11 Green Bean Recipes You'll Want Year Round

Green beans, also known as string beans or snap beans, are vibrant and versatile legumes that have earned a cherished place in kitchens around the world. Characterized by their crisp texture and vibrant green color, these slender pods are not only a visual delight but also pack a nutritional punch. Rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like manganese, green beans contribute to a well-balanced and healthful diet.

Cooking with green beans opens up a world of culinary possibilities, where their mild flavor and firm texture can be enhanced through various cooking techniques. Whether steamed, sautéed, roasted, or blanched, green beans can elevate any meal as a side dish or even as a centerpiece. Not only that, but their versatility makes them a fantastic addition to salads, stir-fries, casseroles, and more. Green beans also lend themselves well to international cuisines. In Mediterranean dishes, they might be paired with tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese, while in Asian cuisine, they could be featured in a stir-fry with soy sauce and ginger. The possibilities seem truly endless, so let us help you hone in on the best recipes to use now and for the rest of the year. In this exploration of green bean cuisine, we will delve into various recipes and cooking techniques that showcase the various strengths of this beloved vegetable.

1. Lemon Garlic Green Beans

Recipe developer Christina Musgrave captures the essence of the season on a plate with this one. As spring ushers in an abundance of fresh vegetables, these lemon garlic green beans emerge as a delightful addition to daily meals and various holiday feasts, including Passover or Easter. As a bonus, the recipe is straightforward and accessible even for novice cooks, and it only takes about five minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook.

In terms of ingredients, all you need are a few pounds of fresh green beans, garlic cloves, butter, and lemon, along with basic seasoning. Just don't skip the ice bath for the green beans. This step will quickly stop the cooking process for the beans, ensuring they remain crunchy and fresh. This dish works exceptionally well with a lemony roasted chicken, which will keep things fresh and light. Add a side of couscous or rice pilaf, and you've got yourself a complete meal.

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Green Beans

2. Classic Green Bean Casserole

The green bean casserole, an all-American invention that is a staple at Thanksgiving dinners and potlucks everywhere, gets even better in this version, which was put together by recipe developer Miriam Hahn. Not only is it delicious, but it's also easy to make, in part thanks to the presence of ready-made ingredients like frozen green beans and canned soup. Just make sure you don't skip the Worcestershire sauce, as this is the item that gives the casserole its umami and depth of flavor and that ties together all the sweet, savory, salty, and tangy flavors that are swirling around in the dish.

But let's be honest here. The ingredient that we all love most in a classic green bean casserole is the fried onions, those crunchy delights that make the dish exciting instead of just good. Their inclusion is non-negotiable, underscoring their integral role in defining the quintessential green bean casserole experience. In fact, this recipe is flush with French fried onions, which you can mix into the beans, scatter on top, or both. For best results, try not to overcook the green beans in the initial stage. Remember that they still have to go in the oven, and if you overcook them, they may go limp and tasteless.

Recipe: Classic Green Bean Casserole

3. Easy & Healthy Green Bean Casserole

As much as we love a traditional green bean casserole, it's not always the healthiest option. Your typical recipe is laden with heavy and unhealthy ingredients such as cream, butter, cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions. While this combination certainly hits the spot, it's not for everyone, especially if you're watching your weight or being careful about your calorie intake for health reasons. These hefty ingredients also make it impractical to indulge in this dish regularly, which is why we bring you this healthy green bean casserole recipe.

Developed by recipe creator and registered dietitian and nutritionist Kristen Carli, this iteration replaces fried onions with baked onions and reduces the use of cream, butter, and cream of mushroom soup. The creaminess factor is then fulfilled by the homemade roux instead. Other than that, your end result will be a reliably delicious green bean casserole, just like in the classic recipe.

Recipe: Easy & Healthy Green Bean Casserole

4. Fresh Green Bean Almondine

Green beans and almonds make a winning combination, and this fresh green bean almondine recipe highlights this assertion better than most. To get here, developer Sher Castellano took an old classic French recipe and revamped it for our modern palates, adding her own unique touches along the way. For instance, while a traditional almondine mostly includes slivered almonds and green beans, Castellano's version also involves shaved Parmesan cheese, which further brings out the dish's flavors with its savory nuttiness.

One of the benefits of this dish, aside from its top-notch flavor and texture, is that it pairs well with a wide range of proteins and starches, making it a go-to vegetable side dish for pretty much any dinner party. You especially can't go wrong if you pair it with a roasted chicken or breaded fish. At the same time, this is one of those simple dishes that also emits an air of sophistication, so that serving this alongside your meat doesn't come off as an afterthought.

Recipe: Fresh Green Bean Almondine

5. Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans

Some people can't stand to consume a meal if it doesn't involve meat. This often leaves them wanting for the basic nutrients only vegetables can provide. Luckily, our bacon-wrapped green beans recipe can swoop in a save the day, as it contains both meat and vegetables, along with all the associated vitamins. Thanks to recipe developer Jaime Shelbert of Wholly Nourished, we give you the crisp freshness of green beans with the indulgent, savory essence of bacon.

The benefits don't stop there. Along with an impressive presentation, this dish firmly delivers on the flavor factor. On top of that, these beans serve as an ideal complement to various dishes. The balance of sweet and savory elements — provided by the brown sugar and caramelized bacon respectively — delivers a most satisfying crunch and a harmonious blend of flavors. Indeed, don't skip the brown sugar. While it may seem like a misstep to add sugar to a savory dish, the sweetness remains mild, and the sugar is necessary to achieve the perfect level of caramelization.

Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans

6. Vegan Cauliflower and Green Bean Casserole

Versions of the traditional holiday green bean casserole abound, but not all are as delicious and fulfilling as this vegan cauliflower iteration devised by recipe developer Michelle Bottalico. Not only does this plant-based rendition introduce nutritious cauliflower, but it also excludes animal products entirely without sacrificing on taste. Indeed, the inclusion of fresh vegetables and whole ingredients enhances the flavor and texture compared to their processed counterparts. While this means the recipe can take longer to prepare, it's worth the extra time and effort.

That said, you're still going to use store-bought fried onions for this recipe, so it's not going to take you that much longer. Just make sure you don't forget the tahini. In the absence of actual dairy, this is the ingredient that will amp up the creaminess factor while also providing some nuttiness as an added level of flavor. And if you're not into sesame-based products, you can always substitute it with almond or coconut milk.

Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower And Green Bean Casserole

7. Refrigerator Dilly Beans

By now we all know the merits of green beans as a side dish or main vegetable, but not many people know that they also make a great crispy, and tasty snack. Thanks to recipe developer Miriam Hahn, we can all get on board with this wonderful new idea. Her recipe for refrigerator dilly beans will allow you to snack on something that is tasty, healthy, and easy to make.

Once they're prepared, all you have to do is reach into the fridge — where you'll be storing your jar of beans immersed in a zesty, garlic-infused brine enriched with plentiful amounts of dill — and grab a bean. These dilly beans not only deliver a delightful standalone taste, but also serve as a fantastic complement to salads, sandwiches, and cheese boards. If you have a garden bursting with fresh green beans and you don't know what to do with them all you could give them away or sell them. Or you could make refrigerator dilly beans. A single batch can last for over a month in the refrigerator. Just make sure you pick a jar that is tall enough to fit the beans — or trim them down to size — so you can easily close the lid and keep them fresh.

Recipe: Refrigerator Dilly Beans

8. Green Bean Potato Salad

Green beans and potatoes complement each other quite nicely, which is why this green bean potato salad recipe should feature among your regular summer cookout options. This dish is packed with savory ingredients and nutrient-rich vegetables, while a touch of mustard and honey adds a delightful flavor to the mix.

Not only is this side dish delicious, but it's also quick and easy to prepare. The recipe's developer, Susan Olayinka, has noted that you cut down on prep time by boiling your potatoes and green beans at the same time in the same pot. The recipe calls for 15 minutes for both items, but if you want crispier beans, add these about five minutes after including the potatoes. What you end up with is a fairly traditional potato salad, distinguished mainly by the fact that it is lighter, as it doesn't contain any cream. As a finishing touch, you can even add crispy fried onions to the salad, as a nod to the beloved green bean casserole, or just for fun.

Recipe: Green Bean Potato Salad

9. Green Bean Salad with 'Nduja Dressing

This dish is a true testament to the culinary fusion that has occurred as a result of a globalized world, where ingredients zip from one end of the Earth to another, breathing new life into traditional dishes or allowing for entirely new creations to take shape. This green bean salad with 'nduja dressing falls in the former category, where an ingredient that had long been relegated to southern Italy has recently been unleashed on the world, in this case, to amp up a traditional American dish and some good old-fashioned cornbread.

Indeed, while green bean salads are a familiar concept, there's always room for fresh meat, especially when it comes in the form of this cured Calabrian pork sausage that has been rendered into a paste along with Calabrian chilies and a variety of spices. This is also a great recipe for using up your cornbread, as it specifically calls for it to be a day old, as you'll be turning it into croutons. But now you might be wondering how a sausage could possibly be made into a dressing. Well, the process is surprisingly simple: Pop the 'nduja paste into a heated pan with some olive oil, then add chopped shallots. During this time, the fat from the 'nduja will melt into a sauce. Once that process is complete, turn off the heat, add the vinegar, and your vinaigrette is ready.

Recipe: Green Bean Salad with 'Nduja Dressing

10. Ligurian Pesto Pasta

Not including vegetables in your pasta dishes is a missed opportunity for consuming added nutrients while also strengthening the flavor profile of your meals. Luckily, our Ligurian pesto pasta recipe can set you straight. To make this dish, you'll have to start with the pesto, which needs to be homemade for best results. But don't worry, as long as you have a food processor, it'll be a breeze: Just place your pine nuts, garlic, basil, salted, grated cheese, and extra virgin olive oil in the container and blitz away until the familiar pesto paste has formed. Although this recipe asks you to make it the old-fashioned way — by hand with a mortar and pestle — that requires quite a bit of elbow grease, and the end product of the food processor is just as good (or almost).

Once all that is settled, boil the potatoes, green beans, and pasta and coat them in the pesto along with some pasta water. This combination not only enhances the herby sauce's flavor but also introduces a delightful sweetness from the green beans. The starch released from the potatoes into the pasta water adds an extra layer of creaminess to this already decadent dish. And don't underestimate the convenience factor: Being able to boil three ingredients in the same pot at the same time saves a lot of clean-up time, especially if you're fresh out of dishwashers.

Recipe: Ligurian Pesto Pasta

11. Colorful Niçoise Salad

In the popular imagination, a traditional salad might present as something made with lots of lettuce or spinach leaves and complemented with a number of chopped ingredients like peppers or avocado. But this colorful Niçoise salad recipe is made with only those chopped ingredients and no leaves. This is no drawback at all. In fact, the rich combination of ingredients, which includes canned tuna chunks, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, and green beans, packs plenty of flavor. For a step up in sophistication, you can even sear a fresh tuna steak and add that instead of the canned stuff.

Either way, what you get is a timeless salad that is sure to please a wide range of palates. Between the variety of ingredients, there's something for everyone, but what really ties it all together is the dressing. This vinaigrette is made with crushed garlic, sea salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and black pepper, all crushed together with a mortar and pestle, which helps to unlock the flavor in each ingredient. Once you whisk in the olive oil, chives, and dill, you'll have yourself a genuine dressing able to coat your entire salad with fresh and punchy flavors.

Recipe: Colorful Niçoise Salad