Green Bean and Whole-grain Penne Salad

Photo: Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Becker

This salad is all about contrasts in flavor and texture: chewy, nutty pasta mingled with crisp, sweet green beans and strewn with bits of crunchy bacon and creamy Roquefort.

Yield: Makes 16 side-dish servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 40 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 214
  • Calories from fat: 42%
  • Protein: 7.9g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 3.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 24g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Sodium: 363mg
  • Cholesterol: 15mg


  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, stems trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-in. lengths
  • 16 ounces whole-grain penne, rotini, rotelle, or fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • About 1/3 lb. Roquefort cheese
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and finely chopped chives
  • 5 crisply cooked thick slices bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt


  1. 1. Bring 2 large pots of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice and cold water. In one pot, boil green beans 3 minutes; drain and plunge in ice water to stop cooking. In the other, cook pasta until tender to the bite, 9 to 12 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water until completely cool (see Notes).
  2. 2. In a food processor, pulse mayonnaise, Roquefort, and vinegar until well combined but still slightly chunky.
  3. 3. In a large bowl, toss together pasta, green beans, Roquefort dressing, parsley, chives, bacon, and pepper until pasta is well coated. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1-cup serving.

Ingredients can be prepped and pasta cooked a day ahead of time and chilled (add 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil to the cooked pasta). Toss everything together just before serving. The dressing can be made ahead too; if it thickens, thin it with a little more vinegar or even milk.

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