Shhhh, our Yellow Bean Salad has an alias 😮 it is also known as Wax Bean Salad. Regardless it is lip-smacking sensational and a lifesaver when it comes to feeding a crowd!
This bean salad recipe is brimming with delicious yellow and green beans, fresh mint, and pine nuts; all smothered in a tangy mustard dressing.
This is a favourite side dish at parties, barbecues, or family dinners and perfect for entertaining as everything can be prepared in advance and then tossed together on the day of serving (detailed make-ahead tips below).
Had something else in mind? Why not try our Ultimate Green Bean and Hazelnut Salad for sweet, crunchy flavour or if you are looking for a main meal bean salad, try our Grilled Tuna Salad with Flat Beans instead.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Green & Yellow Beans - we used both in this recipe for the colour contrast. Don't panic if you can only find green beans though, this salad will be just as tasty no matter what type of bean that you throw into it. You can try purple, snake, flat or even tinned beans such as butter beans or red kidney beans are great to use as a substitute.
- Pine nuts - added for some crunch and earthiness, try cashews, walnuts, almonds or pistachios as an alternative. Or if you want to keep it nut-free add your favourite seeds such as pepitas, sunflower or linseeds.
- Fresh Mint - added here for its cooling, sweet aroma, try some fresh basil or dill instead.
- American Mustard Dressing - this is what well and truly makes this salad sensational! It is an easy dressing that can be made a couple of days in advance if you are in a hurry. If you absolutely HAVE TO use a store-bought dressing then try a honey mustard variety.
Consider Adding - some crumbled feta; hey, I'm Greek; everything tastes better with feta, right? No, seriously, the feta adds some tangy creaminess which works really well with the blanched beans and mustardy dressing.
How To Make It
STEP 1 - Prepare Your Green Beans
Place two large pots of water on the stove (one for the green and one for the yellow beans). Allow them to come to a roiling boil, this is when the bubbles are boiling over each other.
If you are not using a stringless variety, destring your green beans. Yellow beans are bred to be stringless so there is no need to remove the strings.
Wash your beans in a colander under cold running water and strain well.
Take a handful of beans to prepare at once, no need to do this one bean at a time just line them up and trim off the ends.
Pick up the handful give them a tap to align the opposite ends.
Now trim the opposite ends.
For this recipe we need small batons so we are going to cut the beans in half, or in thirds if they are ginormous.
Step 2 - Blanch Your Beans
By this stage your water should have well and truly come to the boil, drop your green beans in one pot and your yellow beans in another, we are going to cook them until tender.
The green beans should take approximately five minutes and up to ten minutes depending on how young your beans are. The younger and more tender the faster they cook.
Yellow beans are much more tender than green beans, so you need to be careful you don't turn them into mush - they cook quickly!
Drop your yellow beans into the pot with boiling water and cook for approximately three minutes or until tender but still firm. Keep an eye out as they cook quickly remember.
I have to confess that as I was making this salad for Mum and Dad, I cooked the beans a bit longer than I usually do as they like them a bit softer than I do.
Once done to your liking, drain and refresh your cooked beans in the sink under cold running water.
Step 3 - Assemble Your Yellow Bean Salad
Add the dressing ingredients to a glass jar.
Season with some sea salt and cracked black pepper then shake well until emulsified (well combined).
Wash and dry mint and strip the leaves from stems.
Place all the cooked beans, pine nuts, and mint in a large mixing bowl, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Season your salad and pour over the dressing.
Mix well to combine, make sure all those beans are covered with the mustard dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your liking.
Arrange in a salad bowl, serve and enjoy!
Tips & Questions
What's the Difference Between Yellow and Green Beans?
Apart from the obvious colour difference, as they have been bred not to have any of the chlorophyll that green beans do.
They are also sweeter and much more tender than green beans, require less cooking time and are more delicate and need careful handling, so they don't brown.
Yellow beans, yellow snap beans and wax beans are all one and the same. The great thing about them is that they don't lose their sunny yellow colourful hue after cooking, unlike green beans.
How Can I Store Yellow Bean Salad?
Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge, and it should keep for at least three days; however, the mint will discolour.
What Else Can I Do With the Leftovers?
Another salad that I love to bulk up the next day by adding a tin of tuna or salmon for a simple light lunch.
Or make some delicious toasted melts with smoked ham/chicken and tasty cheese.
You can prepare most of the ingredients for this salad a couple of days in advance and simply toss everything together on the day of serving.
- On or two days before...
- you can wash and trim your beans
- blanch them to your liking, drain and refresh them under cold running water
- pat the beans dry and keep them in a covered container in the fridge
- make up the dressing and keep it in a sealed glass container in the fridge
- On the day....
- wash, dry and strip the leaves from your mint
- place the beans, pine nuts and mint leaves in a mixing bowl, season and pour over the dressing.
- mix well to combine then serve
- 350 grams yellow beans (approximately 12.35 oz)
- 350 grams green beans (approximately 12.35 oz)
- ¼ cup mint leaves (fresh)
- ¼ cup pine nuts (roasted)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsps Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tbsps American mustard (also known as yellow mustard)
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- Wash and trim beans, cut them in half. Bring two pots of water to the boil and then add the green beans in one and the yellow beans in the other pot.
- Boil them until they are tender approximately 5-10 minutes for the green or 3-5 minutes for the yellow, they should be tender yet firm.*
- Refresh in the sink under cold running water.
- Add dressing ingredients to a glass jar, season and shake well until emulsified.
- Wash and dry mint and strip the leaves from stems.
- Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Pour over the dressing and mix well to combine, taste and adjust seasonings according to your liking.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve.
- Though admittedly as I was making this salad for Mum and Dad I cooked the beans a bit longer as than I usually do as they like them a bit soft.