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.

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

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!

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


Ooh, I like the idea of using coconut milk in salad dressing. And that serving plate for the salad is so pretty!


This week at the farmer's market the beens had finally arrived and there were barrels of yellow, green, and purple varieties. I greedily filled my basket and now I've got a fun recipe to try, thanks to you!

la domestique

I love the yellow-green color of this salad and how the light is hitting it. Goal this Saturday....find non-crap beans at the market and make this salad!


This salad looks so good! I love salads like this, they're a change from lettuce based salads.


Coconut milk makes everything good! Some day if I win the lottery I think I will fill the bath tub with coconut milk- it seems like it would be great for the skin. Oh- is that weird? Anyways, your salad sounds delightful. Thanks!

Dawn @cuter than gluten

What a positively lovely recipe. The lightness - visual as well as the texture - is simply perfect. Can't wait to try it.


How wonderful! I've never considered using coconut milk as a dressing, but I love the idea. Thanks for sharing.


This salad is so unique and pretty! Love this idea!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Ohmygoodness! You had me at coconut milk. and then basil flowers? Perfection!

Marie Panesko

Love how simple and lovely this looks!

Belinda @zomppa

Yum! This salad looks so incredibly refreshing. I would love to add a dash of curry to this as well.

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

I really like idea of making the dress with coconut milk, the texture of it mixes really well with the structure of ingredients such as beans and tofu! Can't wait to give this a try.

Mike @TheIronYou

I plan to have a glut of beans on my hands soon (yes, my Seattle garden's always a bit behind schedule). Thanks for this delicious idea for eating them up!


This salad looks soo good, I cant wait to try it. Would the dressing work with another herb like basil or parsley? :)thanks

HS: Absolutely - you can totally experiment with different herbs....basil, chives...

Natasha @ s'morish

Mmmm, coconut milk based dressing sounds absolutely fab, and I just so happen to have half a can of organic coconut milk left over from last night's dinner. I saw some pretty amazing looking beans at the farmer's market this weekend as well. Thanks for yet another amazing recipe!


I love the ingredients of this salad, but I love the dressing idea even more! Never thought to use coconut milk as the base of a dressing - sounds amazing!

Anjali @ The Picky Eater

Another beautiful salad and the light in your kitchen is amazing. I like the idea of coconut milk for the base of a dressing. I need to learn to be more adventurous with my salad dressings. :)


coconut milk in a dressing is interesting. You're totally right with finding good produce. You've just got to get the best produce for a salad as that's what it's all about. Good salads should hardly need anything really apart from the veg, brought out by a light dressing.

adam and Theresa

I agree that all salads, not just summer, are better over rather than under-dressed! This looks great. And a coconut milk-based dressing. Delish!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

This salad looks fabulous! I've made your spicy lemon coconut sauce before (which this looks very similar to) and absolutely LOVED it. Seriously I had to stop myself from eating the whole batch with a spoon. I never would have thought to use it on fresh beans though!


Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.