How to build a grilled green bean salad with ingredients you already have

Sometimes I don’t always see how ingredients can come together for a finished dish and, like everyone, I have my moments where I open the refrigerator and wonder what on earth there is to eat for dinner.

Of course, it helps to stay stocked with fresh produce, favorite condiments, and a small herb garden; that way, it’s fairly easy to whip something up that is tasty and exciting. Today’s grilled green bean salad is a perfect example.

Grilled Green Bean Salad on

I won’t be steaming vegetables again until autumn, not green beans, anyway. Tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and slightly charred on the grill is the best way to enjoy this summery green vegetable – and then there is always the option of turning them into a fine salad.

In today’s post I want to encourage you to cook on the fly, to build a dish based on what you have on hand. Sure you can pick up the exact ingredients for the salad above if you like (and you should, at least once, because it is amazing), but there’s no reason not to work with what you have in the fridge.

That’s what quick and simple summer eating is all about.

grilled green beans

This is where we start: grilled green beans, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, are the base of our salad and totally delicious on their own.

Would these make a simple side dish? You bet. Finish them with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange, and a dusting of freshly ground pepper. But we’re going to keep building this salad.

Green beans with tomatoes-1

For the first few ingredients to fill out the salad, I’ve quartered cherry tomatoes to add a bit of acidity and thinly sliced a shallot for a touch of heat, because that is what I had on my counter.

Other great additions could be:

  • segments of orange
  • grilled corn kernels
  • roasted cubed sweet potato
  • shaved fennel
  • oven roasted cherry tomatoes
  • slices of fresh peach
  • boiled egg, chopped or grated
  • grilled mushrooms
  • cubed watermelon

For a bit of heat, consider diced red onion, a very thinly sliced Thai chili, or green onion, also grilled if you like, and chopped.

Grilled green bean salad on

This is where a flavor punch come into the picture and rounds out the salad. I’ve added a spoonful of capers and a handful of bruised Thai basil leaves and finished everything with a little more olive oil.

To achieve a really memorable flavor combination consider any -but not all- of the following:

  • slivered pickled garlic
  • diced preserved lemons
  • chopped black olives, such a Kalamata, or a meaty green olive
  • a spoonful of pesto
  • cooked, crumbled bacon

For herbs: basil, oregano, thyme and parsley would all be vibrant and delicious. Don’t forget about tarragon and mint, but in smaller amounts as they are pretty potent.

Additional garnishes could be:

  • toasted, chopped almonds
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • Parmesan shavings
  • diced firm avocado

The decision is yours!

Now you have the perfect summer side dish to accompany grilled meats or seafood. It’s best served warm or at room temperature and transports very well for picnics or a barbecue with friends. Make one today!

Grilled Green Salad

A vegetable grilling basket is needed
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 75kcal
Author: Aimee


  • 1 lb green beans washed and trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1 Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • 2 Tablespoons Thai basil


  • Preheat grill to 400F. Toss green beans with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and place in a grill basket over the heat. Grill for five minutes, turning occasionally, until green beans are floppy and lightly charred in places.
  • Remove from grill and place in a salad serving bowl. Drizzle remaining olive oil, salt and the lemon juice over the top.
  • Quarter the cherry tomatoes and add them to the green beans. Peel and thinly slice the shallot and add to the salad as well. Add the capers.
  • Roughly chop the Thai basil and sprinkle over the salad. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning. Add a sprinkling of salt if needed. Serve warm.


Don't have a grill? You can roast your green beans in the oven and proceed with the recipe as usual. It is just as delicious.


Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 680IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

 More great grilled salads:

I must take a minute to thank you all for your keen and kind response to my cookbook announcement on Friday. Reading your comments, Tweets, and messages was so encouraging and confirmed that I am taking on the right project. I am completely moved and so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you.

Let me know what sort of grilled green bean salad you come up with.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

Subscribe For Free!

Like reading this post?
Get more delivered to your email inbox.


  1. Grilled green beans are so good! This was such a great post! I can’t wait to use some of the tips on our family Vacay this week!

  2. Great post! One of the hardest things for some folks to do in the kitchen is improvise. My best friend can’t change one thing in a recipe without panicking over whether it will screw it up or not. I love this! I am going to have to share it with her.

  3. Fabulous salad! Love the idea of grilled green beans!

  4. Oh Yum. I love the idea of grilled green beans and what a great base for a salad. These kinds of recipes excite me because it’s fairly simple to create something amazing without going and buying a whole new set of ingredients.

    I’ll definitely be trying this as soon as green beans show up in the markets!

  5. There is no way this can go wrong 🙂

  6. Aimée, this salad looks wonderful. We survived our first grill session of the summer, with my son making grilled shrimp tacos.

    Come to think of it, I need to figure out how to de-gunk the grill brush . . . .

    I’m actually looking forward to green beans in the farm share so I can try this.


  7. This looks so good! Our grill has actually not been working and now still tucked away from last winter’s snowstorms and we haven’t gotten it out. I am not good at cooking on the fly, but I do love simple summer dishes! I suppose I could do these beans in a pan?!

  8. Grilling definitely brings out the best of beans, in the flavor department of course 😀

  9. Looking forward to having this tonight, your posts make my day! Cannot wait until your book is released. I never followed blogs until I came across yours. 🙂 Thank you for your wonderful recipes!

  10. I adore that you’re grilling these beans!! I bet it’s so good and brings out a lot of delicious flavors.

  11. I think this needs to be dinner tonight!

  12. 5 stars
    I love grilled asparagus. I never tried grilled green beans. We’ll try it tonight. Thanks.

  13. I have a small city kitchen so no grill. But I always cook asparagus in a super hot cast iron pan for a grilled effect. I don’t know why I never thought of cooking green beans the same way. I can’t wait to try it! Thanks.

  14. I always enjoy grilling summer vegetables like this!

  15. So refreshing and so perfect for summer, Aimee.

  16. bestnya…

  17. Oh yum! This looks so delicious and simple 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    This is delicious! I googled what to cook with my green beans. Cooked them on the grill with some mushrooms and added to cherry tomatoes, shallots, Parsley with some feta. I love all of the suggestions here to use from the fridge and thanks for putting this together!

Speak Your Mind

Recipe Rating