Do you have green beans pouring out of your garden like we do? You need to try to make this fresh green bean salad to use up those beans! I have 3 boys with 3 completely different palates and all 3 of them love this easy green bean salad! It’s a miracle! I’ve been trying to get them to eat green beans in all sorts of forms for years and usually I only get one kid who likes them. This salad made the whole family happy! The gardener, my husband loves that I found a delicious way to use up his harvest. This is a perfect side dish for summer cookouts or just a delicious healthy side dish when you are tired of the same old green salads.
Do I need to use fresh green beans?
Yes. I do not recommend frozen or canned green beans for this salad. Frozen green beans will make this salad too watery and canned green beans will not have that crunch and color you can have using fresh green beans. Try to pick your green beans when they’re young and tender. The longer you let them stay on the vines the tougher and thicker they get.
What type of green beans can I use?
All green beans are slightly different and the outcome will be slightly different using this recipe. The beans I use in this recipe are “Tendergreen” and “Kentucky Wonder.” Those just happen to be the ones my husband is growing in our garden. You can absolutely use store grocery store green beans, they’ll work great as well! I just don’t recommend using frozen or canned beans.
Do I need to use garden fresh cherry tomatoes?
No, you do not. You can use store bought cherry tomatoes, but if you happen to have enough of your own garden juicy tomatoes for this salad, the fresher, the better! They add that pop of bright color and nothing beats home grown tomatoes anyway. I think smaller cherry varieties are nicer for this salad. Grape tomatoes are a little too large and overwhelming for such a salad, but that’s a personal preference.
Best way to Serve Green Bean Salad
This salad is best served cold or room temperature. It’s a great, refreshing crisp tender salad if you’re tired of the same green salads. It is meant to be served cold, so I can not guarantee your enjoyment if you serve it warm. It’s a great side for seafood dishes, a summer meal, or even a healthier side dish to accompany a BBQ entrée.
How do I make the salad?
This green bean salad is made by 1st blanching the green beans for a couple minutes. After blanching the beans, you marinate them in a dressing for at least a couple hours to achieve ultimate enjoyment when it hits those dinner plates. It’s a great salad to make on a weekend when you have a little prep time late weekend morning or early afternoon. Just marinate the beans at least 2 hours and then you’re ready to enjoy the salad come dinner time. Wash, trim and halve your green beans, chop some red onion, make the dressing and then marinate them in the dressing. Once the marinating is complete add your tomatoes with a little shredded cheese and enjoy! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Possible Additions for this salad:
Bacon- Because, why not?
Garden Fresh Bell Peppers- If you’ve got it, it’ll just add a little extra sweet, crunchy element to your salad. Slice it thin and add it to your marinade.
Hard Cheese Alternatives- Asiago or Non-Dairy Alternative
Soft Cheeses- Feta or Blue Cheese. Any of these would be delicious variations.
Toasted Nuts- toasted almond slivers or chopped walnuts would be great as well. My kids aren’t fans of nuts, so I keep them out of most salads I’m trying to get them to eat. Sigh…Some day maybe.
Hard Boiled Eggs– Chopped
- Fresh Green Beans– From your garden or store bought. Tender and young ones best, not too tough and thick.
- Cherry Tomatoes-they’re a great size to complement the beans.
- Red Onions-I like to slice them pretty thin with my favorite mandoline, almost paper thin.
- Olive Oil-I like to use extra virgin olive oil, but you could use avocado oil as well.
- Red Wine Vinegar-If you don’t have it, you can substitute for lemon juice, but red wine is preferred here.
- Pressed Raw Garlic
- Dijon Mustard
- Spices: Salt, Pepper & a little sugar- (Optional, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the marinade if you want a touch of heat)
- Parmesan Cheese-If you don’t have parmesan you can use another salty cheese like salty feta or goat cheese.
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Fresh Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes (Marinated)
- 1 1/2 lb. Fresh Green Beans trimmed and cut into 2-3" pieces
- 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 8 oz. About 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup shredded or shaved parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 large cloves of garlic pressed
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- While waiting for water to boil, make your salad marinade: Add oil, vinegar, garlic, dijon, salt, pepper & sugar to a Medium bowl that will fit bean salad and whisk.
- Once water boils, blanch green beans for 3 minutes. (Adjust time based on green bean type, See ***Notes below)
- Drain green beans immediately and add warm green beans and onions to bowl with marinade and toss to coat.
- Cover bowl with a lid or saran wrap and place in the refrigerator immediately to marinade.
- Marinate salad a minimum of 2 hours.
- After marinating fold in tomatoes & parmesan cheese once ready to serve and enjoy!