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Green Beans with Almonds

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If you're looking for something lighter than green bean casserole for Thanksgiving, try my pan-roasted crisp and tender Green Beans with Almonds side dish!

  • Author: Yumna Jawad
  • Posted:

Green Beans with Almonds

Are there any green bean casserole fans out there? I’ve tried it before. But, I really don’t like how soggy the green beans get when baked with all the cream sauce. But I do love green beans and for my Thanksgiving spread, I love including some greens on the table. So I created this light and crispy green beans with almonds side dish. It’s embarrassingly easy to make and pairs really well with turkey and mashed potatoes! I hope you include it on your ever-growing Thanksgiving menu.

Close up of green beans with almonds with parmesan cheese and lemon wedges

Tips for Cooking Green Beans

This is the number one tip I can give you when cooking green beans: blanch and shock. Actually this rule is not just for green beans. It works for any green vegetables for that matter. This technique is widely used to make sure that green beans come out tender yet crisp without losing that beautiful bright green color.


To do this, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil (with our without salt). Before adding the green beans to the boiling water, prepare a bowl with ice and cold water. Drop the green beans in the boiling water for only 2 minutes. It’s important not to walk away from the pot here. We want to keep the cooking time to a minimum and quickly shock the green beans with ice water immediately after.

When the 2 minutes are up, drain the green beans and quickly plunge them in the “bath” of ice water. A rule of thumb is the beans should spend as much time in the cold water as in the hot. 

Another tip is to make sure all the green bean pieces are similar in length so they cook evenly in the skillet after the blanching process is done.

These cooking tips will help you get tender, crisp, gorgeous green green beans in every bite.

How do you make Green Beans with Almonds?

Start with fresh green beans, trim off the ends and wash them well. Does anyone else use kitchen shears for trimming vegetables> You can pretty much do it one-handed and I find it much faster than using a knife or my hands. 

Colander with fresh string green beans after being washed

When they’re all trimmed, you’re pretty much done with any prep work needed. So gather the remaining ingredients including the flavor team: parmesan cheese, garlic and lemons. I’ll transfer the beans and garlic to the skillet to get that cooking.

Plate of green beans after being trimmed. Next to the plate is parmesan cheese, lemon slices and garlic

In the same pan used to cook the green beans with garlic, roast the almonds. You can add more olive oil here, but I find that it’s not necessary since there is usually residual olive oil from cooking the green beans. You’ll want to keep an eye on the almonds and frequently toss them so they are golden brown all over without any burnt spots.

I sometimes will toast more than I need for the recipe so I can munch on them or throw some in salads. If you don’t have time to toast the almonds, you can also buy toasted marcona almonds to use in the recipe. The silvered or sliced almonds work as well, but there’s something more tasty about the whole freshly toasted marcona almonds in this dish!

Pan with toasted marcona almonds and a wooden spoon

The almonds will go right on top of the cooked green beans with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Beat that, green bean casserole. There’s a lighter side dish in town – Green Beans with Almonds! 

Large plate of green beans with almonds - Thanksgiving side dish

Lighten up the heavy Thanksgiving meal or holiday meal with this green beans with almonds side dish. It’s a really tasty reliable compliment to the main course, and everyone will love the golden toasted almonds crunch on top! If you’ve ever had green beans amandine, this kinda reminds me of that recipe but without the lemon-butter sauce. It’ an all around perfect side dish to make for the big meal.

If you make this healthy-ish feelgood Green Beans with Almonds recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Other Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes:

5 from 1 vote
Large plate of green beans with almonds - Thanksgiving side dish
Green Beans with Almonds
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

If you're looking for something lighter than green bean casserole for Thanksgiving, try my pan-roasted crisp and tender Green Beans with Almonds side dish!

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy dip, Holidays, sides, thanksgiving, Vegetables, vegetarian pasta
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 89 kcal
  • 1 pound green beans ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup marcona almonds
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese grated (optional)
  • 1 lemon for serving
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the green beans, and cook until bright green but still firm, about 2 minutes. Use a colander to drain the green beans, then quickly transfer them to bowl filled with ice and water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and pat dry with a paper towel.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant but not golden, about 1 minute. 

  3. Add the green green beans, salt and pepper to the skillet with the garlic and cook until the green beans become fork tender but still crisp, about 3-4 minutes.

  4. Remove the green beans from heat, and sprinkle with grated parmesan

  5. In the same skillet used to cook the green beans, add the marcona almonds and toast them until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and add on top of the green beans. 

  6. Serve with more parmesan cheese and fresh lemon wedges, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.

Make Ahead Tips: The beans can be blanched (boiled until barely crisp-tender) up to 1 day ahead. Store in the fridge wrapped in a paper towel in a ziplock bag to keep fresh until ready to cook. 

Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However if you don't like almonds, you can try this with any other nut you'd like. It would work really well with walnuts or pecans. If you're not a fan of the parmesan cheese, just leave it out. 

Nutrition Facts
Green Beans with Almonds
Amount Per Serving
Calories 89 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Sodium 212mg 9%
Potassium 232mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 3g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 10.4%
Vitamin C 23.3%
Calcium 6.1%
Iron 6.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    November 13, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Healthy and light. Will definitely be one of my side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner.

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