An incredible fresh green beans recipe you must try — perfectly cooked beans in nutty brown butter topped with hazelnuts and fresh thyme. Turn ordinary string beans into something special!
I know — green bean recipes are everywhere.
Who really needs another one? Well, let’s assume you do since you’ve landed on this page. Welcome!
To make your trip worthwhile, grab this recipe for perfectly cooked green beans, coated in brown butter and toasted hazelnuts.
It’s a surprisingly simple way to elevate an everyday ingredient into something special — you could even say dinner-party worthy.
From start to finish, this easy dish takes about 15 minutes to make.
The best recipes for fresh green beans and string beans tend to keep the process plain and simple.
Although we need to agree that homemade green bean casserole is something else altogether…
Green beans were always a lifesaver when my kids were little — they were a green vegetable on the dinner table they would actually eat.
On the other hand, I rarely ate fresh green beans when I was growing up.
For some reason, all we ever had were mushy olive-green string beans out of a can. As you can imagine, my life went on without great passion for those.
How to boil green beans
- Fill a large saucepan or pot with 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil and add 1-2 tablespoons salt.
- Don’t overcook the beans. Taste and test after 2 or 3 minutes.
- A good sign the beans are almost ready is when you can hear them popping in the boiling water.
I don’t know what’s changed, but in the 21st century you can find fresh green beans in the market almost year-round.
Friendly and versatile green beans really don’t need much more than brief cooking and a bit of salt, oil or butter.
Or brown butter.
What’s brown butter?
Although it may sound fancy-pants, making brown butter isn’t hard to do. All you need is a pan, a stove and a healthy chunk of good butter.
Let’s hear a round of applause for French cooks: They invented one of life’s pleasures, beurre noisette, which I believe translates as “butter heated until it turns nut brown and tastes amazing.”
It definitely makes sense that noisette also happens to be the French word for hazelnut (or filbert, if you prefer).
In addition to its glowy amber color and fantastic nutty aroma, brown butter adds a beautiful finishing touch to just about anything edible.
Seriously, I’m guessing an old catcher’s mitt would taste delicious slathered with it.
Tips for perfectly cooked green beans with butter:
- This probably goes without saying for such a simple recipe, but I’ll say it anyway: Use good, fresh unsalted butter. If you can track down high-butterfat cultured butter (sometimes called European-style butter), even better. Look for lactic acid on the ingredient label.
- Choose a pan with a lighter surface to make the brown butter so you can better see the color changing as it cooks.
More simple vegetable side dish recipes:
- Creamy Cauliflower Mascarpone Gratin
- Harvest Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri
- Slow Cooker Root Vegetables with Apple Cider Glaze
Green Beans in Brown Butter
- 1 pound (450 g) green beans, trimmed
- 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup (40 g) chopped hazelnuts
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- Flaky sea salt
- Drop the green beans in boiling, generously salted water and cook 3 - 5 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt and bubble, swirling the pan. When the butter begins to foam, turn up the heat to medium-high and cook until the butter turns amber and smells nutty — this should take just a few minutes.
- Take the butter off the heat and stir in the hazelnuts and thyme. Pour the butter over the beans and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Use straight-up green beans, or a mixture of yellow and green when they're in season.
- If you're feeding a crowd, the recipe doubles easily.