Yellow Bean Salad Recipe

A summer yellow bean salad with a green chile-spiked, cilantro-flecked, and coconut milk dressing, toasted pepitas, and (if you want to make a meal of it) pan-fried tofu.

Yellow Bean Salad

I'm going to argue that this is a summer salad better overdressed than under. And, it's all about getting your hands on the best beans you can find. No joke, if all you can find are crap beans, make it with something better - great broccoli or even cauliflower. I go the extra mile here and slice yellow beans into bite-sized segments, but you can certainly stop at topping and tailing. The dressing is green chile-spiked, cilantro-flecked, and coconut milk-based. It's creamy yet vibrant, and the sort of dressing that works with the recipe at hand, as well as just about anything else you have coming out of the garden or off the grill (the recipe will leave you with a good amount of extra). When you're tired of simple summer vinaigrettes, give this dressing a go instead.

Yellow Bean Salad RecipeYellow Bean Salad RecipeYellow Bean Salad RecipeYellow Bean Salad Recipe

It's a personal preference, but I think this sort of creamy dressing goes best with ingredients that have a lot of structure and crunch - part of the reason I paired it with green beans here. Crunchy romaine or little gem lettuce might be another option. Celery would be tasty, or like I mention up above, broccoli or cauliflower. I'm sure you all could come up with other ideas I'd never think of. Anyway, its a favorite dressing. I even thin it out on occasion with a couple cups of simple broth, seasoning it to the point that it tastes good on its own. I bring it to a simmer, then make a quick one-pot soup with egg noodles and crunchy vegetables or tiny tofu cubes and crunchy vegetable. Easy for weeknights or those nights when I want something easy and good in no time at all.

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Yellow Bean Salad

I make this salad with yellow runner beans, but you can certainly make it with green beans! Also, if you tend to like a bit more heat, leave (all or some of) the veins and seeds in the chile pepper.

1 pound / 16 oz yellow runner beans

1 serrano chile, stemmed and seeded
5 green onions, green parts trimmed & reserved
a big handful of cilantro
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 cup coconut milk, well mixed

1- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

2 big handfuls / 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
1 1/2 cups tiny pan-fried tofu cubes, optional
basil flower garnish, optional

Cut the beans into 1-inch segments on a deep bias. Cook in a pot of well-salted water for just 30 seconds, drain, and run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain, and aggressively shake off as much water as possible. Set aside.

To make the dressing, pulse the chile, onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, and sunflower oil into a paste with a food processor. Pulse in the coconut milk in two additions, before adding the lemon juice to taste, a half tablespoon at a time.

Place the beans in a large bowl with most of the pepitas and tofu cubes (if you're using them). Toss well with a generous amount of the dressing (you'll have plenty of leftover), even so, as I mention up above, this is one of those salads that benefits from over-dressing versus under. Serve in a bowl or platter topped with the remaining pepitas and tofu, and basil flowers if you happen to have them.

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

Coconut milk in salad dressing--what a great idea! I used a mix of green and yellow beans, and reduced-fat coconut milk. I also marinated some tofu in a little lime and soy, sauteed it and added it in. It was a lovely dinner and pretty to boot.

tinarina

Yum! This salad looks absolutely incredible! I would love to make something like this myself. The serrano chile is the perfect addition to it as well. I'm sure that it adds such good flavor and spice. This is a recipe I will be keeping with me! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Daniel Meloy

I made this tonight and it was seriously delicious!! I loved the spice from the serrano chile.

Stephanie

Just made this and it was delish. I used three cloves of garlic and added a dash of soy sauce, plus steamed cauliflower. Thanks for another hit, I so appreciate having your veg-full recipes!

katie

Hey Heidi! This looks delicious and I'd love to try but do you have any tips or a good technique for frying tofu cubes? I've tried it a million times and nearly every time, even after flouring, the tofu comes out stuck to the pan and without a nice crisp crust. I'd love to master the tofu part to complete this gorgeous salad!

Jamie

Made this for the 2nd time last night, and use the leftover dressing on a seitan and corn this morning. I'm tempted to make that dressing by the gallon so I always have some on hand. Thanks for another winner, Heidi!

dolly

Lovely, and I suspect delicious too. I've added it to the list of things to make this weekend as I've got a bunch of yellow beans in my fridge from my CSA box.

Alison | a girl defloured

I made it and took it to a potluck. Got approached by 6 or 7 people for the recipe. I am generally not a cilantro fan, but LOVE this dressing -- definitely making it again. Thank you, this is a treat!

Bella

HI there! I'm dying to try this but my husband really dislikes coconut milk. Any chance of substituting it for something else? Would soy milk or regular milk work?

Trini

I made the recipe tonight with a mix of yellow and green beans--wonderful!

Jean

Super yummy sauce - but mine too did not have the consistency spoken of. I'm thinking I didn't add sufficient qty of 'white' green onion... But am open to advice! Little on the liquidy side...

Laura

Liz - Mine was watery too, not as 'dressing'-y as I'd expected. I'm thinking my 'white' green onion volume wasn't up where it should have been... 'Cause the color was too green as well... But still yummy!

Laura

I made this tonight! I thought the flavor was amazing, but, my sauce was super watery. Did I do something wrong?

Liz

I'm eating my leftovers of this right now with Sriracha. It's really good spiced up too!

Sarah

Perfect timing - I'm just now getting tired of the traditional summery vinaigrettes and this looks amazing and refreshing! Also, did a double take when I saw that oval platter with the yellow flowers - I inherited one just like it from my grandmother. Of course, until now it hadn't crossed my mind that they would have dared to make more than one ;)

Amanda A.

Just took another peek at your photos and noticed the label on your jar of dressing. Can I ask what you used? I've got too many unlabeled jars in the fridge to count and my memory is no help when I need to identify them. I'd love to have something easy to use that comes off the jar when it's empty!

HS: Hi Kristine - it's actually a jar I keep reusing, I think it was a peanut brittle label :)

Kristine

I used the leftover dressing on cabbage for spicy slaw....absolutely fabulous! Oh, and I didn't chop anything, just stuffed it in the blender and whirled away....

Diane Lindsay

LOVE. This dressing is going on every single thing I eat until it's gone. I imagine it'd also be great tossed with some quinoa, black beans, and some misc. vegetables. Perhaps peppers, red onion, roasted corn.. Mmm.

Jamie

LOVE. This dressing is going on every single thing I eat until it's gone. I imagine it'd also be great tossed with some quinoa, black beans, and some misc. vegetables. Perhaps peppers, red onion, roasted corn.. Mmm.

Jamie

So delicious! Love the dressing. But, I have to ask: 10 minute prep time??! Seriously??? If this took everyone else 10 minutes there is something very wrong with my chopping skills! ;) Thanks for another awesome creation, Heidi!

Molly

Thanks for another homerun recipe. I made the salad with green beans from our CSA while my husband threw together the tasty dressing. We can always count on you for a delicious dinner.

Kristine

Heidi - how long will the dressing last? It does make quite a bit. It's awesome, by the way. Just wondering if I can use the last of it tonight or if I'm pushing it (made it the day you published it).

HS - Hi Gretchen, I hate to say it, but you might be pushing it.

Gretchen

Made this this morning, and had never used a serrano chile before (believe it or not), I was pretty unprepared for how zippy it makes it, and I have been dealing with the stinging after effects on my hands (and face) all day. Eek eek. Well, now I know.

Katie

Oh Heidi, this dressing is so good! I liked it on the blanched beans, but LOVED it on cabbage as a slaw dressing. Also, made the Sweet Panzanella from Super Natural Every Day with great success. One of those 'more-ish' things it's hard to stop eating. I didn't find a whole wheat loaf with nuts, but used a whole grain bread with millet and poppy seeds that had a lot of good texture. What a terrific cookbook!

Becki

Really yummy dressing!

elizabeth

So much light and happiness in these pictures.

Kristen @ RMK life

I love all of your recipes but had to write in about this one. Outrageously delicious! So many flavors and wonderful contrasts in each bite. Thanks, Heidi!

Jen Jones

Fresh and delicious. It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Jesse DeLuca

Wow! This looks amazing! I especially love the coconut milk based dressing, and love that you also added tofu. Look forward to trying this one out! Thanks :)

Rachel Rose

I'm not sure what I did exactly but my dressing came out terrible. It is really bitter before adding the lemon juice and the lemon juice didn't really help. What could it be???

HS: Really sorry to hear that Monica! As I'm looking at the ingredient list for the dressing, I'm thinking that maybe your cilantro could have been bitter? Not sure if it would have been salvageable with a drizzle of honey, but that's like how I might have tried to counter balance. Also, I can imagine if you reached for parsley instead of cilantro (which I know is a longshot) that could've certainly changed things. The coconut milk tends to take things to the sweet side - definitely stumped by the bitter.

Monica

Hey Heidi, wonderful recipe as always and your photography stunning and vibrant. I'f you don't mind me asking, are you using any new camera's or lenses as of late?

HS: Hi George! I'm definitely overdue for a post related to cameras/photography. For the past couple of years I've found myself ditching the big dSLR in favor of a tiny Sony Nex point and shoot. I borrowed it from Wayne around the house one day, and sort of never put it down. I still shoot a good amount of film - but for the site it's coming off the little Sony lately.

George

seriously. yum! i admittedly just progressed from tasting the dressing to desperately grabbing lettuce to transport the dressing into my mouth. i've been in need of a dressing to lively up my market salads, and this might just be it! thanks!

katie-anne

Made this yesterday with a combination of green beans, corn, and red pepper (what I had on hand). I loved the creamy dressing with the crunchy vegetables, but I think my choice of corn and red pepper ended up a little too sweet with the coconut milk based dressing. It needed a little more pop somehow. Next time, if I use sweet vegetables, I think I might try lime juice instead of lemon to give it a little more punch.

mary

I am running out of ideas for the beans in my CSA box (have had them non-stop for 6 weeks now). So glad to find this recipe. Will have to try it today! :)

Puja @ Indiaphile.info

Last week before school started, I kept missing the farmer's market where I planned on picking up the beans. Then, I thought I'd find yellow beans in my neighborhood greengrocer--but no. So I had to settle for the bags of green and yellow mixed beans from TJoes, and not happily. The results were still delicious. What an amazing dressing. A guest who does not like spicy foods said that he thought it was great. I also cooked my beans till they were not so crunchy--maybe 2-3 minutes (I kept tasting them till I got them the way I like). I'd love to read your comments on even more ways to use this dressing.

Amy

I made this last night - I thought it would be special, but didn't know quite how special. And - shock horror - I made it with supermarket green beans (I couldn't wait until the weekend to get to a market)! This dressing will be used time and time again, thanks Heidi!

Georgia

Looks really good. Never really know what to do with yellow beans when I get them in my CSA box.

Fork and Whisk

The dressing is so amazing... I kept sneaking little sips of it during the salad prep. I made this with green beans and there is no way that 30 seconds was going to be enough so I left them in for about 90 seconds. Got everything all together including the tofu and the too firm beans ruined it! So disappointed that it was sitting in my fridge for the past two days. Came home ravenous from a run today and dug this out in desperation. The beans have softened up nicely and the flavors really melded. Added some fresh sea salt and it is dee-lish!

sheiny68

This looks delicious, and so unique. I never know what to do with yellow beans. Now I do!

Alanna

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