10 Ways to Dress Up Green Beans

published Sep 2, 2016
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Mild-mannered green beans are fine on their own, but just wait and taste what happens when you dress them up with a couple pantry staples.

Simple Green Bean Upgrades

You know them as green beans, string beans, or snap beans, terms used interchangeably to refer to the long, green-hued beans that flood the markets every year in early fall. Once you’ve had your fill of plain beans, let us help you give this side dish the upgrade it deserves. These may be unexpected combinations you haven’t considered before, but they work in a surprising and satisfying way.

Start with the Basics: How To Cook Green Beans

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

1. Pomegranate Arils + Fresh Mint

This combo not only brings a fresh, sweet, and tart flavor boost, but the pomegranate arils also add some crunch. Toss blanched or steam-fried green beans with pomegranate arils and chopped fresh mint.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

2. Jarred Pesto

This blend of basil, parmesan, and olive oil is always a welcome addition to our favorite veggies. Cook green beans any way you like — blanched, steamed, or roasted — then toss with a few spoonfuls of jarred pesto.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

3. Tahini + Toasted Sesame Seeds

This is the duo that gives green beans a creamy, crunchy twist with a big nutty flavor. Blanch green beans, then drizzle with tahini, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

4. Lemon Zest + Nutmeg

When you want this side dish to really pop, tangy lemon zest and warm nutmeg know just how to get the job done. Roast green beans with olive oil, then toss with lemon zest, grated nutmeg, and sea salt.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

5. Crumbled Bacon + Golden Raisins

Bacon improves everything, and the only thing that makes it better is a sweet sidekick. Roast green beans with olive oil, then top with crumbled bacon and chopped golden raisins.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

6. Mayo + Parmesan + Panko

This trio gives beans the creamy, crunchy treatment they deserve. Toss green beans with mayo, then spread on a baking sheet, top with shredded Parmesan and panko, and broil until golden.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

7. Chiles + Peanuts

Sometimes the best upgrade is in the way you cook your veggies. Get out your wok to stir-fry green beans with your favorite hot chiles and crunchy peanuts.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

8. Honey + Grainy Mustard

For a flavorful side dish with a classy twist, blanch the green beans and, when they’re still hot, toss them with your favorite honey and a spoonful of grainy mustard.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

9. Harissa + Crumbled Feta

If you like it hot, cook the green beans any way you like — blanched, steamed, or roasted — then toss with harissa and top with crumbled feta.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

10. Vinaigrette

Blanch the green beans, then toss with your favorite vinaigrette for a tangy kick. Whisk together a quick homemade vinaigrette or go for the convenience of store-bought — both will get the job done.