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A sprightly burst of flavor is added to simply sautéed green beans in the form of herbs and citrus. Not only do these green beans gremolata look so pretty on a table or a plate, but they also have a lot going on in the taste department! I first came up with a version of this recipe for Food & Wine Magazine, and it’s been a favorite ever since.

My kids love simply cooked green beans (a nice amount of butter is always helpful), but they also really like this version, which is a little more dressed up. Use vegetable broth to keep this a vegetarian recipe. You can even replace the butter with olive oil for a vegan recipe.

This recipe is great for the holidays with a Cajun Roasted Turkey, Porchetta, or a Standing Rib Roast. But it also makes a great weeknight dinner with some simple Greek Roasted Chicken Breasts, Pork Chops with Applesauce, Healthy Orange Chicken, or Garlic Lemon Tilapia.

Green Beans with Gremolata

Green Beans with Gremolata: A sprightly burst of flavor is added to simply sauteed green beans in the form of herbs, garlic and citrus. 

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What Is Gremolata?

Gremolata is about to become one of your best cooking flavor hacks and add-ons! Gremolata is a garnish made from herbs and citrus zest, plus garlic. It is most often made with fresh parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. One of its most common uses is as a finishing touch for Osso Bucco (braised veal shanks), but it can add a fresh, bright flavor to so many different kinds of dishes, from meats to vegetables to starches.

In this recipe, I kept the garlic with the green beans in the skillet so that it mellows and softens the garlicky flavor a bit. Then, the herbs and citrus are added. I chose fresh rosemary and tarragon, plus orange and lemon zest, but you can stick to one type of herb or citrus if you prefer. You can also play around with different herbs and combinations.

Explore tips for everything you need to know about choosing, storing, and cooking green beans.

Woman mashing herbs and zest for gremolata with a fork.

Ingredients

  • Fresh tarragon – Tarragon is an herb that has a light, anise-like flavor that goes so well with green beans.
  • Fresh rosemary – Adds a lovely piney, woodsy flavor to this gremolata.
  • Lemon zest and juice – Using both the zest and the juice gives this dish so much lemon flavor.
  • Orange zest and juice – Adds a citrusy sweetness.
  • Minced garlic – The garlic gets quickly sautéed to take the sharp edge off and flavor the green beans from the start.
  • Unsalted butter – The green beans are sautéed in butter for a little richness. You can use olive oil to keep this recipe vegan.
  • Green beans – Trim off the tough ends before using.
  • Vegetable or chicken broth – If you use vegetable broth, this side dish is completely vegetarian!

How to Make Green Beans with Gremolata

  1. Make the gremolata: In a small bowl, combine the tarragon, rosemary, lemon zest, and orange zest (reserve the juices for a moment). Season the gremolata with salt and pepper.
Woman adding ingredients to gremolata.
  1. Sauté: Saute the garlic in the melted butter until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans, toss to coat, and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Simmer: Pour in the broth, bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and continue to simmer until the beans are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Lift the lid and give the beans a shuffle midway through the cooking time. Remove the lid and cook, tossing occasionally, until the broth is nearly evaporated and the beans are tender, about 4 minutes more.
  3. Add gremolata: Toss until fragrant. 
Sauteing green beans with gremolata.
  1. Add juice: Stir in the orange and lemon juices and transfer the green beans to a bowl. Serve immediately.
Green Beans with Gremolata in white serving dish.

Storage and Reheating

Leftovers can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan for a few minutes, just til heated through.

FAQs

Can I substitute haricot verts for regular green beans?

If you want to make this recipe with French green beans or haricot verts, cut down the cooking time to 2 minutes in the covered skillet and about 3 more once the lid is removed. You may need to remove the beans from the pan and let the sauce reduce a bit on its own to keep from overcooking these thinner beans (see How to Cook Haricot Verts!).

How do you make sure your green beans don’t overcook?

Greens beans cook very quickly, so don’t walk away from the pan while they cook. I like to sauté them for just a minute, then add broth and simmer for about 8 minutes total, max. You’re not stewing them — cook them just until they turn bright green and tender, then remove, and place on a serving dish.

What to Serve With Green Beans and Gremolata

Cornish Hens

Hungarian Goulash

Milk-Braised Pork

Green Beans with Gremolata on a plate with orange chicken.

More Green Bean Recipes

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Green Beans with Gremolata

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 People
A sprightly burst of flavor is added to simply sautéed green beans in the form of herbs, garlic, and citrus. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice)
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest (plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound trimmed green beans
  • ½ cup less-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

Instructions 

  • Make the Gremolata: In a small bowl, combine the tarragon, rosemary, lemon zest, and orange zest (reserve the juices for a moment). Season the gremolata with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans, toss to coat, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and continue to simmer until the beans are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Lift the lid and give the beans a shuffle midway through the cooking time. Remove the lid and cook, tossing occasionally, until the broth is nearly evaporated and the beans are tender, about 4 minutes more.
  • Add the gremolata to the green beans in the skillet and toss until fragrant. Stir in the orange and lemon juices and transfer the green beans to a bowl. Serve immediately.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan for a few minutes, just til heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 126mg, Potassium: 301mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1095IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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