Healthy Green Bean Recipes That Prove the Vegetable Is Great in More Than Casseroles

Make-Ahead Green Bean Salad with almonds
Photo: Tracy Benjamin

Think outside the casserole dish with these easy, healthy green bean recipes. From summery tomato and bean salads to takeout-inspired spicy and healthy green bean stir-fries, you're about to find a new go-to side dish recipe—and all can be on your table in less than 35 minutes. Quick, crowd-pleasing, and nutritious, these healthy green bean recipes have it all.

01 of 14

Heirloom Tomato and Green Bean Salad

Heirloom Tomato and Green Bean Salad
Paul Costello

No need to search any further; you've landed at quite possibly the best healthy green bean recipe for summer. Think of this as a mash-up of a pasta salad, tomato salad, and a green bean side all in one ready-in-30-minute package. Quick-cooking couscous adds just enough staying power to help this caper-spiked, herb-infused salad work as both a carbohydrate and a veggie side.

02 of 14

Make-Ahead Green Bean Salad

Make-Ahead Green Bean Salad with almonds
Tracy Benjamin

If you wrote off steamed green beans based on Mom's canned vegetable side dish, this healthy green bean recipe will inspire you to see the technique in a new light. Start fresh—with fresh haricot verts, that is—and steam until just crisp-tender. Refrigerate the make-ahead side dish up to 3 days, then toss with toasted sliced almonds, fresh mint, and a zippy Dijon vinaigrette. While this salad is easy enough to pack for weekday lunches, it's also elegant enough for any holiday table.

03 of 14

Spicy Green Stir-Fry with Peanuts

Spicy Green Stir-Fry with Peanuts
Andy Lyons

Be sure your ingredients are prepped, because once you start cooking, this veggie side dish comes together fast! And it certainly makes sure you get your greens for the day. Green beans, green pepper, edamame, and bok choy create a bountiful blend of textures and tastes. Asian flavors including teriyaki and ginger, plus crunchy, salty notes from peanuts make this a healthy green bean recipe everyone can get behind. You might as well double the quantities—folks will want seconds.

04 of 14

Two-Tone Green Bean Salad with Hazelnuts and Parmesan

Two-Tone Green Bean Salad with Hazelnuts and Parmesan
Andy Lyons

Now here's a healthy green bean side dish you'd likely never guess is good for you. Heart-healthy fats from olive oil and hazelnuts add indulgence to the healthy green bean recipe. But we added just enough of those richer ingredients to the veggies to keep each serving around 100 calories—and totally delicious.

05 of 14

Green Bean and Mushroom Skillet

Green Bean and Mushroom Skillet
Carson Downing

This cream-free, easy, healthy green bean casserole alternative is like the 21st century twist on Grandma's classic green bean casserole. A bit of crispy bacon, goat cheese, and French-fried onions (we wouldn't dare skip them!) lend just enough flavor and nostalgic vibes to pump up a whopping 1½ pounds of fresh or frozen green beans. Not a huge goat cheese fan? Feta, Parmesan, Asiago, blue, or any other salty cheese you prefer will work.

06 of 14

Walnut-Onion Green Beans

Walnut-Onion Green Beans side dish
Jason Donnelly

One 10-inch skillet. Basically three ingredients (plus butter, oil, salt, and pepper). Twenty minutes. That's all you need to bring one of the best healthy green bean recipes to life. The crunchy, nutty walnuts and sweet caramelized onions really make this secretly simple side dish shine.

Buy It: Cuisinart 10-Inch Skillet ($30, Bed Bath & Beyond)

07 of 14

Toasted Sesame Green Beans with Teriyaki Glaze

Toasted Sesame Green Beans Teriyaki Glaze serving bowl
Blaine Moats

This best green bean recipe might take you a bit longer than 30 minutes start to finish, depending on how quickly you chop veggies. But once you've trimmed the beans, sliced the

mushrooms, and grated the ginger, it's really only a matter of dump, stir, and cook for about 5 minutes. The extra prep pays off in taste and the impending "mmm's" from everyone who eats it.

Buy It: House of Tsang Sesame Oil ($5, Target)

08 of 14

Green Bean and Celery Salad

Green Bean and Celery Salad
Andy Lyons

Simple ingredients combine to create this flavor-packed, healthy green bean salad. It's all about adding bold flavors like fresh parsley and lime juice to elevate greens beans and celery. Bonus: Nothing in this recipe needs to be refrigerated, so you can double it to guarantee leftovers for a summer potluck, and kiss worries about rushing it back to a refrigerator goodbye.

09 of 14

Green Beans with Basil and Mint

Green Beans with Basil and Mint
Andy Lyons

Hello, speedy, super-fresh side dish. With just one pan and 20 minutes you can whip up this double veggie and double herb healthy green bean side dish to go with virtually any entrée. The bright, fresh flavors balance a meaty or starchy main dish beautifully.

10 of 14

Green Beans with Toasted Panko

Green Beans with Toasted Panko
Aya Brackett

Add a little crunch to your green beans with some seasoned, toasted bread crumbs. Admittedly, this easy, healthy green bean casserole substitute takes a bit longer than the others here, at 35 minutes, but only because they roast (hands-off time for you) for 20 minutes to give you that delicious charred flavor. This will quickly become one of the most-requested side dishes in your home.

11 of 14

Parsleyed Green Beans

Parsleyed Green Beans
James Baigrie

If you've got parsley and green beans on hand, we can pretty much guarantee you've got everything else you need for this quick and healthy green bean recipe (the rest is just butter, garlic, salt, and pepper). This simple side dish cooks up fast, and you can partially make it a day ahead and chill to get it on the table even faster if you like.

12 of 14

Warm Sea Salt-and-Vinegar Green Bean Salad

Winter Slaw with Kale and Cabbage
Blaine Moats

Sea salt and vinegar fans, your quest for the best green bean recipe is over. Even if you weren't actually on a quest, this healthy side dish is a game changer. Ample amounts of white wine vinegar, a dash of sugar, a good dose of sea salt, and just a hint of cayenne pepper take ho-hum green beans to, "holy cow, these are really good" green beans. Oh yeah, you can also make this healthy green bean recipe up to a day ahead.

13 of 14

Lemony Green Beans and Arugula

Lemony Green Beans and Arugula
Jason Donnelly

Get a double dose of greens with this arugula and green bean combo. Peppery arugula is tempered by slightly wilting in oil and garlic with a bit of citrus to pair deliciously with slightly sweet, fresh green beans. While this 25-minute healthy green bean dish pairs well with any protein, we particularly adore the bright lemon notes with a salmon, shrimp, or scallops recipe.

14 of 14

Farm-Style Green Beans

Farm-Style Green Beans
Blaine Moats

Just like most things, this healthy green bean recipe is better with bacon. Don't worry, we added just enough to make this well-balanced recipe feel indulgent while staying under 150 calories and offering three grams of fiber and four grams of protein. It's a win-win.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles