Lemon Garlic Green Beans with Slivered Almonds is a classic holiday side dish at my house thanks to my sister. Fresh, vibrant, crunchy – you know these aren’t from a can and are the perfect contrast to all the softer foods such as mashed potatoes and stuffing. This is a dish to be known for.
Let me start out my saying my sister is so good at so many things! Growing up though, cooking was a bit of a challenge. She once made candied apples that turned out black. So imagine my surprise when she brought this side dish to a family gathering one year. I haven’t had anything bad to say about her cooking since.
These green beans were a bright, bold green due to the blanching. For my version on the other hand, I skipped the blanching and opted for a bit more of a sautéed/steamed version instead for no other reason than time and we don’t have on demand ice cubes. The simple seasonings of salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, and almonds still amaze me. Nothing is over powered. The colors are beautiful, and it’s a dish that can be eaten hot or cold. Well done, sis. Well done!
How to Make Lemon Garlic Green Beans
This is a super quick side dish you can easily whip up right before setting the table.
Start by trimming the ends of the green beans. You do not want any of that woody end getting stuck in your throat. Believe me, I’ve done it. After you trim the ends simply toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper to ensure all are coated well.
Next, heat the skillet over medium-low heat and add the green beans right away, have a tight fitting lid standing nearby. As you notice about half of the green beans changing in saturation of color, pour a couple tablespoons of water into the skillet and put the lid on top. Keep the lid there for no more than 5 minutes. This is going to actively steam the green beans so they get tender, but not so tender that they loose their crunch.
Remove the lid and add the garlic. The garlic is a really quick sauté as you don’t want to burn it. Remove from the heat and add the zest of a full lemon and juice from half of the lemon. Sprinkle the top with slivered almonds and plate up for your guests to enjoy!
Additional Topping Options
- Parmesan Cheese
- Blue Cheese Crumbles
Tips for Best Results
It’s not too often that I’ll say this, but this recipe really is better with fresh green beans. While you could use frozen, you’ll have to dethaw them first and the crunch may not be as prominent as with fresh green beans.
Don’t use lemon juice from a bottle. Fresh lemon juice, since it is one of the star characters here, is needed. Bottled juice is often much more bitter than that straight from the lemon.
Make these the day of. While you can make these ahead and store leftovers in the refrigerator for about 4 days, they really are best fresh. If you have to make them the day before for logistical reasons, do not add the lemon juice until just before serving. You do not want the lemon juice being heated in the skillet. Lemon zest isn’t as big of a no-no but the lemon juice will turn bitter in the skillet.
What to Serve with…
While this is obviously a side dish with the holidays in mind, you can easily serve this up with any other hearty main dish to bring some balance to the plate. Personally, we love to serve this alongside cheese stuffed meatballs, meatloaf, venison heart, pork chops, and skillet chicken parmesan.
Lemon Garlic Green Beans with Slivered Almonds
- Cutting board
- 12-inch skillet
- 1 pound green beans fresh, ends trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Trim the ends of the green beans. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Add to a skillet over medium-low heat tossing occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of water and quickly cover with a tight fitting lid to steam the green beans for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and add minced garlic and lemon zest. Toss for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and squeeze in fresh lemon juice. Toss again and plate to serve.