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Lemony Green Beans with Pine Nuts & Garlic

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
This is one of my go-to side dishes for weeknight dinners, holidays, and dinner parties! They are perfectly tender and tossed with garlic, shallots, lemon zest, and toasty pine nuts for a savory, fresh, bright dish. Serve with chicken, beef, pork, seafood, vegetarian dishes, and more!


  • 1 1/2 Tbs pine nuts
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1/2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, plus more or less, to taste*
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


  • 12-inch skillet


  • In a large dry skillet, cook the pine nuts over medium heat until they are toasted and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Spoon the pine nuts into a bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the stove.
  • Place green beans in the skillet. Add the water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the green beans are slightly tender but still crisp.**
  • Remove the lid from the pan and stir until the water is evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.** Then, make a well in the center of the pan and add the olive oil and butter until it is melted.
  • Add the shallots to the olive oil-butter mixture and sauté until the shallots are soft and starting to brown on the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir the green beans with the shallot-garlic mixture.
  • Remove the pan from the heat (at this point, the green beans should be crisp-tender). Add the red pepper flakes, lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss, taste, and add additional seasonings if desired.
  • Spoon the green beans onto a serving dish and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.*** Serve immediately. Enjoy!


*If you are sensitive to spice, you can leave out the red pepper flakes. If you like your food hot, add more. I would avoid adding too much red pepper flakes or it overpowers the lemon and garlic.
**If you prefer very tender green beans, steam them closer to 4-5 minutes. For more crisp green beans, sauté the green beans for 2-3 minutes and then drain out any remaining water.
***You can also finish the dish off in the skillet. Just make sure to remove the pan from the heat so the garlic and pine nuts do not burn.
This recipe makes 4 large or 6 small servings. It can easily be doubled or tripled if you're serving a crowd.
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 96kcal, Carbohydrates: 11.1g, Protein: 2.9g, Fat: 5.6g, Saturated Fat: 1.4g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 310mg, Potassium: 306mg, Fiber: 4.2g, Sugar: 1.8g, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 2mg
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