This year I’m adding more simple side dishes to the blog’s recipe list because while main dishes are often the star of the dinner time show, it’s the sides that I find always sneak in and steal the spotlight. And this FoodieCrush green bean side dish is proof that statement is true because it’s easy enough to make for everyday, but pretty enough to serve for special occasions too.
I remember my mom making a version of this super simple green bean side dish since before I could even decide if I liked it or not. At our house, there wasn’t really an option. You ate what was served and that was that. But I always loved these green beans.
They’re crisp. Buttery. A little bit lemony, and always with the crunch of almonds. And they are totally unlike the Brussels sprouts my mom tried to poison me with, where with each forkful I’d chew just enough to be convincing, then fake cough the mouthful into my napkin so I could feed them to our dog Posey. But Posey was smart. She didn’t like Brussels sprouts either. But she would have loved these green beans, if I’d been generous enough to share with her.
And yes, it is true. You can feed dogs green beans to help them lose weight. It was our secret weight loss ingredient for our 120 lb. malamute, Akasha, who shed the pounds but still felt full thanks to the fiber in green beans. Or at least she wasn’t howling and writhing with hunger pangs because she was a dog…and since she couldn’t talk and couldn’t sneak her own food, I’m deciding she was just fine with her mix of dog food and green beans.
I’ve often wondered if the green bean diet would help humans lose weight too? I mean, why not? Green beans are high in dietary fiber, low-calorie and virtually zero fat. Not to mention the loads of vitamins they pass along to our able bodies.
But I digress…
Back to the almondy beans…
While this simple recipe for fresh green beans topped with almonds has always been at the tops of my side dish list, my husband prefers the canned version and has passed that preference along to our daughter, too. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially when it’s totally convenient to pull a can out of the pantry to get a quick veg into a meal.
But in my starry eyes, there’s really nothing better than the al denté snap of these babies. And whether you call it Almondine or Amandine, those brown buttered almonds are the perfect topper for an easy side dish any time of year.
How to Make Browned Butter Green Beans Almondine
While you could make this dish with canned green beans, it’s the fresh beans that work best here. Choose beans that are firm and blemish-free. Always give them a good wash and trim the stems before cooking.
I keep things easy and make these beans—nuts, butter, and all—in just one skillet, steaming the beans right in with the butter and almonds. If you prefer to speed up the bean cooking process, you can blanch the beans in a pot of salted boiling water for about 2 minutes, drain, and add to the butter mixture. I have a gas stove where the heat is easy to regulate quickly. If you’re cooking on electric, be sure to monitor your heat levels closely so the nuts and butter don’t burn.
The amount of butter used in this recipe can totally be adjusted according to your taste and calorie-hawking. Add less if you’re on the counting calories for bikini season. I use 2 tablespoons at the beginning of the recipe to brown the nuts in and 1 at the end to finish it off, but that extra tablespoon can totally be optional too.
The almonds are cooked in the butter and continue to brown with the beans as they steam. The butter will begin to brown with the fat solids starting to separate. Be sure to reduce the heat so the almonds and the butter don’t burn. I used sliced almonds (cut into thin sheets) but slivered almonds (the skinnier matchsticks) work well too.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth to add a bit of steam to the pan when cooking the beans. Or, more lemon juice works too.
Once you make this easy side, it’s bound to become part of your recipe rotation. And sorry my little poochie dogs! You’ll just have to wait and watch.
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- ½ cup slivered sliced almonds
- 1-2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon, to taste
- Trim the ends of the green beans and rinse well, set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the almonds and cook for 2-3 minutes , stirring, until the nuts and butter become fragrantly nutty and begin to brown. Add the green beans, and the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of water or chicken broth to the pan to add more steam to the pan and cover with a lid and simmer until the beans are al denté, 4-5 minutes more, tossing the beans and almonds occasionally so the nuts don't burn. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter with the juice of ½ off the lemon, and season with more salt and pepper and toss. Add more lemon juice to taste.
Main Meal Recipes to Serve with These Green Beans
From fish, to pasta, to meats, this side dish is so versatile there really isn’t anything you couldn’t serve them with. Here’s a few ideas to get your flavor juices flowing:
- A Healthier Meatloaf with Tomato Glaze (Sunday night dinner plans just got even better)
- Cheesy Mustard Baked Chicken Breasts
- Flank Steak with Orange and Avocado Salsa
- Crispy Parmesan Buttermilk Chicken Tenders (Baked and Air Fryer)
- Yucatán Garlic Butter Shrimp (I’d totally add a cooked pasta side to complete the meal)
- Easy Chicken Breasts with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Instant Pot Low-Carb Paprika Pork Chops
- Grilled Salmon Fillet with Cucumber Dill Sauce (literally what we are having for dinner tonight!)
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