This Lemon Green Bean Salad is a delicious side dish. It’s perfect for any occasion, but I always love serving it for Thanksgiving. The green beans are cooked until crisp tender, and then tossed with an easy and delicious lemon vinaigrette. To finish it, top with toasted and lemon zest. It is SO delicious!
Continuing my holiday side dish recipe series! Today, I’m sharing this delicious, easy, and healthy lemon green bean salad!
I’m always looking to serve healthy and fresh side dishes to add a healthy touch to Thanksgiving dinners. This one is just perfect!
This easy green bean salad is so fresh and bright. Plus, it takes less than 20 minutes to make. And obviously, no oven needed! Literally, my biggest struggle when making Thanksgiving dinner is figuring out when to bake what because there isn’t space for everything in the oven…not to mention different cooking temperatures per dish.
That’s why I love serving easy and simple salads. You will absolutely love this lemon green bean salad. It’s flavorful, crunchy, and so fresh!
Easy and Healthy Ingredients
Just a short ingredient list for this recipe. This makes it very convenient when you’re juggling other dishes during the holidays.
Plus, many of these ingredients can be prepared ahead of time. It’s truly a time saver, and I promise, everyone will keep coming back for more. It’s that delicious!
Per usual, the specific quantities are in the recipe card all the way below, but here is a quick overview just to give you an idea:
- Green beans: Trimmed. You can also use haricot verts, which are longer and thinner. Whatever you can find!
- Olive oil: For the dressing. Use good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Fresh lemon juice: For the dressing. Always best freshly squeezed!
- Honey: To add a tad bit of sweetness to the dressing.
- Lemon zest: To brighten up the green bean salad!
- Toasted sliced almonds: For crunch and flavor.
- Salt and pepper: To taste.
One quick tip – don’t buy green beans that look old or have lots of dark spots. Pick bright green ones for maximum freshness.
Let’s Make It
Making this lemon green bean salad takes less than 20 minutes. Seriously!
Quick and delicious recipes are the best, especially when cooking many other things at the same time. Plus, you can prepare several ingredients ahead of time. Prep-ahead tips always save the day!
Here’s an overview of the steps needed to make this recipe. Per usual, specific instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Make the dressing: Simply combine lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper until very well-combined (this can be made ahead, store dressing in the fridge).
- Toast the sliced almonds: Toast them on a skillet over medium high heat, tossing to get all sides.
- Cook the green beans: About 5 minutes in a consistent low boil, or until desired level of doneness. I like mine super crunchy, so 3-4 minutes are fine for me.
- Rinse and run cold water over them: Running them through cold water will stop the cooking process and keep them bright green and crunchy.
- Toss and serve! Toss with the dressing, and serve with toasted almonds and lemon zest.
Variations and Customizations
My favorite way of serving this green bean salad is with a simple lemon dressing, toasted almonds, and lemon zest. Simple is best here!
If you want to, though, add other ingredients to your liking. This lemon green bean salad is a very versatile dish. Here are a few ideas that I love:
- Feta cheese
- Cherry tomatoes
- Minced garlic
- Caramelized onions
If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear! Feel free to comment below!
I just love healthy and easy side dishes. Trust me, every Thanksgiving table needs some fresh and simple sides, and this lemon green bean salad is just perfect.
It’s got crunch, brightness, and so much flavor. It takes less than 20 minutes to make, and can even be prepped ahead of time. You will love it.
I hope Thanksgiving menu planning is going well for you all. Happy cooking!
More no-bake holiday side dishes:
Tips for Success
- Prep ahead: Trim the green beans in advance. The dressing can also be made the day before and refrigerated.
- Cook the green beans to your liking: Test the doneness of the green beans after 3-4 minutes. Then continue testing until it’s cooked to your liking. I like mine on the crunchier side, so I cook them for only 3-4 minutes, usually.
Lemon Green Bean Salad
- 1.5 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon honey (plus more to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon zest to taste
- Make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, honey, salt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust ingredients to taste, if needed. Set aside.
- Toast the almonds: On a skillet over medium high heat, toast the sliced almonds for 3 minutes until fragrant. Toss occasionally to make sure all sides get toasted. Set aside.
- Cook the green beans: In a pot large enough to fit the green beans, bring water to a boil (enough to cover the green beans). Add the green beans and cook on a low boil for 4 to 6 minutes, or until tender but crisp. Test a few until they cooked to your liking. Drain over a large colander and quickly run cold water over it, tossing. This will quickly stop the cooking process and keep them bright green.
- Pat dry the beans and transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with the prepared lemon dressing. Top with the toasted almonds and some lemon zest to taste. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Special equipment: zester.
- Prep ahead: trim the green beans in advance. You can also make the dressing in advance (store in the fridge).
- Storing: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.