Switch up the traditional green bean casserole on Thanksgiving with this green bean salad! Crispy green beans drizzled with a light lemon vinaigrette and tangy goat cheese crumbles is the perfect turkey side dish!
Green beans have become a dinner fairy favorite around here again, and it’s perfect timing now that Thanksgiving is next week! This cold green bean salad with lemon vinaigrette is a simple recipe and a great alternative to the traditional heavy green bean casserole! This dish is light and flavorful, and still nutrient packed! It’s great all year long, too!
Why we love this green bean salad
It’s a nice, light change to those green bean casserole recipes loaded with fat and calories. The crisp-tender green beans are tossed with a lemon vinaigrette that really brings freshness to the dish, and it takes less than 10 minutes to put together! This easy green bean salad can also be made year round, especially with fresh local green beans from the farmer’s market!
Ingredients for this Recipe
- Fresh Green beans – trim them yourself or save time and buy the cleaned and trimmed ones from the grocery store!
- Goat Cheese – one of my favorite cheeses! I love the tangy flavor of these little crumbles! You can use plain or buy an herbed goat cheese for a little extra spice
- Lemons – we’re using the zest and the lemon juice from the lemon for this green bean salad recipe, so buy a couple fresh lemons!
- Olive oil – great for drizzling on veggies on it’s own, but we’ll be making a light lemon vinaigrette for this salad! No need to pick up anything special, just use what you’ve got at home!
- Shallot – if you don’t have any shallots at home, a sweet onion would work too
- Pine nuts – Almonds are a traditional choice for green beans, so I’m switching it up with one of my favorites, pine nuts! If you’re not a fan, you can stick with almond slices if you’d like.
Step By Step Instructions To Make This Recipe
Clean and trim green beans
You can do this quickly by lining up the green beans on your cutting board so the tips are all even. Next, using a chef’s knife, cut off the tips with just one slice.
Flip the beans so the tips will be closer to the hand you cut with, and line them up again. Once again, slice the opposite end of the green beans in a single slice.
Blanch the green beans
Prepare an ice bath by preparing a large bowl of ice water.
Make an ice bath by filling a large bowl of ice water. Fill a large pot of water, big enough to hold the green beans you plan to cook, and fill it with water. Salt the water and bring it to a boil. Add the green beans and boil until bright green and crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and immediately place them into the ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Once completely cool, drain beans completely and pat dry.
Make the lemon vinaigrette
In a small blender, or using a whisk, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, shallot, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Toss with dressing and garnish
Toss the green beans with the lemon vinaigrette and garnish with goat cheese, lemon zest and pine nuts. You can also add fresh herbs if you’d like!
Serve on a beautiful serving bowl or scalloped platter like this one!
FAQs and Expert tips
Don’t overcook the green beans. For this green bean salad, you’ll want the green beans to be tender-crisp! For the best results, right as the green beans come out of the simmering water, dip them immediately in the ice bath. This stops the cooking process and the green beans will retain their bright beautiful green color and texture!
Make ahead for easy Thanksgiving meal prep! The green beans can be prepared ahead of time and tossed with the vinaigrette right before serving! Store the green beans covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This salad can be served cold or at room temperature!
Don’t like goat cheese? Switch it up with crumbled feta cheese!
Additional recipes to try
- Start off the evening with a beautiful charcuterie board!
- Need a crowd pleasing side dish? Try my Creamy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese!
- Got a sweet tooth? This espresso bourbon bread pudding is to die for!
- Skip the bread and use roasted sweet potato rounds instead! These sweet potato crostini are a great fall appetizer!
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Green Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 side servings
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
1 pound green beans, cleaned and trimmed
2 Tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1/4 cup Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large stock pot over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Add trimmed green beans and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Drain and place in an ice bath immediately.
Make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Drain and toss the chilled green beans with 2 Tablespoons dressing and top with crumbled goat cheese, lemon zest and pine nuts!
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 116
- Sugar: 2.7g
- Sodium: 103.2mg
- Fat: 10.1g
- Saturated Fat: 1.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1.1g
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 6.6g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Protein: 2.1g
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: green beans; salad; vegetarian
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Hi. I plan on making this dish for thanksgiving, it sounds so yummy! I read through the post. I noticed you list shallots or a sweet onion as an ingredient. In the recipe portion it doesn’t say anything about the shallot, what should I do with it?? The measurement of Pine nuts is not listed. What is it?
I will post a comment after it’s made and enjoyed 😁
I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing this! The recipe has been updated. I hope you enjoyed the salad!
A fresh and elevated vegetable side! Yum!
This looks amazing! Can I ask where you found that beautiful scalloped platter? I’d love to add it to our collection if it’s still available. TY!
Unfortunately it’s sold out! Here’s a similar platter https://rstyle.me/cz-n/hge2k2cfccp