Potato and Green Bean Salad with Olives and Feta Cheese is a lovely Greek-inspired twist on traditional potato salad. Buttery Yukon Gold potatoes, crisp-tender green beans, red onion, feta cheese and Kalamata olives and a lively vinaigrette deliver a side dish with bright, bold flavor!
“LOVED! We don’t do mayo, so this was the perfect combo of our fave German potato and Greek salads.“
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
I first published this Greek-inspired Potato and Green Bean Salad recipe in June 2017. Since then, it has been pinned almost 27,000 times!
Here, baby Yukon Gold potatoes, crisp young green beans, fresh oregano, Kalamata olives and feta cheese combine for a lovely Greek-inspired twist on traditional potato salad.
While I love a good mayo-based potato salad in the summertime with hard-cooked eggs and all like my Cool and Creamy Potato Salad, I also like to change up my potato salads.
We’re talking about a wonderful, fresh, crunchy potato green bean salad your guests are going to love and one you’ll be proud to serve all summer long!
The recipe for the dressing makes a lot. You may not need ALL of the dressing, so add it as desired and as needed. Some folks like a wetter salad and some folks don’t. The salad dressing in a salad is one of my favorite parts, so I don’t tend to go light. Toss it up however you please! If you have any left, drizzle it over fresh, crisp greens.
This Potato and Green Bean Salad is:
- Make ahead!
- Super tasty!
- A nice change from mayonnaise-based potato salads.
Let’s make it!
How to Make Potato and Green Bean Salad with Olives and Feta Cheese:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this potato and green bean salad recipe, along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
- Green Beans: Use smaller, more tender green beans. You’ll often see them labeled haricot verts. Otherwise, select about 8-10 ounces of smaller beans from the bulk bin at the grocery store. Thicker, older green beans are better for braising (for example, Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes).
- Yukon Gold Potatoes: I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes for this potato and green bean salad because of their buttery flavor and because they hold their shape when cooked. The pretty pale yellow color is a bonus! You can also use red potatoes. Starchy potatoes such as Russets tend to crumble and fall apart in salads.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Red wine vinegar is a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. It’s a popular option for preparing vinaigrettes because of its distinctively tangy flavor.
- Dijon Mustard: A good, high-quality Dijon mustard will always serve you well, especially in a vinaigrette. You can’t go wrong with Grey Poupon, which is widely available. Although Kraft Heinz now owns Grey Poupon, it has authentic roots because it originated in Dijon, France, in the 1800s. Maille is also good, but it’s higher priced.
- Lemon Juice: Fresh is always best!
- Oregano: Here, too, fresh is best! Dill would be another great option in this potato green bean salad.
- Olive Oil: Use a good-tasting extra virgin olive oil. It doesn’t need to be “top shelf,” just good tasting and not overpowering.
- Kalamata Olives: Kalamata olives are almond-shaped and have a deep purple-brown hue. These olives are found on the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece. Because pitted Kalamata olives are mechanically pitted, they may contain pit fragments, so be sure to check each one carefully.
- Feta Cheese: Purchased crumbled feta cheese will work in this salad. However, crumbling the feta yourself makes a better presentation because you won’t have so many small particles.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- COOK THE GREEN BEANS: Prepare an ice bath. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Drop the green beans into the boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bright green and “crisp-tender.”
- Drain and transfer to the ice bath to cool completely. Drain again.
- Blot dry on paper towels. Set aside.
- COOK THE POTATOES: Place the potatoes in a small pot with water to cover them. Add salt and bring to a boil.
- Cook the potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a paring knife, 12 to 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, oregano, cayenne (or black pepper) and salt to taste in a small bowl.
- Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the potatoes with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette, then let cool to room temperature.
- To the bowl with the cooled potatoes, add the green beans, thinly sliced red onion, olives and feta cheese. Gently toss them together.
- Add more dressing as desired.
- Garnish with lemon slices and chopped fresh parsley.
- That’s it! A lively and refreshing Greek-inspired twist on traditional potato salad!
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- Adding some of the vinaigrette to the warm potatoes does two things: Because the potatoes are most porous when warm, the vinaigrette flavors the potatoes, and it helps to cool them down.
- Over my years as a personal chef, I’ve tried numerous ways to speed up the process of trimming the stem ends from beans. Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way. However, it’s only the stem end that needs to be removed; the bottom tip is tender and perfectly fine to eat. Here are all the ways you can do it:
- Do them one by one and enjoy the zen of it.
- Line several up on a cutting board and cut the ends with a knife. I find it time-consuming to line up the beans, then grab the knife and cut, but it works.
- Grab two or three at a time in one hand and break the stem end off with the other hand.
- Grab two or three where you see stems together and snip them with kitchen shears.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Waxy potatoes such as Yukon Gold or red are considered the optimal choice for making potato salad. They maintain their shape, don’t require peeling and have a velvety texture.
Both waxy potatoes and all-purpose potatoes can be boiled either whole or cut, while starchy potatoes should only be boiled whole to minimize the amount of water they absorb. To cook any type of potato, place them in a pot, add enough cold water to cover them by an inch, sprinkle a generous pinch of salt, and turn the heat to high.
If serving later, toss potatoes with a small amount of the dressing and refrigerate until needed. You may wish to keep the beans separate as the acid in the dressing can cause the green beans to change color to a more olive color. Add remaining dressing just before serving.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
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Potato and Green Bean Salad
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- 8 ounces young green beans - or haricot verts, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes - cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 small red onion - thinly sliced vertically
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- Pinch Cayenne pepper - or freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
- 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese - (4 ounces)
- Lemon slices - for garnish
- Chopped fresh parsley - for garnish
- COOK THE GREEN BEANS: Prepare an ice bath. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Drop the green beans into the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes or until bright green and "crisp-tender." Drain and transfer to the ice bath to cool completely. Drain again. Blot dry on paper towels. Set aside.
- COOK THE POTATOES: Place potatoes in a small pot with water to cover them. Add salt and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a paring knife, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, oregano, cayenne (or black pepper) and salt to taste in a small bowl.
- Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the potatoes with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette and let cool to room temperature.
- To the bowl with the cooled potatoes, add the green beans, thinly sliced red onion, olives and feta cheese. Gently toss them together. Add more dressing as desired.
- Garnish with lemon slices and chopped fresh parsley.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.