The Best Green Beans Ever

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These are our favorite Green Beans ever! Sautéed on the stovetop with glazed almonds and savory, salty bacon — these Green Beans are the best!

 

Overhead view of seasoned Green Beans on a plate, with a fork on the side.

Our Favorite Green Beans!

You know when the kiddos beg for extra green beans over more Spaghetti Bolognese (their favorite dinner), you’ve got a winning side dish! And we’ve made these on repeat for a few weeks now because they truly cannot get enough of them. I don’t blame them– they occupy most of my plate as well!

These beans would make for the ultimate Thanksgiving side dish; they’re tasty enough to even steal some of the spotlight from the turkey. These beans are a bit time-intensive to make as part of an entire meal, but if you get assigned to bring just one special dish to a holiday gathering, this is the side dish to make! It will blow everyone away and truthfully be a welcome relief from the heavy and creamy casserole side dishes.

And aside from the holidays, these beans are the perfect side to make when you’re planning a simple dinner, like a store-bought warm rotisserie chicken or these super simple Rotisserie Chicken Tacos.

Process shots: melt cubed butter; add sliced almonds, brown and mix in chicken stock, lemon juice and zest; cook until liquid thickens; transfer to a lined plate.

You’ve likely had a plate filled with less than exciting green beans and below I’m sharing why this particular recipe is anything but forgetful. 

How to make Green Beans taste extra flavorful

  • Start with fresh green beans (see “quick tip” below).
  • Cook the beans in chicken stock. Instead of steaming in water, we infuse the beans with more flavor by using chicken stock.
  • Add supporting ingredients. The bacon, garlic, shallot, and glazed toasted almonds add vibrancy and flavor–which make these beans taste amazing!
  • Season the beans. Even with the bacon and chicken stock, I always find this dish needs a bit more salt and pepper. If it tastes at all flat, you may just need a pinch more of salt and pepper. It’s amazing the “life” salt and pepper can bring to beans!

QUICK TIP

Fresh green beans will snap apart when bent. (That’s how they got the nickname of snap beans!) They’re typically a bright, vibrant green with a firm skin. You’ll know the pods are older (or going bad) if the pods are tough and rubbery and bend (instead of snap) when bent. If the beans feel slimy or mushy, have mold or black spots, or smell bad–don’t use them! Once cooked, these beans last 3-4 days in the fridge; if they taste sour or smell off, this means the beans have begun to spoil or ferment and are no longer good to eat.

Process shots: Cook the bacon and drain; add shallot and garlic to the bacon grease and saute; add trimmed green beans and chicken stock; cover and cook until tender.

Shortcut Suggestions

  • Buy pre-washed and trimmed beans (usually labeled as “Ready to Eat Green Beans” or “Washed & Ready to Eat“) to save a lot of time. These packages of prepared beans are usually in the produce section of the grocery store with other prepared vegetables.
  • Use pre-minced garlic to cut down on some chopping time.

Recipe tips

  • Take your time toasting the almonds. While admittedly a time-consuming task, it’s important to take the time to slowly brown the butter and toast the almonds. You’ll be rewarded with the best Green Bean topping! Increasing the heat or trying to rush this process usually ends up in unevenly toasted or burned almonds.
  • Good-quality chicken stock makes a big difference. I’m a huge fan of Swanson’s® chicken stock in this recipe (not sponsored).
  • Make sure the beans are completely dry before using. Wet beans will make the dish less flavorful.

View of Green Beans in a serving bowl.

Green Beans FAQs

1Can I eat green beans raw?

Yes! Perfectly safe (and good for you) to eat raw green beans. Just be sure they are cleaned first.

2Should I soak green beans before cooking?

No. It doesn’t cut down cooking time or improve texture or flavor. There really are no benefits to soaking green beans before cooking in this recipe.

3How long do fresh green beans last in the fridge?

About 5-7 days.

Store unwashed fresh green beans in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer and they should be fine for about 7 days.

4Are string beans the same as green beans?

Snap beans, green beans, or string beans are all the same thing.

5What is the difference between an onion and a shallot?

Shallots have more of a sweet and mild flavor with a hint of sharpness. Overall they’re less abrasive heat-wise than regular onions. I love using shallots in this recipe because the sweetness complements the green beans so nicely.

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Green Beans

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These are our favorite Green Beans ever! Sautéed on the stovetop with glazed almonds and savory, salty bacon -- these Green Beans are the best!
Print Recipe

Green Beans

0 from 0 votes
These are our favorite Green Beans ever! Sautéed on the stovetop with glazed almonds and savory, salty bacon -- these Green Beans are the best!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword green beans
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 as a side
Calories 197kcal
Cost $5.21

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter diced into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice + 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chicken stock (we love Swanson's!)
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1/3 cup (38g) shallot very thinly sliced (~2-3 small shallots)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound (16 oz.) green beans (See Note 1)
  • Fine sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup (124g) chicken stock

Instructions

  • PREP: Prepare and set out the lemon zest, juice, and chicken stock before starting. Line a plate with wax paper and another plate with paper towels. Set aside.
  • LEMON ALMONDS: Heat the diced 2 tablespoons butter in a large, non-stick skillet. As soon as it is melted, add in the sliced almonds. Spread in an even layer and cook, stirring constantly with a (heatproof) spatula, until the butter begins to brown and the almonds are becoming golden and fragrant-- about 5 to 8 minutes. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon chicken stock (it will sizzle a bit). While stirring constantly, cook until the liquid thickens, about 1 more minute. Use your spatula to scoop all the mixture onto the wax paper-lined plate, and set aside.
  • BACON: Return the empty skillet to the stovetop, and add the diced bacon. Cook over medium heat, until bacon fat is rendered and the bacon is browned. Taking care to leave the bacon grease behind, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to the paper towel-lined plate. Leave all the bacon grease in the pan and reduce the heat to low. Add in the thinly sliced shallots and garlic. Cook, over medium-high heat for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • GREEN BEANS: Add in the green beans and stir to coat with tongs. Add in 1/2 cup chicken stock. Stir again. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are mostly tender, about 7-10 minutes (if liquid has all evaporated and beans aren't tender, the heat might be too high -- add in a splash more of chicken stock). Remove the lid and cook over medium-high heat until all the liquid has evaporated, another 2-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.)
  • FINISHING: Remove from heat and, using the spatula, scrape everything from the wax paper-lined plate into the beans (including any butter that has hardened). Add in the bacon and gently stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Green beans need to be washed and thoroughly dried. Trim off ends if needed. To save time, buy washed and ready-to-cook green beans in the produce section of the grocery store.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 111mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 638IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

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