Thanksgiving Green Bean Salad
Thanksgiving Green Bean Salad is loaded with good flavors with blue cheese, cranberries, and pecans, and this can be made ahead for the holiday table! See notes below for making a version that’s lower in carbs.
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There’s a lot to love about this Thanksgiving Green Bean Salad that has blue cheese, cranberries, and pecans. Not only is it holiday-worthy in the flavor department, but you can cook the beans and marinate them in the dressing, and toast the pecans, crumble the blue cheese and measure the cranberries all in advance, so when it’s time for Thanksgiving dinner all you need to do is toss the salad together. The salad is great at room temperature too, so you don’t even need much fridge space.
And I’m recommending this for a Thanksgiving salad partly because the dried cranberries are definitely a bit of a splurge if you’re watching your carbs. But this tasty salad would be great all through the holidays.
What ingredients do you need?
- green beans
- salt (for cooking water)
- dried cranberries or Reduced-Sugar Dried Cranberries (affiliate link)
- crumbled blue cheese
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link) or white wine vinegar
- Dijon mustard (affiliate link)
- extra-virgin Olive Oil (affiliate link)
How can you make this green bean salad lower in carbs?
You can easily omit cranberries if you want a lower-carb version of this tasty salad. Or use dried cranberries without added sugar (affiliate link) which will reduce the carbs in the finished salad.
Want more ideas for holiday salads?
Check out Ten Low-Carb Winter Salads for Holiday Dinners for other Thanksgiving-worthy salads you might enjoy!
How to make Thanksgiving Green Bean Salad:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Trim beans, cut into smallish pieces, and give them a wash in the salad spinner if they need it.
- Start a pan of water boiling, add a little salt, and cook the beans just until they’re barely done, about 4-5 minutes.
- While the beans cook, whisk together white balsamic vinegar, Dijon, olive oil, and some black pepper to make the dressing.
- When they’re done, dump the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with VERY COLD water. Let beans drain well.
- When the water has drained off, transfer the beans to a salad spinner and spin until they’re very dry. (You’ll be surprised how much more water comes off.)
- Then spread the beans out on a paper towel, cover with another towel, and blot dry, until they are as dry as you can get them. (Don’t skip this step!)
- Toss the dried beans with the dressing until all the beans are well-coated with dressing. (At this point you can let the beans marinate in the dressing on the counter until you’re ready to mix in the other ingredients.)
- When you’re ready to serve the salad, toast the pecans for a couple of minutes in a dry frying pan, then cool on a cutting board. Coarsely chop the pecans.
- Measure the dried cranberries and blue cheese.
- Then toss everything together, season with a little more fresh ground black pepper, and serve. Uh-May-Zing salad! Hope you enjoy.
More Holiday-Worthy Salads You Might Like:
- Hearts of Palm Salad with Avocado and Radicchio
- Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw
- Low-Carb German Potato Salad
- Artichoke Heart SaladRoasted Cauliflower Salad with Feta, Capers, and Red Pepper
- Arugula Salad with Feta
Thanksgiving Green Bean Salad
This tasty Thanksgiving Green Bean Salad has blue cheese, dried cranberries, and pecans adding amazing flavor. And this can be made ahead for a delicious addition to a holiday table!
- 1 lb. thin green beans, trimmed, washed and cut into short pieces
- 1/2 tsp. salt (for cooking water; the beans don’t absorb all this salt but it does add flavor)
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- fresh ground pepper to taste (for seasoning finished salad)
- 2 T white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 tsp. Dijon
- 3 T extra-virgin olive oil (use your best-tasting oil for this)
- fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- Fill a medium-sized pot with water, add the salt, and bring water to a boil while you trim the beans.
- Trim both ends of green beans. (I do this by grabbing a bunch loosely in my hand so the beans are standing up, then letting them fall down on to the cutting board so all the ends are lined up. Trim the ends and repeat with the other end.) Cut beans into short pieces, 1-2 inches long, and wash in salad spinner if needed.
- Add beans to the water when it comes to a boil and cook 4-5 minutes, or just until beans are barely done but still slightly crisp.
- Drain immediately into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with VERY COLD water. Let beans drain in the colander a few minutes, then gently spin in a salad spinner.
- Lay out a paper towel, spread out the beans, put another paper towel over the top, and blot dry, until the beans are as dry as you can get them.
- While beans cook, whisk together the vinegar, Dijon, olive oil, and pepper to make the dressing.
- When the beans are dry, put into a plastic bowl and toss with dressing. (At this point the beans can marinate on the counter for several hours until you’re ready to serve the salad.)
- When you’re ready to serve the salad, toast the pecans for about 2 minutes in a dry pan over high heat, shaking the pan the whole time so they don’t burn. Put pecans on a cutting board to cool; then coarsely chop.
- Measure the dried cranberries and crumble the blue cheese. Toss all ingredients together and season to taste with more fresh-ground black pepper.
I was pleasantly surprised that the salad was still quite delicious even after it had been in the fridge overnight, and the two times I’ve made this (so far!) I happily ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Recipe adapted from Haricots Verts Salad with Pecans and Blue Cheese at Fine Cooking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 426mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 20gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you skip the dried cranberries this should be a good salad for most low-carb diet plans. I doubled the amount of beans in proportion to other ingredients in this Thanksgiving Green Bean Salad to make a more carb-conscious salad, but even with that change, the dried cranberries and high-fat blue cheese still make this best for Phase 3 of the original South Beach Diet, or a “once-in-a-while treat” for phase 2, to eat on a special occasion like Thanksgiving.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more interesting ideas for salads. See Holiday Recipes for more Thanksgiving recipe ideas! Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2013. It was updated with more information in 2020 and again in 2021.
16 Comments on “Thanksgiving Green Bean Salad”
I made this for an outdoor Christmas party the day before the party with almonds instead of pecans and it was delightful, colorful and tasty. I’m excited to say the left overs were even better the next day. Next time I’ll know I can make it two days ahead! A Keeper!
So glad you enjoyed it, and great to hear it made well that far ahead too!
This looks delicious, and I finally found 0 added sugar cranberries at Trader Joe’s!
Yaay, hope you enjoy the salad!
Anna, I'm not 100% sure about the logistics of serving it warm, maybe just eliminate the step of cooling the beans with cold water, drain well, and toss the beans with the dressing right away. I think the flavors would be good warm though. Fun idea!
Could you serve this warm? Or would that be weird…
Thanks Dara! I am making it again for a dinner party on Monday.
This beats green bean casserole any day of the week! What a fantastic addition to a Thanksgiving feast.
White on Rice, loved cooking with you guys, so glad you liked it.
Joanne, I agree. There is some specialness with the blue cheese and the cranberries, but still a lot of healthy green beans!
I love having some health on the Thanksgiving table and this strikes the perfect balance between being good for you and being captivating!
Looks too good.. love it 🙂
Loved this recipe so much! I ate two big servings. It's so fresh and amazing! Thanks for cooking this for us. xoxo
Thanks Lydia, me too. I might have to make it for Thanksgiving, even though someone else is already making green beans!
I love everything about this salad!
Is this enough for 12 people if it’s just an additional side ? It’s saves 4-6 servings so do I need to double or for 12
For a meal with several side dishes doubling it would probably be enough. But if there are only 1-2 other sides I might make more than that.