Crisp green beans, creamy avocado, sweet grapes and savory blue cheese come together to create an elevated and delicious Cold Green Bean Salad that’s perfect for summer dinners and grill outs. 

Cold Green Bean Salad is the Perfect Summer Side Dish 

This salad brings together ingredients that are not normally paired with one another to create a one-of-a-kind salad that is absolutely perfect with burgers, grilled chicken, brats, fish, or grilled steak. Dressed with a punchy red wine vinaigrette made with whole-grain mustard and chives, this salad is versatile and features tons of flavors and textures.  

blanched green beans, grapes, avocado, chives, blue cheese, oil, mustard, vinegar, and lemon set out on the counter.

Ingredient Notes

Find the full recipe with ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below. 

  • Red wine vinegar: the base of the vinaigrette. You’ll need 2 tablespoons. 
  • Olive oil: use a good quality and flavorful extra-virgin olive oil. 
  • Lemon juice: most of the acid in the vinaigrette comes from red wine vinegar, but a bit of lemon juice adds a nice note of freshness. You’ll need just 1 tablespoon. If you don’t want to purchase a lemon just for this recipe, you can use an additional tablespoon of vinegar. 
  • Chives: a handful of fresh chives add some brightness to the salad. Parsley would also be delicious here. 
  • Whole-grain mustard: I love the pops of texture that whole grain mustard adds to the salad. Stone ground mustard is also delicious in this recipe, as is Dijon. If you opt for Dijon, use 1 ½ teaspoons instead of two.  
  • Honey: you’ll need just a dash of honey to balance out the vinaigrette. You can also use sugar or maple syrup. 
  • Green beans: haricot verts or regular green beans will work here. Whatever looks best at the market! 
  • Grapes: I like to use red grapes in this salad because they are sweet and add a bit of color. Green grapes will also work. 
  • Avocado: you’ll need just one avocado for this recipe. Cut into large chunks, it adds a lovely creaminess to the salad. 
  • Blue Cheese: a couple ounces of crumbled blue cheese adds punch of funk and savoriness. It really brings everything together. If you aren’t fond of blue cheese, you can use crumbed fresh goat cheese (chevre) or feta. 

How to Make a Great Green Bean Salad

  1. Blanch the Green Beans 
blanched green beans in a bowl of ice water.

When you think Cold Green Bean Salad, you likely think of raw green beans. But unless the green beans are very thinly sliced, I don’t want a pile of raw green beans on my plate. 

So blanching is the answer. It’s the perfect par-cooking method that removes the raw crispness for a more desirable tender-crisp texture. It also allows you the freedom to cook them as little or as much as you like.

If you prefer very soft green beans, cook them a bit longer. And if you just want to take the raw edge off, cook it less than recommended in my guide to blanching green beans

  1. Make the Vinaigrette
Red wine vinaigrette in a liquid measuring cup.

This vinaigrette is a great example of a go-to vinaigrette for me. It’s simple but contains all of the necessary components (in my opinion). In a large bowl—big enough to toss the salad—whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, chives, whole grain mustard and honey. Give it a taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. 

  1. Toss Salad Together
vinaigrette getting poured into a bowl with green beans and grapes.

Add the blanched green beans and grapes to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss to coat and season again with salt and pepper to taste. 

  1. Finish and Serve

Transfer the salad to a serving platter or bowl and top with the avocado and blue cheese. Serve immediately. 

Serving Suggestions to Make it a Meal

Cold green bean salad in a large serving bowl with green beans, grapes, avocado and blue cheese.

Got Extra Green Beans? Make These Recipes 

Roasted Green Beans with large shreds of Parm, a lovely white balsamic vinaigrette, toasted pine nuts and some fresh basil. 

Green Beans and Potatoes allows you to hit two side dishes with one. It features a hearty schmear or Greek yogurt, smashed potatoes, and dilly olives. 

Enjoy the flavors of green bean casserole in a Green Bean Casserole Salad. It’s loaded up with crisp croutons, fried shallots and golden brown mushrooms.  

Cold Green Bean Salad Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Category Side Dish
Cuisine Amercican

Description

Crisp green beans, creamy avocado, sweet grapes and savory blue cheese come together to create an elevated and delicious cold green bean salad perfect for summer dinners and grill outs.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, and bias-sliced
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain or stone ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • 1 large avocado, cubed
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) crumbled blue cheese

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl.
  • Heavily season water with kosher salt (at least a tablespoon). Drop 1 pound green beans into boiling water and cook until crisp-tender and vibrant in color, about 3 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon or spider, immediately transfer green beans to ice water bath and let cool completely.
  • Whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon chives, 2 teaspoons mustard, and 1 teaspoon honey for the vinaigrette; season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • Drain beans and dry well (either in salad spinner or with paper towels).
  • Toss green beans and 1 cup grapes with vinaigrette; season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a serving bowl or platter and top with 1 cubed avocado and 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese.

Notes

Storage: leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
Make Ahead: the green beans, grapes and vinaigrette can all be prepped a day ahead of time. Wait to toss the salad together and top with avocado and blue cheese until ready to serve. 
Lemon: most of the acid in the vinaigrette comes from red wine vinegar, but a bit of lemon juice adds a nice note of freshness. If you don’t want to purchase a lemon just for this recipe, you can use an additional tablespoon of vinegar. 
Mustard: I love the pops of texture that whole grain mustard adds to the salad. Stone ground mustard is also delicious in this recipe, as is Dijon. If you opt for Dijon, use 1 ½ teaspoons instead of two. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 recipeCalories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 4gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 458mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Cold green bean salad in a large serving bowl with green beans, grapes, avocado and blue cheese.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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