Green beans are one of the most popular vegetable side dishes and for good reason. They are versatile, readily available, inexpensive, and cook up very quickly. Green beans (or string beans) are also probably the biggest go-to side vegetable dish for the holidays (other than mashed potatoes!). It’s hard to imagine a Christmas dinner or a Thanksgiving table without a green bean dish.
In general, I am a big proponent of fresh green beans. Frozen can be cooked very well, and canned have their place (especially in nostalgia-inducing dishes like a traditional green bean casserole), but fresh string beans are a vegetable that you should have on hand as often as possible They also keep for about a week in a bag in the crisper drawer, so they are ready to go for fast and easy weeknight dinners. You can make very simply cooked green beans or keep on reading for lots of ways to use this tender-crisp vegetable.
These fresh green bean recipes have all been met with great delight on my table. Some are takes on very traditional dishes (there is a modern take on the green bean and mushroom casserole with a crispy onion-ey topping — wait until you see how delicious this fresher version is!). And there are plenty of new ideas for your holiday meals, as well as weeknight dinners and easy entertaining.
Some of these green bean recipes call for haricots verts, which are French green beans. They’re a bit slimmer and more tender than everyday green beans and worth checking out for their elegant presentation. While a bit pricier, they will cook a little more quickly than their thicker cousins. But you can swap back and forth between the two as you like.
13 Great Green Bean Recipes
Green Bean Casserole From Scratch! An updated version of a favorite holiday side dish. Perhaps the most famous green bean dish in the world is that quintessential green bean casserole that shows up on Thanksgiving and other holiday tables all across this great land during the last months of the year. The old version involved canned soup, canned or frozen beans, and greasy, semi-crispy onions from a tin. This is a fresh and modern take on the topic, and once you try it, you will have burst into the 21st century a new and improved person.
Tender on the inside, with a nicely browned exterior, this is a great hands-off way to cook string beans!
A simple (5-Minute!) honey mustard dressing transforms green beans into a flavorful side dish.
This green bean salad is easy, it’s colorful, and it has an intriguing mix of tastes and textures. The beans can be cooked and tossed with the dressing up to 2 days ahead of time. Add the oranges and the feta just before serving. If you don’t have coarse Dijon mustard, you can definitely use regular, though I like the extra texture that the coarse gives to the dressing.
Tender green beans are all wrapped up with a band of crispy bacon and brushed with a sweet and savory glaze. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime you want to show off a little!
If you love the green beans in a salad Nicoise, then you'll love this dish, which is exactly that — all green beans, all the time! Capers, shallots, Dijon, olives, sherry vinegar, and fresh herbs make up the dressing — it's like a vinaigrette on steroids.
A simple miso-infused butter turns a pile of fresh green beans into an umami bomb. The beans themselves have a lot of flavor, thanks to the direct contact with the hot pan.
Green beans get super exciting when sautéed up with a bunch of Thai seasonings and topped with crunchy chopped peanuts. Serve this up with your next Asian-inspired dinner. These are good warm or at room temperature.
You can use whatever spring veggies are in season in this recipe, but tender green beans are one of the most readily available options. This side dish is simple, pretty, crisp-tender, and goes with everything.
Haricot Verts are slender French green beans, a bit more tender than their standard green bean cousins. The added medley of shallots and red onions makes these a step up from plain green beans. You can add a simple tangy citrusy dressing after they are cooked, and some feta, or leave them as is — up to you.
The flavor of the herb chervil is like a milder cross-pollination of tarragon (a tiny bit licoricey/anisey) and parsley (just fresh and clean). It's perfect drizzle over blanched or sautéed green beans.
Green beans and mushrooms snuggle up nicely to each other. If you don’t have the time or inclination to make the full-on traditional green bean and mushroom casserole, you can still get the benefits of this classic combo in this easy side.
The addition of fresh green beans in this pasta makes it a one dish meal! No one will ever think this beautiful, sophisticated, delicious pasta costs about $3 per serving.