Italian Green Beans with Garlic-Parmesan Breadcrumbs

published Aug 18, 2022
summer
Italian Green Beans Recipe

Cheesy toasted bread crumbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar ensure these green beans are anything but boring.

Serves4

Prep7 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 15 minutes

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Photograph of Italian Green Beans on a serving plate placed on a white countertop with gold utensils.
Credit: Maria Do

This recipe is part of Kitchn 100 — the hundred recipes you need right now. Check out all of the amazing dishes, from Kitchn and beyond, here.

The easiest way to jazz up vegetables? Add cheese, of course. But it’s not just salty Parmesan that bolsters this simple green bean side dish. Plenty of garlic, toasted breadcrumbs, and a healthy splash of balsamic all do their part to create a platter that’s anything but boring. It’s a side that’s well-suited to just about anything you’re serving for dinner, and it’s about as fast as you can get. Plus, it feels fancy.

How to Cook Italian-Style Green Beans

While this recipe isn’t traditional in itself, it utilizes Italian flavors and ingredients that are. Green beans love garlic, so they’re sautéed with a couple of cloves (plus earthy oregano and red pepper flakes) before they’re steamed right in the pan with a splash of water. Once the green beans are vibrantly green and tender, they’re drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar, which adds brightness and sweet depth of flavor.

Toasted breadcrumbs, or pangratto, which often lend crunch and flavor to pasta, have the same effect here. They’re combined with grated Parmesan and tossed and sprinkled all over the beans just before serving to make them much more interesting than your average green veg.

What to Serve with Italian Green Beans

There isn’t much that doesn’t pair well with this side dish, but here are a few of my favorites.

Italian Green Beans Recipe

Cheesy toasted bread crumbs and a splash of balsamic vinegar ensure these green beans are anything but boring.

Prep time 7 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    fresh green beans

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup firmly packed freshly grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated)

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 cup

    fresh or panko bread crumbs

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried oregano

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1/3 cup

    water

  • 1 tablespoon

    balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Trim the stem end from 1 pound fresh green beans. Thinly slice 2 garlic cloves. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 packed cup) into a medium bowl.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 1/2 cup fresh or panko bread crumbs and sauté until the crumbs are golden-brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of Parmesan and use a fork to combine. Wipe out the skillet.

  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the green beans and cook, tossing with tongs frequently, until the beans are bright, glossy, and browned in spots, 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Add the garlic, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  5. Carefully pour 1/3 cup water into the pan and immediately cover. Cook, covered, until the beans are bright green and crisp-tender and water has almost completely evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes.

  6. Uncover and remove from the heat. Drizzle 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar over the beans, and toss to combine. Sprinkle half of the bread crumb mixture over the beans and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and garnish with the remaining bread crumb mixture.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover beans can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.