In this Green Beans with Toasted Almonds side dish, fresh green beans are sautéed for 5 minutes and topped with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of salt and toasted almonds. This dish is colorful, super quick and super healthy. It is a great and easy side dish, and feels extra special with the toasted and nutty almonds.
Toasting the Almonds
Toasting the almonds in a sauté pan with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil brings out that nutty flavor. Toasted almonds are so much better than raw, sliced almonds. Adding them on the top of green beans gives a nice crunch and contrast to the bright green beans.
Green Beans: Haricot Vert vs Other Green Beans at the Store
In this recipe, I use Haricot Vert green beans. They are a French variety that translates directly to green beans. Haricot Vert are more slender and generally straighter than the other kind of green beans that you can typically find at the store. Those are often plumper, and a bit knobbier.
I prefer Haricot Vert only because they are straighter and easier to line up and trim compared to other green beans at the grocery store. They both taste great and either would work well. However, because haricot vert are more slender they take less time to cook. If you are not using Haricot Vert, keep in mind you may need to cook them a minute longer.
Taste as You Go
Taste the green beans as you go (say at minute 3 and minute 4). Each stove will heat slightly differently. Your green beans may be cooking slower or faster depending on your setup.
Set a timer on your phone or microwave so that you don’t accidentally overcook them.
When Are the Green Beans Done?
The green beans are done when they have turned bright green and when you bite into them they still have a nice crunch. They should be slightly soft and have some give. They are overdone when they start to turn a dark green or even brown and no longer have the bright crunch when you bite into them.
Serving Tip: When serving the green beans try to serve them so that they are relatively spread out, such as on a serving platter or an extra-large or wide bowl. This prevents the green beans from being piled on top of each other and continuing to cook, in effect steaming the green beans so that they become overdone.
Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Because this dish is so simple with so few ingredients, its helps to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. Some of what you’re tasting when you eat the side dish is the olive oil itself. So choose extra virgin olive oil.
Look for olive oil that is sold in a dark green bottle. Olive oil degrades as it gets older. Its better used sooner than later, unlike wine. Look for olive oil that came from one place, rather than a mixture of several locations or countries. Lastly, stick with one that you like, not necessarily something more expensive.
Flaky Sea Salt if You Have It
If you have some flaky sea salt like Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, that would work really nicely here. Just sprinkle a tiny bit on before serving.
Enjoy these Green Beans with Toasted Almonds alongside Crispy Hot Honey Chicken. This combo makes for a great easy dinner!
Green Beans with Toasted Amonds
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 12 oz green beans, trimmed
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ¼ lemon
- salt to taste
- Bring a large sauté pan to medium-low heat. Add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and allow to warm through 1 minute. Add the almonds, stirring frequently 3-4 minutes until they are a toasted-brown color. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Increase the heat to just below medium (think 4 out of a scale of 10) and add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Allow to warm through. Add the green beans, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes. Squeeze the juice of a quarter of a lemon over top and sprinkle with salt. Stir and cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove from heat, add half the almonds. Reserve the second half of the almonds to serve in a bowl alongside the green beans. Add additional almonds to individual plates as desired.