I haven't always loved vegetables, my five-a-day used to be made up mostly of fruit, but I have always loved green beans. When I was growing up, green beans and baby corn were a staple side dish with weeknight meals, mostly because my mom knew both my sister and I would scoff them down without complaining.
Green beans are available to buy all year round; they're pretty easy to grow too. We grow them in our garden and have a significant yield every year without fail. They're one of those fantastic vegetables which you can throw into any dish, whether it be a pasta bake, a salad or a stir-fry. They add both fresh flavor and a vibrant splash of green.
I use green beans often, but I never tend to put much thought into what I do with them as they taste amazing by themselves. With these recipes, however, I can learn how to make the most of these fantastic vegetables.
Gorgeous Green Bean Recipes
1. Honey Garlic Green Beans
Instead of simply boiling up some green beans and popping them straight onto the table, why not take a couple of extra minutes to transform them into these Honey Garlic Green Beans.
The little bit of sweetness from the honey, combined with the heat from the garlic and red pepper flakes, will elevate the flavor of the green beans and make them a perfect side dish. I think these would be delicious along with salmon, and you could pop some roasted cherry tomatoes on there too if you'd like.
2. Green Bean Mac and Cheese
Despite the fact that macaroni cheese is my all-time favorite comfort food dish, and one I make often, I had never thought to add green beans to the mix.
This Green Bean Mac and Cheese is like an elevated version of the classic, and something I wouldn't hesitate to cook up for guests. Along with the usual macaroni pasta and cheesy sauce, you have the fresh green beans to add a slightly healthier element and pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch.
3. Italian Green Beans with Parmesan and Bread Crumbs
Parmesan cheese comes up in quite a few recipes, but I have always thought it was too strong for me to experiment with. I reckon the best way to gradually get comfortable with it is to start using it in simple side dishes like these Italian Green Beans with Parmesan and Bread Crumbs.
The combination of ingredients in this recipe will give the green beans the most delicious flavor, with the nutty parmesan cheese combined with Italian seasoning and garlic. I like the idea of serving these along with our traditional Sunday roast chicken dinner.
4. Green Beans with Bacon Vinaigrette
Adding bacon to any dish makes it instantly more delicious and crowd-pleasing, and these Green Beans with Bacon Vinaigrette are no exception. The bacon will ensure that the green beans have a delightful saltiness, as well as a little added crunch.
This recipe is both simple and inexpensive to make and would go well with a wide range of dishes. Whether you're cooking up an extravagant meal for guests or merely wanting to change up your Monday night dinner, these will be perfect.
5. Lemony Green Bean Pasta Salad
Pasta salads of any description are a fantastic go-to lunch during the warmer months. They are as wholesome and filling as a warm meal, while still being pleasant to eat as the sun beams down.
This Lemony Green Bean Pasta Salad looks like the perfect option if you're on the hunt for a new, fresh and zesty pasta salad recipe. Garlic, lemon, and shallots make for the ideal, flavorsome dressing. Because the green beans are only cooked for a short time, they will maintain a little crunch to contrast with the soft pasta.
6. Green Beans with Potato and Ham
There's nothing better than a good one-pot dish, especially when it's as comforting looking as these Green Beans with Potato and Ham. It's simple to make, requires few utensils and provides you with your meat, carbs, and vegetables all in one.
As well as being fantastically tender, ham hocks give off spectacular flavor, so you can bet your green beans will be extra delicious after being cooked with them. This can easily be made in advance and then reheated, look no further if you've got a busy week ahead.
7. Green Bean Casserole
This Green Bean Casserole recipe claims to be the best and judging by the ingredients it could be right. It's a classic dish to serve at Thanksgiving with all the usual trimmings, but I am a firm believer that no meal as good as this should be limited to one day a year.
Because all the ingredients in this dish, from the green beans to the mushrooms to the onions, are all cooked together, their flavors will mingle perfectly with one another. The fried onions are a great addition as they will add a nice bit of texture to the recipe.
8. Greek Green Bean Salad
I am a big fan of greek flavors, especially when it comes to the summer months as they remind me of sunny holidays.
This Greek Green Bean Salad is deliciously fresh, with the red pepper and tomato being mixed in amongst the beans. Feta is the perfect thing to be sprinkled on top, not only is it a classic ingredient in Greek cuisine but it also adds a slight saltiness without being overpowering. Even if you aren't keen on the vegetables used in this recipe, you could take the greek dressing used here and put it on any salad you like.
9. Dijon Maple Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans, Bacon and Feta
I had never thought it possible to make a dish this good sounding using green beans. These Dijon Maple Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans, Bacon and Feta would draw me right in on a restaurant menu, regardless of what they were served with.
This is a perfect example of a few simple ingredients coming together to create something new and exciting. They don't take long to prepare despite being full of complex flavor combinations. Make this for friends, and I can assure you they'll be begging for the recipe.
10. Sweet and Sour Green Beans
Sweet and sour dishes were never my favorite until I started making them myself at home. This way I have complete control over the flavor balance and can keep it mild if I'm not feeling overly adventurous. You wouldn't necessarily associate green beans with sweet and sour dishes which is why I like this idea.
Once again, bacon comes in to make these Sweet and Sour Green Beans something special, and a vegetable dish that everyone will immediately be reaching for. I love that the beans are tossed in the same pan that has been used to fry the bacon and onions, this means they will pick up every little bit of flavor possible.
11. Caramelized Spicy Green Beans
I love my spice, but not everyone in my family does. That's why I love incorporating spice into side and vegetable dishes like these Caramelized Spicy Green Beans, as people can choose for themselves whether they want to avoid them or pile a mountain onto their plate.
That said, the level of heat is controllable in this recipe, as you could adjust the amount of red pepper you add. The light brown sugar will ensure that the dish has a hint of sweetness, and along with the soy sauce I can imagine it having a teriyaki style taste.
12. Noodles with Turkey, Green Beans and Hoisin
Stir frys are one of my favorite weeknight meals, mostly because they are incredibly satisfying and yummy despite how quick they are to make. I pretty much use whatever vegetables I have in the house when making them, and green beans frequently make the cut.
I've never tried using turkey in a stir fry before, tending to go for chicken or salmon instead, so I am intrigued to find out what these Noodles with Turkey, Green Beans and Hoisin taste like. Hoisin sauce has been a favorite of mine for years, so I'll most likely love it.
13. Buttery Garlic Green Beans
Anything flavoured with garlic will undoubtedly go down well in my family. There's no way that any of us were vampires in a past life. Be it garlic bread or a garlic based sauce with chicken, it'll be polished off.
That is why I will definitely be making these Buttery Garlic Green Beans as a sure fire way to ensure everyone eats their vegetables. They'll only take a matter of minutes to make, which is perfect for a busy household, and are cheap and cheerful.
14. Green Bean, Ham and Cheese Frittata
Although I do use green beans often, I don't believe I have ever incorporated them into a breakfast or brunch. This Green Bean, Ham and Cheese Frittata would be perfect for either, or even as something a little different for lunch.
Every Sunday we try and have something more exciting for breakfast, a tradition which I love and hope to continue for a long time. It is nice to take the time to cook and then enjoy something in the morning. I love a classic cheese and ham frittata and can only imagine the addition of green beans making it even better.
15. Green Beans with Mushrooms and Crispy Onion Rings
I haven't tried many green bean recipes with a creamy base like this one, but I am intrigued to give it a go. It's something a little different to plain boiled green beans so I am sure my family would tuck right in.
There are few ingredients in this recipe for Green Beans with Mushrooms and Crispy Onion Rings, and although it calls for frozen green beans, I reckon fresh ones would work just as well. The addition of mushrooms makes it a little more filling as well as including a new flavor and texture element, and those onion rings will be the perfect hint of crunchy sweetness.
16. Green Bean Bacon Bundles
I came across a few recipes which had the green beans tied up together, but of course, I had to share these Green Bean Bacon Bundles. The bacon not only acts as a perfect edible ribbon to tie the bundles together, but also adds a sweet saltiness.
You could fry your bundles in whatever you wanted, be sure to take care doing this as the bacon will absorb the flavor and really make the dish pop. In this recipe, they have used sugar and garlic, but you could experiment with different flavors like maple or barbecue.
17. Green Bean Potato Salad with Lemon-Soy Vinaigrette
A BBQ isn't complete without a good potato salad in my opinion. My potato salad always tends to look the same, a sort of creamy base with potato, spring onion and not much else, so I think my family deserve a long awaited upgrade.
This Green Bean Potato Salad with Lemon-Soy Vinaigrette looks like the perfect balance of fresh and wholesome, and would sit beautifully amongst a spread. Green beans, yellow potatoes and red onion ensure it looks bright and appetizing, while zesty lemon and nutty almonds make certain it will deliver on flavor.
18. Thai Sweet Chilli Green Beans
I am always looking for easy Thai inspired dishes because I love the cuisine but can't always get my head around all the fancy ingredients and spices. These Thai Sweet Chilli Green Beans look right up my street, and will definitely be making it onto my dinner table.
There are a number of things that I think would go well with these green beans, mostly meat and fish. Adding noodles into them could also make a quick and easy yummy stir fry, you could even pop in some king prawns. The chicken stock means the beans will be full of flavor, and of course, you will get a warm but tolerable heat coming from the chilli.
19. Tomato Green Bean Soup
You can't go wrong with a good soup in my opinion. Many people incorrectly believe that soups are only for the colder months, but there are in fact many thinner soups and broths which are perfect for those warmer days.
Using fresh tomatoes and green beans is the best way to ensure that this Tomato Green Bean Soup tastes as fresh as possible. Especially if you grow them in your garden, you're onto a winner. All this incredibly simple soup requires you to do, is combine all the ingredients in a pan and boil them, nothing could be more quick and easy.
20. Fried Green Beans
Upon asking my friend what her favorite way to eat green beans is, I discovered Fried Green Beans for the first time. I had honestly never heard of them before, but I am always looking for slightly healthier alternatives to regular fries and these look interesting.
In this recipe, both green beans and red onions are fried which I like as it's a little more exciting than one vegetable by itself. It comes along with a creamy mushroom dip which looks delicious, but if you wanted to keep it simple and quick, you could stick to sour cream or even mayonnaise.
21. Green Beans with Peanut Sauce
I never think to serve my green beans with a sauce, I tend to cover them in whatever I'm serving them with instead. That being said, I love the idea of these Green Beans with Peanut Sauce, it's a great way of taking those beans to the next level.
This Thai inspired peanut sauce looks delicious, with multiple exciting flavors going on. There's Thai red curry paste which will give it a comfortable level of heat, coconut milk which will have a cooling effect against the heat and of course some smooth and nutty peanut butter.
22. Creamy Green Bean Casserole
This Creamy Green Bean Casserole is slightly different to the last casserole. Because it includes both milk and chicken or vegetable broth in it, this one will have more of a sauce along with it. Both would be equally delicious, it's simply a matter of preference.
The last casserole also used store bought fried onions, which is amazing if you're in a rush, but I like the fact that this recipe shows you how to make your own. This will be a deliciously comforting side dish and one that everyone will fall in love with.
23. Sheet Pan Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli and Green Beans
My mom used to roast green beans in a fish dish I loved growing up, but I have never cooked them in this way myself. I rarely roast vegetables but when I do I love the sweet flavor it gives them, so I am definitely going to make an effort to do so more often.
Adding garlic and parmesan to these vegetables is a great way of adding a flavor punch, those roasted cherry tomatoes will also be little bursts of flavor. These Sheet Pan Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli and Green Beans are incredibly simple to make as the oven will do most of the work for you, meaning you can cook up something special to serve along with them.
24. Chicken and Green Bean Stir Fry
My go-to stir fry is very similar to this Chicken and Green Bean one, although I don't use quite as many ingredients. This is simply because I am lazy, but I want to make more of an effort to add more things which will really make that flavor pop.
Another thing I'd like to get into is eating my stir frys with rice as opposed to noodles, it would be nice to change it up a little. You could add more vegetables into this stir fry if you wanted to, I personally love red peppers in mine, and even omit the chicken if you'd rather keep it vegetarian.
25. Green Beans with Tomato Sauce
Here is another simple recipe that takes plain, boiled green beans to the next level without adding hours of preparation time. I'd like to say I would make my own sauce for these Green Beans with Tomato Sauce, but in reality, I would most likely use a pre-made one like they do in this recipe. There is no shame in doing this, go with whatever works best for you.
If you use a pre-made sauce this recipe is incredibly simple, add the sauce to the green beans and you're good to go. In the photograph, they have added thin slices of cheese on top which is the perfect little finishing touch.
26. Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry
This recipe is actually made using runner beans, but after a little research, I have concluded that you could easily use green beans instead. If you decide to make this recipe, I certainly will be, make sure to reduce the cooking time of the beans as green beans will need less than the runners would.
Curries are some of my favorite meals because they are highly flavorful but don't always require hours of cooking. This Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry is bursting with exotic flavors like cinnamon, ginger, curry leaves and garam masala, all cooled down by coconut milk, and I cannot wait to make this in the next couple of days.
Thank goodness green beans are a favorite vegetable in my family because there are a fair few recipes on this list that I simply must try. Incorporating vegetables into meals wherever I can is incredibly important to me, and I feel that if I am able to change them up often while ensuring that they're tasty and exciting, no one will get bored.
My love of Asian flavors is making me eager to try the Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry, as well as the Green Beans with Peanut Sauce. Because my friend has told me how much I am missing out having not tried them, Fried Green Beans are also high up on my list.
Which of these recipes do you see becoming your new favorite side dish? Do you grow your own green beans at home?