Austrian Green Bean Salad Recipe - Ingredients, Preparation and Tips

Austrian Green Bean Salad

Austrian Green Bean Salad Recipe - Ingredients, Preparation and Tips
Region / culture: Austria | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4


Austrian Green Bean Salad
Austrian Green Bean Salad

Austrian Green Bean Salad is a refreshing and flavorful dish that combines the crispness of green beans with the rich, savory notes of bacon and the tangy zest of a homemade vinaigrette. This salad is a perfect side dish for a variety of meals, offering a delightful contrast in textures and flavors that can complement both meat-based and vegetarian dishes. Its simplicity and elegance make it a favorite among both home cooks and professional chefs.


The Austrian Green Bean Salad, known in Austria as "Grüner Bohnensalat," has its roots in the traditional Austrian cuisine, which is known for its emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The recipe has evolved over time, incorporating influences from neighboring countries and adapting to changing tastes and dietary preferences. Originally, this salad might have been prepared with beans fresh from the garden, dressed simply with vinegar and oil. The addition of bacon and dillweed, as well as the use of canned beans for convenience, reflects a more modern interpretation of this classic dish.


How to prepare

  1. In a small skillet, cook the bacon until it is crisp and brown. Drain the bacon, crumble it, and place it in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the beans, 1 tsp of salt, onion, and dillweed to the bowl. Toss the ingredients gently to combine them.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk them until they are well-blended.
  4. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss it gently to coat all the ingredients.
  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for about 2 hours before serving.


  • For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon or replace it with smoked tofu or tempeh. You can also experiment with different herbs, such as parsley or mint, for a unique flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and texture in your Austrian Green Bean Salad, consider the following tips:

- Use fresh green beans if available, blanching them briefly in boiling water until they are crisp-tender before draining and cooling.

- For a more intense flavor, consider frying the onions lightly before adding them to the salad.

- Allow the salad to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible, to let the flavors meld together beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

This salad is best served chilled, making it a refreshing side dish for summer barbecues, picnics, or a complement to hearty winter meals. It pairs well with grilled meats, fish, or poultry, and can also be a delightful addition to a vegetarian buffet.

Cooking Techniques

Blanching fresh green beans preserves their color and crispness, while frying the bacon until crisp adds a crunchy texture to the salad. Whisking the dressing ingredients thoroughly ensures a smooth, emulsified vinaigrette.

Ingredient Substitutions

If fresh green beans are not available, frozen green beans can be used as a substitute. Apple cider vinegar can replace regular vinegar for a slightly sweeter taste, and honey can be used instead of sugar for a natural sweetener option.

Make Ahead Tips

This salad benefits from being made ahead of time, allowing the flavors to develop fully. It can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a beautiful glass bowl to showcase its vibrant colors, garnished with additional dillweed or fresh parsley. Crumbled bacon on top adds an extra touch of elegance and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Austrian Green Bean Salad pairs wonderfully with Austrian Schnitzel, roasted chicken, or grilled salmon. For a wine pairing, choose a crisp, dry white wine such as Grüner Veltliner or Riesling.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

This salad is best enjoyed cold and does not require reheating. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Austrian Green Bean Salad contains approximately 120 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie side dish that can fit into various dietary plans.


A serving of Austrian Green Bean Salad contains approximately 10 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this dish are the green beans and the sugar used in the dressing. Green beans are a good source of dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health.


This salad contains approximately 7 grams of fat per serving, most of which comes from the olive oil and bacon. Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated fat, known for its heart health benefits. Bacon, while adding flavor, contributes saturated fats, so it's best consumed in moderation.


Each serving of the salad provides about 3 grams of protein, coming mainly from the bacon. While not a high-protein dish on its own, it can complement protein-rich main courses effectively.

Vitamins and minerals

Green beans are an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as folate and manganese. The salad also provides small amounts of iron and calcium, contributing to a balanced diet.


This recipe contains no common allergens like nuts, dairy, or gluten. However, those with sensitivities to onions or nightshades should consume it with caution.


Overall, Austrian Green Bean Salad is a nutritious side dish that offers a good balance of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. It's relatively low in calories and can be a healthy addition to any meal.


Austrian Green Bean Salad is a versatile and nutritious side dish that brings a touch of Austrian cuisine to your table. With its combination of fresh flavors, ease of preparation, and health benefits, it's sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still picture the first time I came across this recipe for Austrian Green Bean Salad. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in the countryside of Austria. My mother had invited our neighbor, Frau Schmidt, over for dinner one evening. Frau Schmidt was a wonderful cook and she always brought the most delicious dishes to share with us.

On this particular evening, she arrived with a large bowl of green bean salad. It was the most vibrant shade of green I had ever seen, with flecks of red onion and bacon scattered throughout. The aroma that wafted from the bowl was enough to make my mouth water. I had never tasted anything like it before and I knew I had to have the recipe.

I eagerly asked Frau Schmidt how she had made the salad, and she smiled kindly and told me that it was a family recipe that had been passed down through generations. She then proceeded to write down the ingredients and instructions for me on a small piece of paper. I thanked her profusely and promised to make it for my family the following week.

When I returned home that evening, I immediately set to work in the kitchen. I carefully chopped the green beans, red onion, and bacon, just as Frau Schmidt had instructed. I boiled the beans until they were tender, then mixed them with the onion and bacon in a large bowl. The dressing was a simple blend of olive oil, white wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard, which I drizzled over the salad before tossing everything together.

The finished dish was a work of art. The flavors were perfectly balanced, with the smokiness of the bacon complementing the crispness of the green beans. My family devoured it in minutes, begging for seconds and thirds. I knew then that this recipe would become a staple in our household.

Over the years, I continued to make the Austrian Green Bean Salad for special occasions and gatherings. Each time, it received rave reviews and requests for the recipe. I was proud to share the story of how I had learned to make it from Frau Schmidt, who had since become a dear friend.

As I grew older, I began to experiment with variations of the salad, adding different herbs and spices to suit my taste. I found that a sprinkle of fresh dill or a squeeze of lemon juice gave the dish a refreshing twist. I even once substituted the bacon with crispy prosciutto, which added a whole new depth of flavor.

No matter how many times I made the Austrian Green Bean Salad, it always brought back memories of that first evening with Frau Schmidt. Her generosity in sharing her family recipe had sparked my love for cooking and inspired me to continue learning new dishes from different cultures and cuisines.

Now, as I pass the recipe down to my own grandchildren, I hope that they will also find joy in preparing and sharing this delicious salad with their loved ones. It is a reminder of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories. And for that, I am forever grateful to Frau Schmidt and her cherished family recipe.


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