Green beans almondine is an amazing green bean side dish. You need only just a couple of ingredients, but they take simple green beans to another level. This dish is easy and quick to make but also very flavorful and impressive so you can serve it on a special occasion.
Green beans almondine is a French side dish. Almondine, or more traditionally spelled ‘amandine’ means just almond garnish. Usually just butter, lemon juice, and almonds are added to the green beans, but I also like to lemon zest, garlic, and shallots. It’s a really amazing flavor combination!
What goes into green beans almondine:
Green beans – it’s best to buy French green beans (haricots verts), they are very thin and delicate. Regular green beans can also be used, but the thinner the beans the better. How to buy green beans: look for firm, fresh-looking green beans that snap crisply, and contain immature seeds. It’s also good, if possible, to buy beans that are almost the same size – they will cook more evenly. You can also use good-quality frozen green beans but they won’t taste as good as fresh green beans and will be much less crunchy.
Shallots – these are small onions that have a mild onion flavor. You can omit them completely or use a small yellow or red onion instead. Shallots work here best because of their mild flavor but also they soften very quickly.
Almonds – the best are sliced almonds with skin-on. They look prettier and are usually more thick and crunchy than blanched (skinless) sliced almonds. Blanched sliced almonds can break more easily when stirred in the pan. You can also use slivered almonds or just use whole skin-on almonds and chop them roughly. I couldn’t find skin-on almonds in my store so I used half skinless almonds and for the other half, I chopped whole skin-on almonds into 2-3 slices.
Garlic – my recipe uses a lot – whole 4 cloves. It’s important to chop them finely with a knife and not press them through a garlic press. Pressed garlic has a more pungent garlicky flavor.
Butter – use good quality butter for the best results. You can also use olive oil instead, but the dish won’t taste as good.
Lemon – we’re using lemon juice and zest so it’s good to buy organic lemons. Lemon juice differs in acidity so it’s good to taste the dish as you season it with lemon juice to adjust the acidity level to your liking. Make sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice as the bottled stuff doesn’t taste very good.
Change it up a bit:
I think this dish is just perfect as written, but make sure to adjust the ingredient ratios to your liking. Some like less shallots, more garlic and so on.
What you could also add:
- cooked crumbled bacon
- some chili flakes
- use pistachios instead of almonds
- add some white wine to deglaze the pan (since the wine is already a bit sour, add less lemon juice)
- use broccoli or asparagus instead of green beans!
How to make it step by step:
STEP 1: Prepare all the ingredients: chop the shallots, finely chop garlic, zest and juice the lemon. It’s best to use microplane for grating the lemon zest.
STEP 2: Cook the green beans:
How to cook green beans:
- First, trim the green beans – cut off the stem end of the beans. I trim my green beans only from one side – where the stem is woody and hard. You don’t need to cut off the other end. Grab a handful of green beens and trim the ends with scizzors or put them on a chopping board and cut off with a knife.
- Next, cook the beans in a pot of boiling water. It’s important that the water is very well salted, the beans should also be seasoned from the inside. The method we’re using is called blanching which means we’re adding the beans to already boiling water, then drain them and put into ice water (or just very cold water).
How long to cook green beans: 3.5-4 minutes for very thin beans, 4-5 min for medium beans and 6-7 minutes for thick green beans. If you’re using thin frozen green beans, cook them for about 2 minutes. These times are only an estimate – cooking time depends on the thickness of the beans and the heat under your pot. Make sure to keep an eye on the beans, take one green bean out of the water and try for yourself if it’s done (always try the thickest bean in the pot). A well cooked green beans should be tender, but still retain crunchiness. They should slightly squeek between your teeth. Be careful not to ovecook the beans – the dish will be ruined. The time frame between perfectly cooked beans and overcooked beans is unfortunately not very long.
- Rinse the beans under cold running water (or add to a bowl with ice water) – this step helps to retain beautiful bright green color and also crunchy texture of the beans.
Next, make the almond garnish:
STEP 3: Toast the almonds in a dry pan until lightly golden. I prefer to toast the almonds in a dry pan first because it’s quicker than to cook them in butter.
STEP 4: Add the butter and shallots, cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the shallots are soft.
STEP 5: Add the garlic and lemon zest, cook briefly for about 30 seconds.
STEP 6: Add the cooked green beans and lemon juice. Toss everything together and cook only until the green beans are warmed up. Take the pan off the heat and serve immediately.
How to make it ahead:
You can prepare the whole dish then reheat it in a skillet (add a little water to the skillet). The green beans won’t be as crunchy as freshly made but they will still taste good.
Better would be, especially if you want to serve this dish on an important occasion, to prepare the green beans ahead and make the almond garnish just before serving. To do that, cook the green beans, add them into cold water, drain well, and put in a tightly-closed container in the fridge. On the day you plan on serving the green beans, make the almond garnish and add the green beans to the pan, warming them up with the butter sauce.
What to serve it with:
Green beans almondine make a perfect side dish to many main dishes like:
- Turkey roulade with butternut squash, mushroom and cranberry stuffing
- Roasted duck with apples + how to roast a whole duck
- Lemon Thyme Chicken Breast – baked in the oven
- Roast Turkey
- Roasted chicken
Other side dish recipes you may like:
- Zucchini gratin (cheesy scalloped zucchini)
- Instant Pot Corn on the cob or Oven-roasted corn on the cob with herb and chili butter
- Potato and asparagus salad with eggs and smoked trout
- Baked ratatouille (confit byaldi)
- Ratatouille Recipe – French summer vegetable stew
Green beans almondine
- 1 lb (450g) green beans, thin green beans are preferred
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds 40g, skin-on almonds are better
- 4 tablespoons butter 60g
- 2 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- zest grated from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Prepare all the ingredients: trim the green beans (cut off just the woody stem, you don't need to cut off the other end), cut the shallots into small cubes, finely chop the garlic, zest, and juice the lemon.
- Cook the green beans: add the trimmed beans into a pot with very well-salted boiling water. Cook the green beans until they are soft but still very crunchy (they should squeak a little between your teeth). This will be 3.5-4 minutes for very thin beans, 4-5 min for medium beans, and 6-7 minutes for thick green beans. If you're using thin frozen green beans, cook them for about 2 minutes. Take one green bean out of the water (the thickest one) and try if it's cooked to your liking. When the beans are cooked, drain them and rinse with cold running water (or add to an ice bath – cold water filled with ice). Set aside.
- Make the almond garnish: Add the almonds in an even layer to a big frying pan. Toast them in a dry pan until lightly golden (medium-high heat). Add the butter and the shallots, cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the shallots are soft. Add the garlic and lemon zest, cook, stirring, for about 30-60 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Assemble: Add the cooked green beans and briefly warm them up with the sauce. Take the pan off the heat, add the lemon juice, and toss everything together. Season with salt to taste, if necessary.
- Ingredient notes:
- Green beans – try to buy (if possible) green beans that are almost the same size – they will cook more evenly. You can also use good-quality frozen green beans but they won’t taste as good as fresh green beans and will be much less crunchy.
- Shallots – you can omit them or use a small red/yellow onion instead.
- Almonds – best are sliced skin-on almonds.
- Garlic – chop it with a knife and don’t press through a garlic press.
- Butter – best is unsalted, good-quality butter. Olive oil can also be used but the dish will taste a little different, I prefer it much more with bitter.
- Lemon – lemon’s acidity levels may vary so adjust the amount to your liking. Use freshly-squeezed lemon juice.
- How to make it ahead: You can prepare the whole dish then reheat it in a skillet (add a little water to the skillet). The green beans won’t be as crunchy as freshly made but they will still taste good. Better would be, especially if you want to serve this dish on an important occasion, to prepare the green beans ahead and make the almond garnish just before serving. To do that, cook the green beans, add them into cold water, drain well, and put in a tightly-closed container in the fridge. On the day you plan on serving the green beans, make the almond garnish and add the green beans to the pan, warming them up with the butter sauce.
- Servings: this will do for 4-6 people as a side dish, or for 2 people for a quick and healthy lunch.
- Calories: 1/4 of the recipe.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!