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10 Minute Green Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

November 16, 2021 (Last updated May 13, 2024) · Nicole Triebe

This Green bean salad takes just ten minutes to make, and is so bright and flavorful! Crispy green beans drizzled with a light lemon vinaigrette and tangy goat cheese crumbles is the perfect side dish!

Green bean salad is one of those versatile dishes that feels right at home whether it’s a casual weekday dinner or a festive gathering. Fresh, crisp, and bursting with flavor, this salad offers a delightful alternative to the heavier sides often found at picnics and potlucks.

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

Good quality green beans should have a bright, vibrant green color. Avoid any beans that look dull, yellowed, or have very dark spots, which can indicate they are past their prime. They should be firm to the touch and snap easily when bent. Trim them yourself or save time and buy the cleaned and trimmed ones from the grocery store!

Goat cheese

Goat cheese has a soft, creamy consistency that contrasts nicely with the crunch of fresh green beans. This textural contrast makes each bite interesting and satisfying, adding a luxurious feel to a simple salad.

  • Garlic
  • 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

Close up shot of green bean salad garnished with pine nuts, goat cheese and dressing on scalloped platter

Thanks for reading! If you make this recipe, please come back and let me know how you like it by leaving a star rating and review. 

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Green Bean Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Nicole Triebe
  • 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

Dressing ingredients:

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

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  • Reply Aimee Beth Hall November 18, 2021 at 5:00 am

    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 😁

    • Reply Nicole Triebe December 7, 2021 at 1:53 am

      I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing this! The recipe has been updated. I hope you enjoyed the salad!

  • Reply Allison November 21, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    A fresh and elevated vegetable side! Yum!

  • Reply Jenni January 16, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    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!

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