Lemony Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese

Brighten up your summer eats with this light and lemony green bean salad with goat cheese! This simple yet sophisticated side dish is quick, easy, and oh-so-refreshing—perfect for those sunny days and last-minute backyard get-togethers.

Green bean salad with goat cheese, lemon zest, pistachios, and fresh basil in a wooden salad bowl.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Summer Snap: There’s nothing like the crunchy, fresh snap of green beans when summer’s in full swing. This salad lets them shine, with vibrant, peak-season beans straight from the local farmers’ market.
  • Lemon Love: A generous amount of zest and a splash of juice bring this salad to life. The lemon really makes those green beans pop!
  • Ready in a Flash: Whether you need a quick lunch or an impressive side, this green bean salad is the perfect choice—easy to make and full of fresh, vibrant flavors.
  • Simple Sophistication: Few ingredients, big flavor—that’s what this salad is all about. Creamy goat cheese, fresh basil, and a handful of toasted nuts add just the right touch of indulgence.

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Green bean salad in a wooden bowl topped with goat cheese and pistachios.

Green Bean Go-To

Meet your new summer favorite—Lemony Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese. This isn’t just any green bean dish; it’s a vibrant mix of crisp beans, zesty lemon, toasted nuts, fresh basil, and creamy goat cheese that comes together in a snap.

Whether you’re throwing a backyard BBQ or need a quick, refreshing side that screams sunshine, this recipe is here to brighten your plate and your day. Get ready to fall in love with every tangy, crunchy bite!

Green beans in a wooden bowl topped with goat cheese and pistachios and with two serving spoons.

Looking for more easy salad ideas? Be sure to try our minty mango cucumber salad with avocado, our simple strawberry spring mix salad, our festive spinach gorgonzola salad with pear and pomegranate, and our Italian-style spinach and arugula salad with shaved parmesan.

Seasonal Produce Spotlight

Green beans, a versatile and beloved vegetable, go by several names such as French beans (haricot vert), string beans, and snap beans. Originating from South and Central America, these crunchy delights have made their way into gardens and kitchens around the world.

In the Pacific Northwest, green beans begin to make their seasonal debut in farmers’ markets and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes around June and July.

The mild climate of the region provides ideal growing conditions, allowing these beans to flourish and become a staple in summer dishes. Whether blanched, roasted, or tossed in a fresh salad, green beans bring a vibrant, crisp texture to any meal during these warmer months.

Key Recipe Ingredients

Key ingredients for green bean salad on a wooden cutting board.

Scroll down further to see the full recipe and ingredient list below.

Recipe Roadmap with Images


Steam the Beans

Boil a half-inch of salted water in a large skillet. Add green beans, cover, and steam until tender, about 3-5 minutes.


Cool the Beans

Prepare ice water in a large bowl. After steaming, immerse the beans until cool, then drain and dry.


Prepare the Dressing

Mix lemon juice, zest, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil.


Combine With Dressing

Toss the cooled beans in and combine with the dressing.


Serve and Enjoy

Place beans on a platter or bowl, topping with goat cheese, pistachios, basil, and extra lemon zest.

Recipe Video

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Lemony Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese

Brighten up your summer eats with this zesty Lemony Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese! Crisp green beans, a pop of lemon, and a sprinkle of goat cheese and toasted nuts come together in this simple yet sophisticated side dish. It’s quick, easy, and oh-so-refreshing—perfect for sunny days and last-minute backyard get-togethers.
By: AllieAllie Cleveland
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 135 kcal


  • 1 ½ pounds green beans cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus 1 teaspoon for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese crumbled
  • ¼ cup pistachios or almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped


  • Heat a half-inch of salted water in a large skillet until it boils. Add the green beans, cover the pan, and let them steam until tender and the water has evaporated, about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your beans.
  • While the beans cook, prepare a large bowl with ice water. Once the beans are done, plunge them into the ice water until cool, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  • In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is well blended and thickened. Add the cooled beans and toss to coat.
  • Transfer the dressed beans to a serving platter or bowl. Sprinkle with goat cheese, nuts, basil, and remaining lemon zest as desired.


Recipe Notes

  • Blanch Perfectly: Blanch the green beans just until they are brightly colored and still crisp. This locks in the flavor and color, making them perfect for the salad.
  • Ice Bath Shock: After blanching, immediately shock the beans in ice water. This stops the cooking process and preserves their vibrant green color and crisp texture.
  • Toast the Nuts: Toasting the nuts (pistachios or almonds) enhances their flavor and adds a delightful crunch. Toast them in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant and golden, but be careful not to burn them.
  • Quality Olive Oil: Use high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for the dressing. It makes a noticeable difference in flavor, especially in a simple dressing like this.
  • Herb Freshness: Use freshly chopped basil for the best flavor. If basil isn’t your favorite, consider other herbs like dill or parsley that also pair well with green beans.
  • Add Variety: Introduce other vegetables like thinly sliced radishes or red onion to add color and a bit of sharpness, which complements the creamy and nutty components beautifully.
  • Season Properly: Don’t forget to season the cooking water for the green beans with plenty of salt. It’s your first opportunity to add flavor to the beans.


Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.8g | Protein: 4.9g | Fat: 9.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.4g | Cholesterol: 4.4mg | Sodium: 61.3mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 5.2g

*Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Maplevine Kitchen makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword bbq side dishes, green bean side dish, summer salad, summer side dish
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can use frozen green beans. Just make sure to thaw and dry them thoroughly before using to avoid excess water in your salad. They won’t have that crisp texture that you get with fresh beans though.

If goat cheese isn’t your thing or you need an alternative, feta cheese is a great substitute due to its similar crumbly texture and tangy flavor. For a milder option, try mozzarella or a vegan cheese alternative.

Yes, you can prepare this salad ahead of time. For the best texture and freshness, keep the dressing separate and toss with the green beans just before serving. The prepped beans and dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Absolutely! If you’re allergic to nuts or just prefer to go nut-free, you can omit the nuts or replace them with seeds like sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a similar crunch.

The salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, it’s best when eaten fresh to enjoy the crisp texture of the beans and the freshness of the dressing.

Side view of green bean salad in an Acacia wood bowl.

What to Serve with this Salad

Pairing your Lemony Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese alongside some classic summer main dishes can bring out the best in both. Here are some versatile options:

  • Grilled Chicken: Opt for a simple marinated grilled chicken that complements the zesty flavors of the salad. Or try pairing with our recipe for Lavender Herb Butter Roasted Chicken.
  • Barbecue Ribs: The tanginess of the salad balances out the sweet and smoky flavors of the ribs.
  • Grilled Salmon: The richness of salmon grilled with just a touch of seasoning is a perfect match for the freshness of the green beans. Or try pairing it with our Pesto Butter Salmon or Basil Pesto Crusted Salmon recipes.
  • Mixed Grilled Vegetables: Serve a platter of assorted grilled vegetables for a colorful and healthy pairing.
  • Garlic Shrimp: Quick and easy garlic shrimp add a flavorful protein boost that pairs well with the citrusy salad.
  • Simple Pasta Dish: Toss pasta with olive oil, fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of Parmesan to keep it light and summery. Or how about serving it with our Creamy Rainbow Vegetable Pasta?
  • Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast: A lighter option like turkey, seasoned with fresh herbs, is ideal for a summer meal with this salad.

These dishes keep the flavors balanced and allow the vibrant taste of your Lemony Green Bean Salad to shine through.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a rating in the comments below and let us know how it turned out. Your feedback is important to us. Thank you for visiting Maplevine Kitchen!

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