, add salt and pepper to taste, then serve, with more dressing on the side. Enjoy!

FAQs

Can I make the salad in advance?

Store cooked green beans and dressing in separate containers in the fridge for up to 5 days, ready to combine with the other ingredients before serving.

Can I enjoy it warm?

Yes, just toss the dressing in while the green beans are still warm and serve immediately.

Can I use frozen green beans?

Using frozen green beans allows you to enjoy this Italian green bean salad year-round. However, the beans will likely be more tender.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • To speed prep: Gather a bunch of green beans in one go, line up the ends, and slice off the tips. Then repeat with the other end.
  • Adjust the texture: By adjusting how long the beans are cooked.
  • For vibrant green beans: Blanch them until tender-crisp, then immediately plunge into an ice bath to preserve texture and vibrant color.
  • For the best flavor: Marinate the tomato and green bean salad for at least 30 minutes, though an hour is even better, so the dressing soaks into the veggies.
completed Green Bean Salad plated

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy this green bean summer salad as an appetizer or side with:

Storage Instructions

Store leftover green beans in vinaigrette for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. It will taste even better on day two, though the texture is best within 2 days.

For the longest-term storage, store the dressing and salad separately, combining them before serving.

completed Green Bean Salad in a storage container

Green Bean Salad

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Marinate: 1 day 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 – 4
Quick and easy green bean salad tossed in zingy Italian dressing is bright, fresh, flavorful, make-ahead friendly, & perfect for BBQs, potlucks, picnics, and holidays!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup of water
  • 12 ounces of fresh green beans
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of homemade or store-bought Italian dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • In a medium pot, add one cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans, cover with a lid, and steam for 2 to 5 minutes (depending on how crispy or tender you want the green beans). Remove from the pot and drain in a colander. Leave them in the colander to fully cool down.
  • In a large salad bowl, add the onion, garlic, and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside while the green beans cool down.
  • Once the green beans are at room temperature, add them to the bowl and mix well.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes, parsley, and 1⁄4 cup of dressing. Mix well and place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from the fridge and serve with more dressing on the side.

Notes

  • To speed prep: Gather a bunch of green beans in one go, line up the ends, and slice off the tips. Then repeat with the other end.
  • Adjust the texture: By adjusting how long the beans are cooked.
  • For vibrant green beans: Blanch them until tender-crisp, then immediately plunge into an ice bath to preserve texture and vibrant color.
  • For the best flavor: Marinate the tomato and green bean salad for at least 30 minutes, though an hour is even better, so the dressing soaks into the veggies.

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 8gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 82mgPotassium: 1202mgFiber: 10gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 4871IUVitamin C: 148mgCalcium: 163mgIron: 6mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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