Mexican Green Bean Salad

Make sure to use the freshest green beans you can find. Good green beans should feel firm and should snap in half, not bend, when you try to bend them.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Marinating time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 pound fresh green beans, strings removed, ends snapped off, cut in half into about 1 1/2 inch length pieces
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you can get it)
  • 3/4 cup packed, chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup canned, pickled jalapeño chili peppers, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese (salty Mexican cheese that resembles feta)
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced or cut into inch long pieces
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges, or a cup of halved cherry tomatoes


1 Simmer the green beans: Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and simmer until just crisp tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain the beans and run cold water over them to cool them quickly. Drain completely.

2 Marinate in dressing ingredients: Place beans in a large bowl. Gently mix in the the lime juice or vinegar, olive oil, 1/4 cup onion, sliced pickled jalapeños, sea salt, oregano and cilantro.

Let sit for half an hour.

3 Mix in red onion and cheese: When ready to serve, gently mix in the chopped red onion and cotija cheese.

Serve the avocado slices and tomato wedges on the side or mixed into the salad.

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  • Maura

    I made this last night and it was outstanding and just as delicious for breakfast and lunch today. I love green beans and this just makes me love them more.


  • Melissa

    Made this tonight. Delicious. I didn’t have enough lime juice so next time I will add more. I wish I could post a photo of how pretty it looked in my serving bowl.


  • Deb

    OMG!!! I am eating this for dinner and for the first time am happy the rest of my family doesn’t like green beans because that means it’s all for MEMEMEME! I left out the cheese and jalapenos and only used red onions. I will be making this often!


  • b*schus

    Just wanted to let you know what a huge hit these are for my husband and me. We’ve already made this twice (!) and we are not into repeats. Perfect summer side!


  • steveed

    Wonderful! Flavorful, healthy and light on the carbs. I’m doing this one this weekend…I wonder if it would be too much to add toasted pepitas?


    • Alex

      I’m probably late to the party but yes, warm crunchy pepitas sound amazing.

  • Dohapaisley

    Could you recommend another cheese to use instead of Cotija? Perhaps Halloumi or Feta? I live in Qatar and am pretty sure cotija cheese is NOT available here… Or would it be better to just leave the Cheese out? Thanks :)

    You can substitute the cotija with feta, or another salty, relatively dry, crumbly cheese. ~Elise

  • Mikutech

    I made this salad 2 times in 1 weeks time- 1 for a tex-mex BBQ and the other for my husbands work potluck. Both times the salad was devoured! A few alterations to the recipe:
    *Added an entire bunch of cilantro (YUM!)
    *Omitted the cheese (for my vegan friends)
    *I added 2 avacados, cubed, on top (with 1 entire lime juiced on them to stop the browning. Total limes used in the salad- 2)
    *Only used diced red onion
    Thank you for the recipe. It is amazing!

  • Dragon

    I made this salad on the weekend and it turned out great. I substituted fresh oregano for the dried, fresh jalapeno pepper for the canned and I used feta cheese (couldn’t find the mexican cheese). The cilantro and avocado really make this dish special. Thanks for the recipe!

  • lo

    A great big thanks for this idea. We like green beans around our house — but often get tired of the same old preparations. This is a great idea to have in our “arsenal” :)