This satisfying Layered Vegetable Salad makes a great take-along dish to potlucks because it’s compact and easy to serve—plus the vegetables stay fresh and crisp packed in their layers. Thin ribbons of yellow squash, zucchini, and carrots are layered with white beans, lettuce, shallots, and balsamic dressing, then chilled to let the flavors develop. The salad is finished with a sprinkling of fresh basil to bring out the flavors of the squash and zucchini, but you could also use parsley or cilantro.

By Carla Christian, RD, LD,


  • 1 large yellow summer squash
  • 1 large zucchini
  • Sea salt
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added great northern beans
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 cup torn leaf lettuce
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, cut the yellow squash and zucchini lengthwise into paper-thin ribbons. Place them in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt; drain for 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. Meanwhile, cut the carrots into paper-thin ribbons.
  • Drain and rinse the beans, reserving ¼ cup of the liquid. Coarsely mash the beans with the reserved liquid and the nutritional yeast in a small shallow bowl using a fork or potato masher.
  • Whisk the vinegar and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.
  • Layer half of the yellow squash, zucchini, and carrots, overlapping slightly, in a 2-quart square dish. Spread on half of the bean mixture and top with half of the lettuce and shallots. Drizzle with half of the dressing. Repeat layers. Cover and chill for 1 to 12 hours.
  • To serve, sprinkle salad with basil and black pepper. Cut into squares.

Comments (2)

(4 from 2 votes)

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Michele H

Definitely better the longer it marinated, but I wouldn't add the salad greens when layering. I'd serve the marinated veggies on top of fresh greens when ready to serve. I'd also double the mashed beans next time.

Candy Pack

It was just ok, I took it to a picnic and it was not a favorite. Perhaps steaming the squash and zucchini might be better. Also the bottom layer of greens got soggy with the dressing.

About the Author

Headshot of Carla Christian, RD, LD

About the Author

Carla Christian, RD, LD

Carla Christian received her associate’s degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University in 2009. She finished her dietetic internship from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010 and is a former chef in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn. Photo by Jason Donnelly.

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