I didn’t intend to eat green beans for dinner last night, but it happened. I’ve learned a new trick to cooking them that yields tender-but-not-waterlogged (and definitely not mushy) green beans. I tossed my perfectly cooked green beans in a lemony sauce with savory toasted almonds, creamy and salty feta, and fresh basil.
I couldn’t stop myself, not that I wanted to. Who am I? This is coming from a girl who used to refuse her grandmother’s home-grown green beans as a kid.
I got the inspiration for this recipe from Sarah’s Instagram account (I love her stories). She shared a few snaps of a green bean salad with feta, and it looked so summery and delicious. I should have just asked for her recipe, but instead I took the more difficult route and created my own version.
I borrowed the cooking technique from America’s Test Kitchen. Instead of simmering the green beans in water, you cook them in a skillet, covered with a small amount of water, then uncover, raise the heat, and cook until it has evaporated. You end up with green beans with a lot more flavor than the watery, simmered variety. Try it!
Watch How to Make Green Bean Salad
More Green Bean Recipes to Enjoy
A short list of must-make green bean dishes:
- Best Ever Green Beans (Green Beans Amandine)
- Perfect Roasted Green Beans
Green Bean Salad with Toasted Almonds & Feta
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
This green bean salad is the best! Perfectly cooked green beans are tossed in a lemony dressing with toasted almonds, feta and basil. Recipe yields 4 side servings.
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3” long pieces
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 small-to-medium clove garlic
- Several twists of freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 3 to 4 large basil leaves, torn or chopped, for garnish
- Lemon zest from about ½ lemon, for garnish
- Start with a large skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring frequently (careful, they burn quickly). After 3 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue stirring until they are fragrant and turning golden on the edges, about 1 to 3 more minutes. Transfer the almonds to a bowl to cool.
- Make sure the heat is set to medium-low and place the skillet back on the heat. Immediately add the green beans, water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are nearly tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid, raise heat to medium-high, and cook until the liquid evaporates, 2 to 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, black pepper, red pepper flakes and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- Once the green beans are done cooking, whisk the olive oil mixture once more, then pour it into the skillet. Pour the almonds back into the skillet, and add about half of the feta, reserving the other half for garnish. Toss to combine, then taste and add more lemon juice or black pepper if necessary.
- Transfer the green beans to a serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle the remaining feta and the torn basil leaves on top. Lightly grate some lemon zest on top, and serve promptly.
Green bean cooking technique adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Omit the feta cheese, and replace it with an equivalent amount of Kalamata olives (pitted and thinly sliced) and/or sun-dried tomatoes (the oil-packed variety, rinsed and drained).
Make it nut free: I haven’t tried, but I think this recipe would be good with toasted sunflower seeds instead of the almonds.
Tried this for a twist on green beans – what a great dish! Served it as a side for dinner for 4, no left overs! And making a large batch to serve at a friends gathering today – looking forward to rave reviews and request for your recipe! Thanks for lovin’ what you do
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Peggy! Thank you for your review.
This was a delicious recipe – so many yummy flavors. I will make this over and over again.
Wonderful, Karla! Thank you for your review.
This was fantastic for a Meatless Monday dinner! A definite addition to my rotation in green bean season. Loved the cooking technique as well. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Christi! I appreciate your review.
This is so delicious! I am really not a fan of green beans. This was the vegetable of choice tonite (I got to choose last night). Steamed green beans? Nope. So I searched for a green bean salad recipe and am so glad I did. This is the best green bean dish I have ever had. Five stars is not enough! Wow!
Hooray! I’m delighted it was a hit, Patricia.
Wow! Delicious! The only part of this that I don’t like is that I didn’t make more!!! We served this with grilled chicken and quinoa—the dressing, cheese, and almonds were super tasty with the quinoa.
I’m happy you loved it, Jessica! Thank you for your review.
I made it last night. I didn’t take any pictures unfortunately. It turned out exactly like your photos and it was devoured by my husband. I will make it again. It was delicious and easy to make. Thank you
I love that! Thank you for your review, Susan.
Hello, could you roast the green beans in the oven? Also would it be OK to serve this cold? Thank you so much
Hi Anna, you could try using my Perfect Roasted Green Beans and adapt it that way. Let me know what you think!
Love the flavors and textures in this dish, really easy, really healthy and really delicious!
Can I serve this at room temperature at a brunch? I’m hoping to cook it about an hour ahead of time.
I’m not sure about room temperature with the cheese. I would be mindful with anything that needs to be fully cooked or refrigeration.
This salad is so beautiful and delicious! This will be my go to green bean side dish every summer. Let me just put this substitution out there….I used fresh dill instead of basil and it was ah-mazing!
I’m glad you loved it, Mel! Thank you for your review.
Can you make ahead of time? Taking to a gathering later in day! Thanks
Hi, Sure you can make a head of time. Although, I do enjoy this right away.
Made Green Beans Amandine as a side to salmon for dinner last night. Adapting the leftovers to this salad recipe for lunch today. two yummy recipes out of one!
Thank you for sharing, Joan!
Perfect way to cook green beans! The recipe was excellent. Thank you!
This is one of my favorite dishes of yours and I would love to add it to my Friendsgiving table! Do you have any tips for making this 1 day ahead of time? I’ve tried before, and it didn’t do so hot just storing in the fridge with all the dressing and cheese already mixed in. Thanks for your help!
I don’t think this is the best make ahead option, sorry! I’m glad you love it though, Kristen.
Excited to make this dish! Is the garlic minced? I may have missed it but I don’t see that step. Happy thanksgiving!
Hi! Yes, minced or pressed. I hope you love it.
Hi, Is this meant to be served hot or cold? Thanks!
Hi Robin! I like to serve this warm. But, you can serve cold if you like. I hope you love it!
This is one of those recipes I always come back to – if you’re thinking about making it then do it! I was initially a bit dubious that a dish consisting predominantly of green beans could make a meal, but it does. It’s best in summer when the beans are in season but I just picked up a load on sale after Christmas and I’m certain that it’ll be almost as good thanks to the beautiful complementary flavours.
Great little recipe. The dressing goes with almost anything. I’ve used with loads of greens and added chickpeas before, or on broccolini and zucchini. Very versatile recipe to have up your sleeve when you want a high impact veg side with minimal effort.
Thank you very much for this tasty recipe. I want to give up on green beans but you change my mind with this simple and very good recipe
Great to hear, Maria!
DEEEELicious!!!! Perfect as written. One of my favorite veggie sides. This dressing would be so good on other veggies too.
Wonderful to hear, Jessica! Thank you for your review.
Absolutely divine. Would definitely recommend and will make again.
That’s great, Andrea!
This is delicious! Easy to make, well worth the minimal effort, and very pretty to look at. My one criticism is that the recipe scaler makes amusing errors: as the serving size grows, so do the recommended lengths of the bean pieces in the ingredient list! (A 3x recipe says to cut the beans to lengths 6 – 9″ LOL) However, in the directions I don’t think the scaler bothered to increase the quantities. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I think I’d have used too little salt for a double recipe.
Hi Nancy, Thank you for letting me know. I’m working through that, so I apologize for issues. Thank you for your feedback on the recipe!
The best green beans ever! The texture, the variety of FLAVORS are out of this world. And a plus==most of the ingredients I already had in the refrigerator and the pantry. The only things I had to buy were the beans and the feta. YUM.
I’m glad you love this recipe, Annette!
I have made this twice and left off the feta so that it was whole30 compliant-it was SO easy and so good! The last time I air fried the green beans and about half an onion, slivered, and it was even better-I like the slight blister of cooking them at high heat. I love cheese so I know it would be even better with the feta (next time!). Thanks for the yummy recipes, Kate.
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Naseem! I appreciate your review.
THE BEST!! So simple but so tasty!
Perfect dish for a BBQ.
I’ll be definitely making this again!! Thankyou!!
Thank you for sharing, Rachel! I’m happy you enjoyed it.
Loved the technique for cooking perfectly tender green beans! The finished dish looks beautiful and is very tasty. I will try this with a bit of balsamic added to the dressing next time. Thanks for the great, simple recipe!
You’re welcome, Dominique!
Really an outstanding recipe, especially green beans fresh from the garden. We’ve had it warm a couple times and really enjoyed it. When we had leftovers, they refrigerated nicely and taaged great the next day.
As a result, I’ve done this recipe ahead of time, refrigerated, and added the garnish just before serving. It’s been a hit every time.
Very tasty, thank you! I tried the version without feta but with sun dried tomatoes instead. Love it.
I’m glad you loved it, Gina!
I made these green beans for dinner last night (to go with C & K’s Roasted Veggie Pasta, btw, also a fantastic recipe I make pretty much every week) and they were amazing! I am a green bean fan from way back, but this recipe takes them to a new level! Simply superb! Thank you, Kate!
Sounds like a delicious combination, Amy! Thank you for your review.
So another GREAT recipe from Cookie & Kate!! Thanks for this delicious take on green beans!! I will need to make this on the repeat!! Appreciate you sharing all of your YUMMY ideas!! xoxo
We’ve made this several times and my sister asks for it every time we get fresh green beans (making it for dinner tonight). The lemon mustard dressing is so yummy and the cooking technique is perfect for tasty green beans. I’ll use it the next time I make Niçoise salad, too. Because the texture of the beans is just perfect.
Delicious! I made this for dinner tonight and though my dressing made it look messier than your photo, the flavor was everything I could have hoped for! Thanks, Kate!
Wonderful to hear, Pam! Thank you for you review.
Wow, so good. Cooking the beans in a skillet is better than steaming. Love the combination of crunchy almond, tangy lemon, and salty feta. I added more fresh basil and olive oil because you can’t go wrong with that.
Thank you for sharing, Ashleigh!
Made this tonight with a mix of green, yellow & purple beans from the farmers market. This recipe is delicious! Another winner Kate!
I don’t like beans, & my family doesn’t like anything that resembles goat cheese. But, we love this! So fresh, great bean cook technique. I mis en place as much as I can and cook and serve, but it’s still good as leftovers or same day if made earlier. Wonderful recipe!
Hooray! I’m glad you ended up enjoying this, Anne.
I was looking for another way to amp up plain ole green beans. These were delicious. Perfect complement to steak.
Yum! I made this recipe and added baby potatoes and heart of palm. I only needed 1/2 of the dressing. (Not sure how to add my pic here)
Googled green beans for inspiration to use up our excess beans and this was the first recipe to pop up, and it just so that we had all the ingredients. We also added some de-seeded and tomatoes we needed to use up. Oh my word, so delicious we polished them off. Definitelywill be our go to been recipein the future. Thank you.
Thank you so much for this recipe; we loved it! My husband has been put on a low FODMAP diet and green beans are one vegetable he is allowed to eat. I followed the recipe except needed to use garlic-infused olive oil because that’s the only garlic allowed in this diet. Also only had baby spinach on hand so I used that instead of basil. It was delicious served it over brown rice. Next time I may add kalamata olives just because we love them so much.
You’re welcome, Shirley! I appreciate your review.