Sautéed Haricots Verts with Shallots and Lemon

updated Aug 31, 2023
Haricots Verts Recipe

Quick cooking French green beans preserve their tender bite when they're sautéed with plenty of butter, shallots, and lemon.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook5 minutes

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Credit: Olivia Mack McCool

Haricots verts, pronounced ah-ree-koh vehr, are a French variety of what we in America commonly call “string beans” or “green beans.” The translation literally means “green bean.” They may be hard to pronounce but they certainly are not hard to cook, making them an ideal candidate for a quick and easy side dish

What Is the Difference Between Haricots Verts and Green Beans?

The main difference between haricots verts and green beans are their size. The French varietal is skinnier and often longer than our traditional green bean. The flavor is a bit more mild and refined because they are harvested when they are still young and tender. 

Do You Need to Trim Haricots Verts?

Yes, you need to trim the ends of the beans that were attached to the stalk because it is fibrous and tough. Most grocery stores sell haricot verts that are already trimmed. This makes them an even quicker vegetable to whip up. 

How to Make Perfect Haricots Verts

Similar to string beans, there are many ways to make haricots verts:

  • Haricots verts can be blanched, steamed, braised, or even stir-fry with success.
  • Because they are so thin and delicate they don’t require a lot of cooking time. In fact, they are really best when they are cooked quickly, preserving their tender bite.
  • You can even serve haricot verts raw with a dip as part of a crudité platter.

Haricots Verts Recipe

Quick cooking French green beans preserve their tender bite when they're sautéed with plenty of butter, shallots, and lemon.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 5 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    fresh haricots verts (French green beans)

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    olive oil

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper


  1. Trim the stem end from 1 pound fresh haricots verts. Finely chop 1 small shallot.

  2. Set a steamer basket in a large pot filled with an inch of water. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat.

  3. Add the haricots verts to the basket, cover, and steam until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the shallot, stir to coat in the butter and oil, and immediately turn off the heat.

  4. Transfer the haricots verts to the skillet, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and toss to coat. Finely grate the zest of 1/2 medium lemon over the beans. Cut the zested lemon into 4 to 6 wedges.

  5. Transfer the haricots verts to a serving platter. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.