Green Bean Salad

3.75

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This light and refreshing green bean salad combines fresh green beans, dried cranberries, toasted nuts and fried shallots all tossed in an apple cider vinegar dressing. It comes together quickly and is such a tasty side dish!

Looking for a super simple side dish this holiday season? I’ve got you covered with this green bean salad! It’s light and refreshing and comes together quickly!

An overhead photo looking down onto a serving dish containing green bean salad topped with fried shallots. A fork is resting next to the serving dish, as well as a blue linen dishcloth.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s light and refreshing and the perfect salad recipe all year round!
  • Comes together in no time at all.
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan as long as you use maple syrup as the natural sweetener.
Ingredients measured out to make a green bean salad: maple syrup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, dried cranberries, green beans, toasted nuts, olive oil, shallots, salt and pepper.

Here’s What You Need

  • fresh green beans – we’re using fresh green beans that are blanched as the base of this recipe.
  • toasted nuts – for some added texture! I used walnuts but pecans or almonds would also be delicious.
  • dried cranberries – add a hint of sweetness with dried cranberries. Try to use unsweetened or fruit sweetened dried cranberries if you can find them! Dates or dried cherries would also be delicious options.
  • shallots – shallots have a flavor profile that’s similar to garlic and onion combined. You’ll add minced raw shallot to the dressing and fried shallots as a topping, which adds a nice crunch.
  • apple cider vinegar – a key ingredient in the dressing – can’t have a salad dressing without oil and vinegar! I personally recommend Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. It’s organic, raw and the best of the best.
  • olive oil – since there are such minimal ingredients in this salad, I recommend using a high quality olive oil so the flavor really shines through.
  • maple syrup – just a hint of natural sweetener to balance the dressing. Honey also works but maple syrup keeps this salad vegan.
  • dijon mustard – adds a little zest to the dressing and also acts as an emulsifier.
  • sea salt and black pepper – to bring all of the flavors of this salad together.

Optional Add-ins

This salad is delicious as is but can also be taken in so many different directions! Here are some ideas:

  • Cheese – add crumbled feta or parmesan cheese.
  • Seeds and nuts – add additional seeds or nuts for added healthy fats and crunch!
  • Herbs – fresh herbs will add a bunch of flavor to this recipe. You could add basil, mint, parsley or cilantro!
Side by side photos of shallots in a frying pan with oil, and another photo of the crispy browned shallots draining on a paper-towel-lined plate.

How to Make Green Bean Salad

Toast nuts: The first step of this recipe is to toast the nuts. Add the nuts to a small baking sheet and place in an oven preheated to 350ºF. Let them toast for about 10 minutes. If you are using whole nuts, they will take more time to roast than chopped nuts. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

Blanch green beans: Next, you’ll blanch the green beans. This helps cook and tenderize the green beans without losing all of their texture. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the beans are tender but still have a slight crunch. Drain and add the beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Mix dressing: In a large bowl, mix the dressing. You’ll add the rest of the ingredients to this bowl so make sure it’s large enough! Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, minced shallots, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

Combine: Drain the green beans and add to the dressing mixture along with the nuts and dried cranberries. Toss to coat and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Fry shallots: While the salad is chilling, fry the shallots by slicing them into rings. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil and shallots. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes, watching to make sure they don’t burn. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 3-5 more minutes or until the shallots are golden and crispy. Transfer to a plate or pan lined with paper towels or a clean dishcloth to cool.

Serve: When you’re ready to serve, mix your salad again to make sure the dressing is evenly coated on all of the ingredients and top it with the fried shallots right before serving.

A glass mixing bowl containing blanched green beans, nuts and dried cranberries.

How to Serve Green Bean Salad

Like I mentioned earlier, this salad is delicious all year round! I would serve this at a summer potluck alongside burgers and potato salad or at a fancy holiday meal. Here’s what I would pair it with for Thanksgiving dinner:

An overhead photo looking down onto a serving dish containing green bean salad topped with fried shallots. A blue linen dish cloth is laying next to the serving dish.

How to Store Leftovers

This salad stores well for 2-3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The flavors do get better as they have time to marinate, but the fried shallots will soften over time. Before serving leftovers, make sure to stir up the salad as the dressing will settle to the bottom.

More Green Bean Recipes to Try

The Most Popular Salad Recipes

More Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Be sure to check out all of the side recipes as well as all of the Thanksgiving recipes here on EBF!

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3.75 from 28 votes

Green Bean Salad

This light and refreshing green bean salad combines fresh green beans, dried cranberries, toasted nuts and fried shallots all tossed in an apple cider vinegar dressing. It comes together quickly and is such a tasty side dish!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients  

Salad

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • cup toasted nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)
  • cup dried cranberries

Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Fried Shallots

  • ¼ cup olive oil, or avocado oil
  • 1 cup sliced shallots

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Add nuts to a small baking sheet and place in the heated oven for about 10 minutes to toast, until they are golden and fragrant. You can toast nuts whole and chop after toasting or toast chopped nuts. If your nuts are already chopped it will take less time for them to toast. This step is optional but recommended.
    Chopped walnuts on a sheet pan.
  • Blanch the green beans by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender, but still have a slight crunch. Drain and add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
    Blanched green beans in an ice water bath.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, minced shallots, dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper.
    A glass mixing bowl containing apple cider vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, minced shallots, dijon mustard, sea salt and pepper.
  • Add blanched green beans, nuts and dried cranberries into the bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
    A glass mixing bowl containing blanched green beans, nuts and dried cranberries.
  • While salad is chilling, make fried shallots by slicing shallots into thin rings with a knife or mandoline. Add shallots and oil to a frying pan. Turn heat to medium-high and saute shallots for about 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 3-5 more minutes or until shallots are golden and crispy. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly! Transfer the fried shallots to a plate or pan lined with paper towels or a clean dishcloth to soak up the extra oil. Let cool completely.
    Crispy fried shallots on a paper towel, releasing excess oil.
  • Once you’re ready to serve, mix your salad together (the dressing will go to the bottom after sitting) and top it with the fried shallots right before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of recipe | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 208mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: green bean salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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19 Comments

  1. Congrats on the new computer!! I have a mac and I haven’t found any good blogging software yet… any good suggestions??
    That salad looks amazing!

    1. I was using Ecto and just started using MarsEdit yesterday. I’m not sure which I like better yet.

  2. That looks like a delicious summer salad. Have fun at the beach! I am going to my first Squirrel’s game tonight…supposedly they have great fireworks so I’m pretty excited. Happy 4th!

  3. I made a green bean salad tonight too – YUM! 🙂 Mine was filled with roasted eggplant, onions, zucchini, asparagus, peppers, broccoli, spinach and of course green beans! Super yummy! Love veggies!

    1. Yay!! So happy to hear you enjoyed this green bean salad, Monique! Thanks for trying it out and coming back to leave a review 🙂

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