5 Fresh Alternatives to Green Bean Casserole

Thanksgiving Tips from The Kitchn

While I love filling my table with classic sides on Thanksgiving, there's one that I'm usually happy to leave off the menu — green bean casserole. So rich!

But green beans have the potential to offer a lighter, healthier option to balance out a table full of hearty, comforting foods. So let them do their job. Even if you hold green bean casserole near and dear to your heart, let us help you branch out and change up your green bean game this year.

These recipes keep some of the flavors and textures of the original intact. You won't find any cream or mushrooms, but crunchy almonds and a nutty pesto just might do the trick to satisfy your craving for those canned onions.

  1. Roasted Green Beans with Harissa - Surprise your guests by adding a spicy kick to the table this year. Charred, smoky green beans are tossed with harissa with a little extra heat (don't worry it's not too spicy), then topped with crunchy sliced almonds.
  2. Lemony Green Beans With Almond Breadcrumbs - These beans are simple, yet have a vibrant, savory flavor that creates a nice balance with some of the heavier sides on the table, like stuffing and mashed potatoes. Plus, this dish is vegan-friendly.
  3. Green Beans with Almond Pesto - If you're looking for a easy and delicious make ahead veggie recipe, this is it! This quick and easy recipe tosses blanched greens with a nutty almond pesto. Both the beans and the pesto can be made ahead of time, and served at room temperature for mealtime.
  4. Greek-Style Braised Green Beans - A long, slow braise rewards you with aromatic, tangy, spiced green beans.
  5. Stir-Fried Green Beans - This quick recipe leaves you with firm, flavorful beans tossed with sweet tomatoes and savory soy sauce.

What's your favorite way to serve green beans on Thanksgiving?

(Image credits: Kelli Dunn; Leela Cyd; Sara Kate Gillingham; Faith Durand)