These garlic parmesan green beans are easy to prepare and make for a great side dish. We usually think of green bean casserole as a Thanksgiving side dish, so if you are looking for a healthy green bean casserole alternative, you’ve come to the right place!
Health Benefits of Garlic Green Beans with Parmesan
You don’t have to know much about nutrition to know that this green bean side dish is far healthier than traditional green bean casserole recipes. Classic green bean casserole is typically made with canned cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, and fried onions. That’s a lot of salt and unhealthy fats for one recipe!
In this recipe, we use fresh green beans, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and parsley to provide flavor, color, texture, and nutrition. All in balance, these ingredients give your taste buds and your body exactly what it wants and needs!
Fresh green beans contain many essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. We actually used haricots verts to make this recipe. Haricots verts are thinner than standard green beans, so their flavor is more delicate and they cook faster. Why steam rather than boil? When you boil vegetables, you lose water-soluble vitamins to the water. That’s okay with a soup or stew (because you don’t get rid of the liquid), but if you are discarding the water, you are losing out on some great nutrition!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. Additionally, certain nutrients require fat for absorption; using extra virgin olive oil in recipes can boost the nutritional quality of a dish (1, 2).
Nuts are a great source of plant-based protein and healthy fat. Almonds in particular are high in monounsaturated fats which are good for heart health. Plus, toasted slivered almonds provide a great crunch!
The parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and fresh parsley provide depth, brightness, and complexity which decreases the need for salt in this recipe. Reducing excessive salt can help protect your heart!
The equipment for this fresh green bean recipe is fairly straightforward: a steamer basket, skillet, sharp knife, and cutting board. If you don’t have a steamer basket, keep reading to learn how to steam vegetables without one!
Culinary Tips for Making the Best Green Beans
If you don’t have a steamer basket, add ~1 inch of water to a large pot, then add the haricots verts/green beans. Bring to a boil, cover, and steam for 8-10 minutes or until crisp tender and bright green. Be careful not to overcook!
Fire, fat, food! Heat your pan, heat the oil, then add the almonds. It’s important to take time between each step to promote maximal flavor! Keep your eye on the skillet when you add the garlic. It can burn quickly and become bitter.
We love that this garlic parmesan green beans stove top recipe doesn’t require any oven space – a much appreciated relief for Thanksgiving cooks!
- Haricots Verts: substitute regular green beans. You can also substitute frozen haricots verts/green beans. We don’t recommend using canned green beans in this recipe; it just isn’t the same!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: substitute avocado oil, although the flavor will be different. Do not use vegetable oil, as this is not a heart-healthy oil.
- Slivered Almonds: substitute raw sliced almonds or chopped pecans.
- Garlic: substitute 1 teaspoon garlic flakes, ½ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
- Lemon Juice: substitute apple cider or red wine vinegar.
- Grated Parmesan: substitute pre-shredded parmesan cheese.
- Chopped Parsley: substitute fresh chopped basil.
Although we prefer the original vegetarian recipe, if you want to make garlic parmesan green beans with bacon, add chopped cooked bacon to the skillet along with the green beans. Look for uncured bacon without nitrates or nitrites.
With all of the other rich dishes on a Thanksgiving menu, this healthy green bean dish is fantastically light and fresh. Of course, this recipe is great all year round too! Garlic and parmesan green beans go well with roasted fish and a tasty grain salad.
Store green beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. You can also freeze cooked green beans so that you have an easy side dish ready for busy nights!
Want more healthy fall seasonal recipes?
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Looking for a healthy alternative to green bean casserole? Try out this simple garlic parmesan green beans recipe. Fast, fresh, and flavorful!
- 1 pound haricots verts
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup raw slivered almonds
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (~1 Tablespoon)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (~½ medium lemon)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon fresh, chopped parsley
Steam haricots verts in a steamer basket for 8-10 minutes or until crisp tender and bright green. If you don't have a steamer basket, place about an inch of water in a large pot. Add green beans, bring water to a boil, and cover.
While the haricots verts are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add olive oil. Add almonds and cook for ~3 minutes or until almonds begin to turn golden. Add the garlic and sauté for ~1 minute.
Turn off heat, add haricot verts to the pan, and toss to coat. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer haricot verts to a serving dish. Sprinkle parmesan and parsley on top. Enjoy!
Fire, fat, food! Heat your pan, heat the oil, then add the almonds. It’s important to take time between each step to promote maximal flavor!