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green beans topped with panko breadcrumb mixture on plate
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5 from 10 votes

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 (change as needed): 3 generous servings
Author: Cheryl


  • 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)


  • 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.


  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. 
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