We’ve got your new healthy alternative to green bean casserole with these garlicky braised green beans. They are full of amazing flavor from garlic and onion, which complements the tender green beans perfectly, allowing the flavor of the beans to truly shine.
Thanksgiving is now a mere two weeks away and all of our plans are being made. Green beans are a staple at our holiday table and usually that means some version of green bean casserole. Delicious as it is, that standby dish does nothing to lighten up a heavy meal.
Wanting something healthy does not mean skimping on flavor, though. These beans are so very flavorful and delicious! They are so simple to make and are easily reheated if you need to make them ahead. Win – Win – Win!
This is definitely not a lengthy list and is mostly things you probably already have in your pantry.
Onions and Garlic – These bring so much flavor to the beans. You will cook these aromatics first, then they will season the broth in which the beans are braised.
Green Beans – Obviously, your beans need to be fresh. No canned green beans here! The cook times in the recipe are based on regular green beans. If you are using the thinner haricot verts, shorten the oven time by 5-10 minutes.
Lemon Zest and Juice – A bit of zest helps flavor the broth and, in turn, the beans. And a squeeze of juice at the end brightens the whole dish.
Vegetable Broth – Make your own to control the flavor profile or use your favorite store-bought brand. Some flavor will move from your chosen broth to your beans. You can use chicken broth instead, but we prefer the flavor of the veggie here.
The Braising Technique
Braising your green beans is a revelation. The beans cook for what feels like forever for a vegetable, but somehow they do not turn to mush. It’s the magic of gentle heat flowing through the liquid when it’s kept at a low simmer. You’re placing your beans in a gentle bath and giving them time to soak in all the flavor of the liquid while they slowly cook. When they are done, they will be tender, delicious, and completely amazing.
To learn more about the ins and outs of braising, read this interesting article from The Washington Post.
Serving Your Braised Green Beans
This simple side dish is at home at your Thanksgiving table with the turkey and all the trimmings. It goes equally well with chicken on a weekday, or ham at Christmas. Or a steak on the grill. Or any number of veggie entrees. It’s a versatile and delicious option all year round!
Try serving them with these amazing main dishes:
- Ultimate Grilled Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce
- Skirt Steak with an Outstanding Sriracha Kick
- Incredible Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon
Garlicky Braised Green Beans
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup diced yellow onion (about ½ large onion)
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest from 1 large lemon
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.
- Saute Your Aromatics: In a dutch oven with an oven-safe lid, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt, then saute for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent. Throw in the garlic and saute for one minute more.
- Braise the Beans: Place your green beans into the pot; sprinkle with a little more salt and the lemon zest. Add your vegetable stock and raise the heat to medium. Bring it to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and place in your preheated oven. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the beans are cooked through and very tender, but not mushy. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and pepper before serving.
- Prep all of your ingredients ahead of time to make putting this dish together easier.
- You can make this ahead of time! Simply store it for up to 1 day in the refrigerator, then reheat in a low oven, on the stovetop over low heat, or in the microwave. Be careful to not overcook your beans.
- If you use the thinner haricot verts, shorten your braise time by 10 minutes to avoid overcooking your beans.