Swap this healthy green bean recipe for traditional green bean casserole on your Thanksgiving table this year. It’s brimming with healthy fats, fiber, and flavor!
I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is next week. Where does the time go? I say this every year but I really do wonder where it all goes. The past few weeks, some of my time has gone to Chicago and I’ve spent plenty of time in the kitchen making stuff. Though I’m just getting to post it, I made this healthy green bean recipe a few weeks ago as part of a Thanksgiving Sides demo.
The green beans were the surprise standout. Since people love a green bean casserole on Thanksgiving, I knew that putting something without cream and battered and fried onions on the table was a gamble. But it worked.
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Make these healthy green beans
To make this recipe, I started by caramelizing sweet onions. Though easier than it looks, it takes a bit of time. That’s the most tedious part of the recipe but I suggest making a big batch and using them for lots of other things like toppings on pizza or roasted vegetables or tossed into omelets. For a more in-depth look at this process check out my post on How to Caramelize Onions.
I blanched fresh green beans for 4-5 minutes and immediately tossed them in an ice bath to stop the cooking. You can do both of these steps a day before the big day. Once the onions are caramelized and the green beans are blanched, you simply toss them together with more extra virgin olive oil, toasted almonds, and salt and pepper.
And you have a healthy, delicious side that’s perfect for Thanksgiving or any day of the year!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is blanching? Blanching is a cooking term meaning you let fresh vegetables or fruit cook briefly in boiling water. It’s like partially cooking the vegetables and in this case, blanching helps you keep the brilliant green color and crunch of the green beans! Here’s a good tutorial on how to blanch vegetables.
Can I use frozen green beans? Yes. Skip blanching if you’re using frozen green beans. You can add them directly to the pan.
Do I have to caramelize the onions? No. But the dish won’t be the same. The caramelization process brings out the natural sweetness from the onions. Without that process, the dish will still be good but just different.
Can I swap in other nuts? Yes. Chopped walnuts or pecans would be delicious in this green bean recipe. You can also swap in roasted sunflower seeds if you or your family have a tree nut allergy.
Green Beans Caramelized Onions and Almonds
- 2 cups thinly sliced onions (about 1 large)
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil, divided
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 pound fresh green beans (about 4 cups trimmed)
- 1 pot boiling water for blanching
- kosher salt and coarse black pepper to taste
- Caramelize the onions: Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add onion. Stirring occasionally, set heat to medium-low and allow the onions to cook slowly about 20-25 minutes until browned but not burned. Once done, add the vegetable broth to deglaze the pan. Remove the caramelized onions from the pan and reserve.
- While onions are cooking, blanch the green beans in the boiling water - about 5 minutes. Remove the green beans from the boiling water and store in the refrigerator or an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
- Put it all together: Add 1 T olive oil to the warm skillet. Add the blanched green beans, onions and almonds back to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.