If you’re looking for a vibrant, colorful, make-ahead side dish with classic flavors and some good crunch, try our best green beans with lemon garlic panko crumbs. Make them in less than 20 minutes.
With just 4 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and an extra 10 minutes, you can take a basic side of green beans and elevate it to something a bit more special.
This dish can also be made well ahead of serving which makes it a perfect dinner party dish.
In fact, I often serve green beans when I’m having company because I find most people like them, they can be served warm or at room temperature and they add gorgeous color to the plate with the little tip below.
The recipe is fairly basic, but is easily stepped up another notch with a few adjustments tailored to your taste. Don’t get me wrong though. It’s pretty good the way it is.
Green beans go with pretty much any protein. I love to serve them with salmon stuff with ricotta, spicy honey lime chicken, sous vide pork loin with raspberry balsamic sauce and marinated flank steak.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Add a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese to the lemon-garlic oil mixture.
- Add herbs such as thyme or oregano.
- For a pinch of heat, add chili powder or red chili flakes.
- For color, add dried cranberries.
- Add chopped toasted nuts or seeds for extra texture.
- Use butter instead of olive oil for a richer taste.
How to make your beans vibrant green
- Plunge the beans into a bowl of ice water immediately after cooking. This will stop the cooking process and ensure a spectacular green color is retained. Run cold water over the bean and keep draining them to get them cold as quickly as possible. Of course, you can take a shortcut and skip this step. You’ll just have darker green beans.
- The entire dish can be assembled ahead and left on the counter at room temperature. If you prefer to serve the beans warm, heat them just before serving and add the Panko crumbs on top.
My even easier weeknight go-to for green beans is a seven minute deal. Microwave trimmed beans. Add butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder. That’s it. If I need to save some time cooking for a dinner party, I will just make the beans this way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “what did you do to the beans? they’re so good!”.
Best Green Beans with Panko Crumbs
- 3/4 lb (400 gm) french or thin green beans, tips trimmed regular beans are fine too.
- lemon for final squeeze and garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
- 1 tsp minced garlic (1 clove) or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp lemon zest (about 1/2 large lemon)
- 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- MAKE LEMON GARLIC OIL MIXTURE: Combine oil, lemon zest and garlic in a cup.
- PREPARE BEANS: Boil salted water in a skillet or small wok. Add beans and cook on medium-high for 2-3 minutes until tender or al dente (as you prefer). If your beans are thicker, they will take a bit longer to cook. While beans are cooking, get a bowl ready, half filled with ice and water. Note 1. Drain beans and plunge immediately into the ice water. This stops the cooking process and maintains their bright green colour. Let beans sit in ice water for a few minutes to completely cool down. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Return them to skillet/wok. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon garlic mixture and toss to coat evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- MAKE PANKO TOPPING: In small skillet, add Panko crumbs. Heat to medium-high and shake pan over heat 3-4 minutes until light golden brown. Add remaining lemon-garlic mixture. Stir to coat crumbs for 30-60 seconds.
- ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: If desired, warm beans on medium high on the stove for 1-2 minutes. Otherwise, leave at room temperature. Transfer beans to a platter or serving bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice over beans if you like. Sprinkle Panko topping over top, Serve with lemon wedges.
- Ice water bath for beans: You can skip the step of plunging the beans into ice water to stop the cooking process quickly. It won't affect the taste, but the beans will not retain their bright green color without it.
- Make Ahead: The entire dish can be assembled ahead and left on the counter at room temperature. If you prefer to serve the beans warm, heat them just before serving and add the Panko crumbs on top.
Here’s another delicious green bean recipe you might like: