Green Beans Almondine is an easy side dish that is fast enough to make on a weeknight, yet impressive enough to serve at a holiday dinner. Shallot- and garlic-infused butter coats the French string beans and almond slices, while a squeeze of lemon brightens the flavour. You may never eat plain green beans again!
If you’re looking for more side dish ideas, you might like my Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans!
Green beans almondine is a classic French dish, that simply means, green beans with almonds. Although the concept of the dish is simple, there’s nothing simple about the amazing flavour of this dish! This version uses both shallots and garlic for tons of flavour and I like to add a bit of lemon juice and red pepper flakes for some zing and a hint of spice.
If you’re looking for something green to add to your Thanksgiving, Christmas or other holiday feast, look no further. You can easily double this recipe to feed more people.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it. See the recipe card below for exact amounts and detailed instructions.
- French green beans (haricots verts) – one pound
- Butter – salted or unsalted both work, simply adjust the amount of added salt you use at the end of cooking
- Almond slices – I found blanched almond slices in the baking aisle
- Red pepper flakes
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice – optional, but delicious (do not use the store-bought pre-squeezed stuff)
- Salt and Pepper – to taste
How to Make it
1. Fill a large sauce pan with water and add at least 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil and add the French green beans. Blanch for 2-2.5 minutes (no longer, or you’ll have floppy beans!). While the beans are cooking, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl (use a full tray of ice cubes and enough water to submerge the beans). Once the beans are done cooking, drain immediately and add to the ice bath.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt, then add the almond slices. Brown the almonds for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to turn a dark golden colour. Then, add the shallots and red pepper flakes and sauté another 2 minutes. Finally, add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
3. Drain the beans from the ice bath and add to the skillet with the almonds, shallot and garlic. Add the lemon juice, if using. Toss the beans gently (I use silicone-tipped tongs) until they’re evenly coated and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Can I make this without butter / make it vegan?
Yes! If you need to avoid dairy, this dish is still delicious made with olive oil instead of butter.
Can I Make this with Regular Green Beans?
Yes! Although I prefer the texture of the smaller French green beans, you can substitute regular green beans if that’s what you’ve got on hand. Instead of blanching for 2-2.5 minutes in the first step, increase the blanching time to about 4 minutes, or until the green beans are tender but still crisp.
Can this dish be made ahead of time?
Yes, blanching the beans can be done ahead of time and I suggest doing this if you’re hosting a dinner party, to free up space on your stove top. Simply blanch the beans, leave them in the ice bath until cool, drain well and then store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Proceed from step two about 10 minutes before you plan to serve your meal (you want those beans fresh and hot when the meal is served!).
How do I reheat green beans almondine?
I find the best way to reheat is in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. I add a little extra butter to the pan before adding the beans to help reconstitute the sauce. The beans won’t be as crisp as the first time they were cooked, but they still taste great!
Why did my leftover green beans change to a drab green colour?
Note that if you’ve used lemon juice, some of the beans may turn a drab army green colour after being stored in the refrigerator. This is due to the acid in the lemon juice (it reacts with chlorophyll, the pigment that creates the nice bright green colour). There’s nothing wrong with the beans when they change colour, they’re perfectly edible. But, if you’re planning on lots of leftovers, you may want to skip the lemon juice or add a squeeze to the beans on your plate instead of the skillet.
Tips for success
- Cook in a lot of water that is heavily salted. This helps to season the beans and keep their nice bright green colour (long story short, we want to prevent the breakdown of their cell structure and chlorophyll. Thank you university food science classes!)
- Don’t overcook the beans (use an ice bath). Be sure to get those beans out of the boiling water and into the ice bath, to prevent over cooking. The beans will keep cooking even after they’re out of the boiling water and the ice bath halts this process. You want crisp yet tender beans, not sad and droopy beans. You also want the nice bright colour (see point one above).
- Use your time efficiently. Prep the shallots and garlic and gather your other ingredients while you wait for the water to boil.
- Watch the almonds carefully while they’re browning. You don’t want them to burn, so don’t walk away from the stove. Be sure to stir occasionally while they cook in the butter to ensure even browning. You can reduce the heat slightly if you find they’re browning too quickly.
Other side dish Recipes
Green Beans Almondine
- 1 lb French green beans (also called haricots verts or French string beans)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup blanched almond slices
- 2 large shallots, chopped small (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Fill a large sauce pan with water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil and add the French green beans. Blanch for 2-2.5 minutes (no longer, or you'll have floppy beans!). While the beans are cooking, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl (use a full tray of ice cubes and enough water to submerge the beans). Once the beans are done cooking, drain immediately and add to the ice bath.
- Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt, then add the almond slices. Brown the almonds for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to turn a dark golden colour. Then, add the shallots and red pepper flakes and sauté another 2 minutes. Finally, add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Drain the beans from the ice bath and add to the skillet with the almonds, shallot and garlic. Add the lemon juice, if using. Toss the beans gently (I use silicon-tipped tongs) until they're evenly coated and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
- To substitute regular green beans, blanch for about 4 minutes (or until tender, but still crisp) and proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed.
- To make ahead, blanch the green beans, put them in the ice bath until cool, drain well then store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Proceed from step two of the recipe about 10 minutes before you plan to serve your meal.
- To reheat, melt a little butter in a non-stick skillet and toss gently until warmed through.
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Hey, I’m Laura!
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If you’re looking for easy meals and Instant Pot recipes, you’re in the right place! I use my nutrition degree to create simple, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.