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Best Green Bean Recipe with Panko Crumbs

If you’re looking for a vibrant, colorful, make-ahead side dish with classic flavors and some good crunch, try our best green bean recipe with lemon garlic panko breadcrumbs. Make them in less than 20 minutes.

With just 5 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and an extra 10 minutes, you can take a basic side of fresh green beans and elevate it to something a bit more special.

green beans topped with panko breadcrumb mixture on plate

This dish can also be made well ahead of serving which makes it a perfect dinner party dish or holiday menu idea. So, instead of a heavier green bean casserole, try this lighter simple side dish. 

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. And I always like to serve a healthy green vegetable on the plate.

The recipe is fairly basic, but is easily stepped up another notch with a few adjustments tailored to your taste (see below). It’s pretty good the way it is though.

What to serve with this green bean recipe

Green beans go with pretty much any protein. I find them a great option to serve with:

Tailor To Your Taste

Green Beans

  • I use regular green beans, also called string beans or snap beans.
  • You can certainly use other types. Here’s an article by The Spruce Eats on different types of green beans if you’re interested.

Variations for panko crump topping

  • Add a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture.
  • For a pinch of heat, add chili powder, red chili flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Add herbs such as thyme or oregano.
  • Use butter instead of olive oil for a richer taste.

Garnish options

  • For color, add dried cranberries.
  • Add chopped toasted nuts or seeds for extra texture.

How to make your beans vibrant green

  • Plunge the cooked 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 beans 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.

How to make fresh green beans with panko crumbs

Green Beans, Lemon, garlic, Panko, oil, salt pepper
Ingredients: fresh beans, olive oil, panko, salt pepper, lemon, garlic
Green Beans simmering in water in a pan
Boil green beans until just tender in a large skillet.
seasoning mixture in measuring cup
Make dressing for beans in a small bowl or cup.
Green Beans in ice water in a bowl
Plunge cooked beans into ice bath to maintain vibrant color. This can be done ahead and set aside for several hours.
Green Beans draining in colander
Toss beans with dressing to warm them up before serving (or leave at room temp)
toasting panko crumbs in pan
Toast Panko mixture to a golden brown to add as topping
green beans topped with panko breadcrumb mixture on plate 1
Transfer beans to a shallow dish, top with panko crumbs and serve with lemon wedges.
green beans with lemon garlic panko on a plate with lemon wedges p

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.

Feeling Lazy? (shortcut)

My even easier weeknight go-to for a green beans recipe is a 7 minute deal. One of the simplest and best way to cook green beans in my humble opinion.

Microwave trimmed beans until tender. 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 and call it a day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “what did you do to the beans? they’re so good!”.

Other green bean recipes you might love

green beans topped with panko breadcrumb mixture on plate
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Best Green Bean Recipe with Panko Crumbs

 If you're looking for a vibrant, colorful, make-ahead side dish with classic flavors and some good crunch, try our best green bean recipe with lemon garlic panko crumbs. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time17 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 generous servings
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound (400 gm) french or thin green beans, tips trimmed regular beans are fine too.
  • lemon for final squeeze and garnish
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Vinaigrette and Panko Topping

  • 2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (or 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove) or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1/2 large lemon)
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs (36 grams)

Instructions

  • MAKE VINAIGRETTE MIXTURE: Combine oil, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl or cup.
  • PREPARE BEANS: Boil salted water in a large skillet or small wok. Add beans and cook on medium-high heat 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 color. 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 vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • MAKE PANKO TOPPING: In small skillet, add Panko crumbs. Heat to medium heat and shake pan over heat 3-4 minutes until light golden brown. Add remaining lemon-garlic vinaigrette. Stir to coat crumbs for 30 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 serving dish. Squeeze lemon juice over beans if you like. Sprinkle Panko topping over top, Serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

  1. Ice water bath for beans for vibrant color: 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.
  2. Variations to panko topping:
    • Add a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture.
    • For a pinch of heat, add chili powder, red chili flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper
    • Add herbs such as thyme or oregano.
    • Use butter instead of olive oil for a richer taste.
  3. Garnish options
    • For color, add dried cranberries.
    • Add chopped toasted nuts or seeds for extra texture.
  4. 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.
Nutrition values are estimates and include the panko crumb topping. 

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 444mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 782IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg
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