Sauteed Green Beans with garlic, lemon zest, pistachios and Parmesan is our favorite way to cook green beans. This easy to make side dish produces, tender, crispy and super flavorful green beans!
If you are looking for delicious vegetable side dishes that go well with almost every meal, look no further! These sauteed green beans are absolutely the best and one of the side dishes I cook most often at home.
My oldest son loves these green beans so much that I have to make sure I make a double batch as he could eat the whole skillet-full by himself!
To make this easy side dish, I quickly blanch the beans then saute them in olive oil, garlic and lemon zest. Finally, I top the sauteed green beans with pistachios and grated Parmesan cheese. The result is mouthwatering and amazing! Crisp-tender green beans with garlic, a hint of fresh lemon mixed with the richness of Parmesan and crunchy and toasty nuts! Seriously the best sauteed green beans ever!
What is Blanching?
Blanching is a simple and basic cooking technique that consists of submerging vegetables in a large pot of boiling salted water for just a few minutes to tenderize the vegetables. After the quick “hot bath”, the vegetables are plunged into iced cold water. This important step is called “shocking”. Shocking stops the cooking process and sets the bright beautiful color of the vegetable.
Blanching can also help loosen the skin of nuts like almonds and soft skinned fruits like tomatoes and peaches. Blanching helps reduce the bitterness of certain vegetables like broccoli rabe and onions.
How To Blanch Green Beans
- Trim and rinse the green beans.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
- Prepare and ice bath by filling a bowl with cold water (tap water is OK) and some ice.
- Add the trimmed green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. For this green beans recipe, I only cook them for 2 minutes since the green beans will be sauteed after.
- Transfer the green beans to the ice bath for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Drain. Your green beans are ready. They can be used in crudite platters and in many other preparations.
Fun Fact: Blanching can be done in water or in fat, like olive oil.
How To Make Sauteed Green Beans
- First, trim and blanch the green beans (instructions on the recipe card).
- Drain the green beans and gather all your ingredients. The saute process goes fast!
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.
- Saute the garlic and lemon zest until they become aromatic.
- Stir in the green beans and saute for a few minutes.
- Add the pistachios and Parmesan cheese and saute for a couple of minutes. You want the nuts to get warm and aromatic.
- Season with Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sauteed Green Beans
- Can I Saute the green beans without blanching?
Yes. However, the texture will be different – not as tender) and the color won’t be as bright.
- Can I use butter for this recipe?
Yes, you can use butter or a combination of butter and olive oil.
- Pistachios are too pricey, what else could I use instead?
You can use any other nut you like or skip them altogether. Although we love pistachios (and only buy them by the handful because of the price), we have made this green bean recipe with almonds and pecans.
- Can I blanch the green beans ahead of time?
Yes you can. Blanch them, shock them in iced water, drain them and dry them with paper towels. You can then store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days,
- What is the difference between green beans, string beans and haricot verts?
There’s not much difference and whatever the name, you can use any of them in this Sauteed Green Beans recipe, or string bean recipe!
String Beans: Green beans are also referred as string beans because many years ago a varietal of the bean used to have a notorious fibrous string that ran along the seam of the bean pod.
Haricot Verts: Also known as French beans. The name haricot vert means green beans in French. These beans are younger, skinnier and usually pricier than traditional green beans.
- What Pairs Well with Green Beans?
Green beans pair well with ingredients like garlic, almonds, bacon, ham, shallots and tomatoes.
Tips and Notes about this Green Bean Recipe
- Don’t saute the green beans for too long to prevent overcooking.
- Add some red pepper flakes to add some heat.
- Use frozen green beans for this recipe. Just thaw them out and saute without blanching them first.
- Serve this easy side dish with
Easy Baked Salmon with Lemon Butter
Baked Pork Chops with Southwest Pork Chops
Slow Cooker Ham with Brown Sugar and Pineapple Glaze
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The Best Sauteed Green Beans
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons pistachios, shelled and chopped slightly
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. (3 qts of water and 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt). Prepare an ice bath by filling a bowl with cold water (tap water is OK) and some ice.
- Add the trimmed green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer the green beans to the iced water. Allow the beans to sit in the iced water for 4-5 minutes. Drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and saute stirring often for about 1 - 2 minutes or until the garlic and zest become fragrant. Don't allow the garlic to brown.
- Add the green beans to the pan and stir well. Saute, turning frequently for about 2 - 3 minutes.
- Stir in the pistachios and Parmesan cheese. Saute for about 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
- Don't allow the garlic to get brown. You can turn the heat to medium if needed.
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