When I was a kid I loved the snap of raw green beans, but it occurred to me recently that these days I pretty much only eat them on Thanksgiving in the form of green bean casserole. That dish is a classic for good reason, but it barely scratches the surface of what you can do with green beans. The slightly grassy vegetable can be served raw and crunchy, braised until meltingly tender, or eaten anywhere in between. And while green beans are a staple on Thanksgiving, the ones you find in your local farmer's market in the summer are much better than anything you can get in November. From fried rice packed with veggies and Thai-style pomelo salad to a lighter take on the flavors of the ubiquitous casserole, we've rounded up 11 of our favorite green bean recipes.
Grilled Green Bean Salad With Red Peppers and Radishes
Perfect for your next cookout, this salad pairs grilled green beans with scallions, bell peppers, radishes, and a simple vinaigrette. We grill the beans directly over the hottest part of the grill for just a couple minutes until charred but still slightly crisp. Be careful to arrange the beans perpendicular to the grates, or use a grill basket if you're worried about them falling.
Fried Rice With Blistered Green Beans and Basil
We love to load our fried rice with vegetables—this recipe uses a high proportion of green beans to rice, plus garlic, scallions, and chilies. We season the dish with just a teaspoon each of soy sauce and fish sauce and throw in lots of fresh basil (use licorice-like Thai basil if you can find it).
Spicy Thai-Style Pomelo, Green Bean, and Zucchini Salad
Our version of Thai-style pomelo salad pairs the dry, meaty citrus fruit (or non-sweet grapefruit, if that's all you can find) with green beans, zucchini, shallots, mint, and a dressing made with garlic and dried chilies. In Thailand the beans are typically incorporated raw, but we prefer to blanch them briefly.
Easy Stir-Fried Pork With String Beans
This simple stir-fry features the classic Chinese combination of pork and green beans, which we cook with garlic and ginger-infused oil. Marinating the meat with salt, soy sauce, wine, sugar, oil, and cornstarch helps keep it tender and blanching the beans sets their vibrant color.
2-Bean Salad With Fire-Roasted Jalapeños and Pickled Red Peppers
Forget three-bean salad—we get plenty of texture and flavor out of two. The red kidney beans and green beans do get a little help, though, thanks to flavorful fire-roasted jalapeños and pickled red peppers. We dress the salad with a red wine vinaigrette, which is extra acidic to stand up to the beans.
Get the recipe for 2-Bean Salad With Fire-Roasted Jalapeños and Pickled Red Peppers »
Sautéed Green Beans With Mushrooms and Caramelized Cipollini Onions
Want the flavors of a Thanksgiving green bean casserole in a lighter, more summery package? This recipe ditches the creamy soup and mixes together blanched beans, sautéed mushrooms, and caramelized onions. The onions take quite a while to fully cook, but they come out so sweet that it's worth it.
Bacon-Braised Green Beans
After decades of mushy vegetables, the current trend veers in the opposite direction—it's hip to cook produce as little as possible. I love raw veggies, but there is definitely a time for soft, well-cooked green beans. It's important to season them heavily, though, so we cook them in an acidic blend of stock and vinegar and add smoky bacon.
Haricots Verts With Sauce Ravigote
I always thought haricots verts was just a pretentious name for green beans, but it turns out that they are actually longer and thinner than American green beans. Either variety is fine in this dish, in which the beans are served with a vinaigrette-like sauce made of red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil.
Get the recipe for Haricots Verts With Sauce Ravigote »
Garlicky Oven-Roasted Green Bean Salad With Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese
Salads can feel boring—the key to making them right is to combine lots of contrasting flavors and textures. In this case that means tender roasted green beans; soft, funky blue cheese; and crunchy hazelnuts. We dress the beans with a balsamic vinaigrette before roasting to let the flavors meld.
Get the recipe for Garlicky Oven-Roasted Green Bean Salad With Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese »
Green Bean Salad With Pickled Peppers and Anchovy Dressing
Between the last recipe and this one you're hopefully picking up on a theme: one of the easiest ways to make a great salad is to pick one star ingredient and add just a couple of intense supporting players. Here we pair green beans with pine nuts, shallots, peperoncini, and a Caesar-style dressing.
Easy Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans (Gan Bian Si Ji Dou)
Dry-fried beans are traditionally cooked in a wok full of several cups of searingly hot oil. The quick cooking does wonders for the beans, blistering their exteriors while letting them retain some crunch. But heating up cups of oil is a pain, so we turn to the broiler instead. You wind up with charred but still crisp beans ready to coat with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn oil.
Chacarero Chileno (Chilean Steak and Bean Sandwiches)
While it may sound odd like an odd combination, steak and green beans together make an excellent sandwich filling. It doesn't hurt that the thin slices of steak get a hard sear on the grill, with an assist from a flavored mayo, and the green beans get a nice hit of brightness from pickled peppers and their pickling liquid.