Green beans almondine is a fantastic alternative to green bean casserole. The simple flavors in this easy side dish allow the fresh flavor of the green beans shine!
Green beans almondine is a classic dish that pairs tender-crisp green beans with toasted almonds and golden shallots. This is exactly the sort of holiday side dish that I often crave when the table is already groaning with heavier fare.
Traditionally, this recipe is made with butter, often browned butter. However, I was looking for something a little lighter on the saturated fat front. I swapped the butter with olive oil, using a fraction of the usual amount.
The result is a fresh dish that still boasts all of the best green beans almondine characteristics, but lighter and healthier.
💙 What’s to love about this Green Bean Almondine recipe:
▪️ QUICK AND EASY: Once the cooking starts, this dish comes together in 5 or 6 minutes. Make it at the last minute and serve immediately for the freshest taste and texture. Plus, the prep time is quick – just a little trimming and chopping.
▪️ HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE: The healthy recipe veers away from classic green beans almondine, which is typically made with butter. Less saturated fats, dairy-free and vegan/plant based-friendly.
▪️ HOLIDAY-WORTHY: Ditch the green bean casserole at your next holiday meal and serve these fresh green beans instead. A lighter dish is always welcome on the Thanksgiving table!
This recipe is best when the green beans are tender crisp and the shallots have started to brown. I find that salting the water imparts enough flavor to the green beans. However, be sure to taste the dish before serving. If you want a little more seasoning, add a pinch of salt and ground pepper.
KEEP IN TOUCH
and receive recipes straight to your inbox!
INGREDIENTS FOR GREEN BEANS ALMONDINE:
- GREEN BEANS: This recipe calls for regular greens. Haricots verts (French green beans) can also be used, but cooking time will be shorter.
- ALMONDS: I use sliced almonds for this recipe.
- OLIVE OIL: A tablespoon for cooking the nuts, shallots and garlic.
- SHALLOT: Peel and finely chop one large shallot or two smaller ones.
- GARLIC: Peel and mince two large garlic cloves, or use a 3 to 4 smaller cloves.
- LEMON: Use the zest and juice of one large lemon. It’s easiest to grate the zest of the lemon before cutting it in half. Use a zester for this. And try out my favorite citrus juicer for extract the juice.
- SALT: Use a generous amount of kosher salt to season the cooking water.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
GREEN BEANS: Instead of regular green beans (sometimes referred to as string beans), try French green beans (haricots verts). Haricots verts are skinnier than regular green beans, so the cooking time will be just 1 to 2 minutes.
ALMONDS: Instead of sliced almonds, try slivered almonds, hazelnuts or pistachios.
LEMON: Lemon zest and juice add a nice acidic flavor. In a pinch, you can substitute it with balsamic vinegar. The flavor will be significantly different, but still delicious.
How to make Green Beans Almondine:
PREP THE GREEN BEANS: Trim the green beans by cutting off the ends. Cut the green beans in half crosswise. I like to do this on the diagonal for visual appeal.
BOIL AND SALT WATER: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water generously. This is your chance to season the green beans. The salted water will seep into the green beans as they cook. You shouldn’t need to add salt at the end. Plus, the salt helps to turn the green beans a lovely bright green color.
COOK GREEN BEANS: Time to blanch the beans! Add the green beans to the boiling water. The goal is to cook them until they are just tender when pierced with a fork, NOT overdone. I usually take a bite of one (careful, it will be hot!) to check on the doneness. They should be tender crisp.
TOAST ALMONDS: Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat, then add the almonds. Cook the nuts until they are starting to brown. Nuts tend to burn quickly, so it’s best to stir frequently.
COOK AROMATICS: Time to add in the shallots and garlic. Cook them with the almonds until the shallots are turning tender, about 2 or 3 minutes.
ADD GREEN BEANS: Use a pair of tongs to transfer the green beans from the po straight to the skillet. There’s no need to drain them first. A slotted spoon or spider works well for this, too. Toss everything together, along with the lemon juice and zest.
SERVE RIGHT AWAY: These green beans are best straight from the pan. This is usually the last dish I make before serving the whole meal.
Get the timing right:
This dish moves quickly! First, start to heat the water. When the water is getting close to boiling, start cooking the almonds in the skillet. If you add the green beans to the water after the almonds have been cooking for a couple of minutes, the green beans and the almond mixture should be ready at about the same time.
What to serve with string beans almondine:
This green bean side dish is easy enough for weeknight dinners and delicious enough to be holiday-worthy.
Serve with main dishes, such as Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Maple Dijon Sauce, Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers or Honey Rosemary Salmon. Add a starchy side, such as Roasted Mini Potatoes or Toasted Brown Rice with Mushrooms.
Can green beans and almonds be made ahead of time?
Without a doubt, the best way to enjoy this easy side dish is by cooking it right before serving. To save some time, particularly if preparing this for Thanksgiving or another holiday meal, trim the green beans, and mince the shallots and garlic ahead of time. The shallots and garlic can be stored in the same airtight container. Store the green beans in a separate one.
If you want to save even more time, blanch the green beans, then drain and immediately plunge them into a large bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further. Once the beans are cool, pat dry with a paper towel and transfer to an airtight container lined with another paper towel. Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook the recipe, up to 1 day.
PLEASE NOTE: Pre-blanching the green beans is not my favorite way of cooking this dish. To achieve the best results, I highly recommend doing all the cooking right before serving.
Green Beans Almondine Recipe
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season generously with salt.
- Add the green beans and cook until just tender when pierced with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes. If anything, the green beans should be slightly undercooked.
- While the green beans are cooking, prepare the almonds and shallots. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the almond and cook, stirring frequently, until they start to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet. Cook until the shallot is tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- With tongs or a large slotted spoon, transfer the greens beans to the skillet. There’s no need to drain them first.
- Add the lemon zest and juice. Toss to coat the green beans. Serve immediately.