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Best Green Bean Recipe

So this may not be the best green bean recipe, but it may be the best green bean salad recipe!

Topped with hickory smoked almonds, this is a great fresh green bean salad for the holiday or dinner table!

Fresh green beans are a great choice for a side dish.

I know a standard Thanksgiving dish is the common homemade green bean casserole.

It is a great dish but sometimes it is nice to simplify and make a perfect healthy side dish.

One of my favorite fresh green bean recipes is a simple green bean salad.

I know that salad is often lacking on a full Thanksgiving holiday table and though I love my maple kale salad, this green bean salad is one of the best green bean recipes I know of.

You could even top it with bacon, if you choose!

With just a handful of ingredients, this is an easy side dish to make.

Green Bean Salad

How To Make the Best Green Bean Recipe:

Begin by finding the most tender green beans you can.

The first step involves cooking them properly.

I like a green bean that is crisp tender, but if you like softer green beans add one minute longer to the cooking time.

Cook them in a large pot or a large skillet of boiling salted water for about 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Immediately stop the cooking process by running them under cool running water or putting them in a bowl of ice water.

As soon as they have cooled, let them dry on paper towels.

This makes for vibrant green beans!

Best Green Bean Recipe Salad

Make a quick vinaigrette by combining balsamic vinegar or even sherry vinegar with some maple syrup and Dijon mustard.

Whisk in some extra-virgin olive oil and lemon olive oil if you have it.

(I’ve mentioned this incredible stuff to you before and it is well worth the price. As a side note, it also makes great gifts!)

If you don’t have the lemon olive oil, whisk in 1 T of lemon juice and some lemon zest.

Add lots of fresh black pepper and salt. Always check for salt. Green beans can handle a lot!

Add in some red onion for color. I like to place the very thin slices in cold water for about 15 minutes because it takes the bite out of the onion before adding to the salad

When ready, toss the salad well and top with toasted almonds.

But really, the secret here is that you shouldn’t toss with just any almonds.

Toss them with hickory smoked almonds that you’ve chopped up a bit.

Yep, this is one of my favorite ways to create a flavorful side dish that works well with almost any main course.

This pretty green bean salad with a bit of crunch looks great on any dinner table.

Best Green Bean Recipe Salad

You could also garnish with some crispy fried onions if you miss your fresh green bean casserole!

A perfect side dish with almost anything!

To make this ahead, merely store the cooked green beans in the refrigerator and mix up the vinaigrette.

The next day toss it all together in a large bowl, along with the onions and almonds right before serving.

There is something about bright green beans that make them one of my favorite vegetables.

You can make green beans so many ways:

Nicoise salads!

Sauteed green beans with brown butter

Yes, the classic green bean casserole

Garlic Parmesan green beans

Roasted green beans or Blistered Green beans

Green beans Almondine

You can do a lot with green beans and even if you serve them just blanched with a bit of buttery garlic and a touch of red pepper flakes, you’ve got a winning green beans recipe!

Green Bean Salad

More Side Dishes:

Frozen Cranberries

Frozen Cranberry Salad

Brussels Sprouts Coleslaw

Brussels Sprout Coleslaw

Frozen Fruit Salad

Frozen Fruit Salad

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Best green bean recipe salad in white pottery bowl

Best Green Bean Salad Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Salads
  • Cuisine: American


This simple green bean salad with a lemon maple vinaigrette is tossed with red onions and topped with hickory smoked almonds. Fresh and delish!


Units Scale

1 pound fresh green beans, stem ends removed

1 1/2 T sherry or balsamic vinegar

1 T maple syrup

1/2 t Dijon mustard

1/2 t coarse or Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 T lemon olive oil or 1 T lemon juice and zest

1 small red onion, sliced thin into half rounds and soaked in cold water for 15 minutes, then drained

1/2 c smoked hockory almonds, rough chopped


Cook green beans in a large pot or skillet of boiling salted water until crisp tender. (I boiled mine for 4 minutes. If you prefer them softer, add an extra minute.)

Run under cold water or put in an ice bath. Drain and place on paper towels to dry.

Combine vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in oils. Add beans and onions and toss well. Top with almonds and serve!

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Jeff the Chef @ Make It Like a Man!

Sunday 13th of November 2022

I didn't grow up with green bean casserole on the Thanksgiving table, so it doesn't have that nostalgic vibe for me. But still, I've had it plenty of times and have always like it. Your version looks very interesting and try-worthy!


Monday 14th of November 2022

Well, it's not a casserole and it is healthier and of course, you could still put those fried onions on top! Thanks Jeff!

Linger A Little, Kristy

Saturday 12th of November 2022

I'm so excited about the green bean recipe for a Thanksgiving side. I've never been a fan of the green bean casserole, so your post is so great. Thanks so much Abbe for sharing.

Healthy World Cuisine

Friday 11th of November 2022

Refreshing Turkey day side compared to the usual baked green beans. So bright and can be made ahead. All winner ideas.