Make this simple cold green bean salad recipe as a refreshing main or side dish all summer long. All you need is a few fresh veggies, mozzarella cheese, and a delicious herby vinaigrette dressing, to make this fresh green bean and tomato salad in under 15 minutes.
Why This Recipe Works
Here’s why we love this simple cold green bean salad recipe:
- The salad pairs well with our favorite summertime entrees, especially with Keto Creamy Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce.
- It highlights fresh, seasonal vegetables!
- The salad is great for meal prep, and it lasts up to three days. If you’re looking for another meal prep-friendly recipe, try our Healthy Greek Chicken Bowls.
- The dressing is super savory and herby, but easy to customize if you prefer different flavors.
- You can mix up the ingredients to use anything you have in the fridge!
What Goes Into This Recipe
These are the ingredients for this simple cold green bean salad recipe:
- Green beans. Make sure to use fresh, not frozen beans for this recipe.
- Tomatoes. I love cherry tomatoes, but you could use chopped regular tomatoes as well.
- Olives. I find that black olives add the right salty punch to this fresh salad.
- Red onion. You could also use sweet onion or scallions if you’re sensitive to the taste of raw red onion.
- Salami. Look for Italian salami if you can find it.
- Mozzarella. I like the mini mozzarella balls to add creaminess to the salad.
For the vinaigrette dressing, you’ll need:
- Olive oil. Choose a full-flavored oil to make the salad dressing.
- Vinegar. You can use mild white vinegar, or apple cider if you prefer.
- Garlic. I recommend using fresh garlic.
- Oregano. I use dry, but you could use a tablespoon of fresh oregano, chopped finely.
Here are a few simple swaps if you don’t have all of the ingredients for this fresh green bean and tomato salad:
- You can swap the green beans for cauliflower or broccoli. Start by breaking the cauliflower or broccoli into florets, then blanch them just like you would do with the green beans.
- If you prefer, swap the black olives for green or kalamata olives.
- Feel free to substitute the mozzarella for a crumbled cheese, like feta or blue stilton.
- You can even replace the dressing with pesto sauce! I recommend adding extra lemon juice for punch.
Here are some tasty ingredients to add to your salad to make it a more complete meal:
- Cooked pasta or cooked grains like quinoa or bulgur
- Crumbled cooked bacon
- Other vegetables, such as chopped cucumber or corn kernels, blanched asparagus or new potatoes
- Canned beans like chickpeas or black beans (drained and rinsed)
- Marinated artichokes, banana peppers, or roasted red peppers
- Sun-dried tomatoes
How to Make This Green Bean Salad Recipe
Follow these steps to make the best fresh green bean and tomato salad:
First, prepare the fresh green beans. Rinse the beans in a colander under cool running water, then trim off the stems and slice them in half.
Next, we need to blanch the beans. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, carefully add your sliced beans to the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the beans are crisp-tender and vibrant green.
Have a bowl filled with ice and water next to the pot. As soon as the beans are done cooking, transfer them into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let them chill for a couple of minutes, then drain well.
Now, we need to make the dressing. In a small jar, add all of the dressing ingredients and shake to emulsify.
To assemble the salad, we need to prep the remaining ingredients. Halve the cherry tomatoes and pitted olives, then slice the red onion and cut the Italian salami into thin strips. Finely chop the parsley.
Place all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl, drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.
A pesto sauce would be great with green beans and tomatoes. Or try a maple dijon vinaigrette.
Blanch the fresh beans in boiling water for just a couple of minutes. Then transfer them, using a slotted spoon, to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
I find that 1 to 2 minutes is enough to cook the beans, so they have a tender crunch. If you prefer them softer, then add a minute more to the cooking time.
Boiling the beans for 3 to 4 minutes will make them soft, if you prefer.
If you’d like to steam the beans rather than boil them, cook for about 5-6 minutes. The steaming process will take a bit longer than boiling.
You can season the cooking water by adding 1 tablespoon of salt. This will give them a salty flavor. Just like you would do with pasta.
This salad recipe is perfect for meal prep. In fact, it’s better the next day, as the flavors will blend more. Keep the dish well refrigerated in air-tight containers for up to 3 days.
To use frozen beans, place them into a large pot and add water just enough to cover. Heat the pot over medium-high heat until thawed and warmed through, this takes about 6-8 minutes. Drain the beans well before using, then proceed with the recipe as is.
Keep these tips in mind when making this fresh green bean and tomato salad:
- Prepare the salted boiling water and ice bath before starting to cook the beans. This way, you’ll be able to move faster when the 2-minute cooking time is up to transfer the beans into the ice bath and stop the cooking process.
- Don’t overcook them! This salad is great with a bit of crunch to the bite.
- You can also use frozen green beans, but fresh will have a snappier, crispier texture.
More Easy Salad Recipes
- Italian Style Pasta Salad with Artichokes and Tomatoes
- Mexican Street Corn Salad (Esquites Recipe)
- Keto Shrimp And Avocado Salad
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Cold Green Bean Salad Recipe
- 1 1/2 lb fresh green beans
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 cup black olives - pitted, halved
- 1 medium red onion - thinly sliced
- 1/2 lb Italian salami - cut into strips
- 1 bunch parsley - chopped
- 8 oz mini mozzarella balls
- 1/4 cups olive oil
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- First, let's prepare the fresh green beans. Rinse them in a colander under cool running water. Trim off the stems and cut them in half.
- To blanch the beans, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, carefully add your prepared beans into the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the beans are crisp-tender and vibrant green.
- Have a bowl with ice and water next to the pot. As soon as the beans are done cooking, transfer them into the ice bowl to stop the cooking process. Let them chill for a couple of minutes, then drain well.
- Now let's make the dressing. In a small jar, add all the dressing ingredients and shake to emulsify.
- To complete the salad, prep the remaining ingredients. Halve the cherry tomatoes and pitted olives. Slice the red onion and cut the Italian salami into thin strips. Finely chop the parsley.
- Place all salad ingredients together into a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.
- Make sure to have an ice bath ready before you add the green beans to the boiling water so you can stop the cooking process on time and avoid soggy, overcooked beans.
- Cutting the beans in half will shorten the cooking process, so keep a close eye on them!
- Be sure to cut the beans into equal sizes so they cook evenly.
- You can easily add different mix-in ingredients, such as artichoke hearts, chopped cucumbers, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or other herbs.
- This salad will stay fresh in the fridge for up to three days. It’s great for meal prep!
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