Meal Plan

The Easy-Peasy-Green Beany Recipe You Can't Stop Raving About

August  7, 2017

Over 1000 of you have favorited this 20-minute green bean recipe, from Penelope Casas since it was shared via Genius Recipes back in 2013, and your comments sing its praises: "absolutely fantastic!" and "wonderful and easy" and "extremely delicious." (I promise I have no incentive to promote this recipe—these are your real reactions!)

You'll brown trimmed beans in butter (no blanching!) over a medium-high flame, then lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more, until tender. Mix in a crushed garlic clove, sprinkle with salt (and maybe add a squeeze of lemon, too?), and that's it.

You could probably eat all four servings right from the pan, plucking out each bean one by one... or you could double (or triple!) the recipe and set yourself up for a week's worth of greeny, beany meals. We've drawn up a grocery list and a make-ahead plan for putting the beans to use in five meals:

Beans, beans—they're good for your... weekly meal-planning, of course! Photo by Alpha Smoot

What to buy at the store:

  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans (or 1 1/2 pounds, if you're doubling the master recipe)
  • Black mustard seeds and cumin seeds
  • 4 fresh green chiles
  • 6 to 8 curry leaves
  • 2 shallots
  • Mint and cilantro
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cucumbers, fennel, scallions (or any versatile veg—this is for a customizable chopped salad)
  • Little potatoes (for a stuffed paratha and a Niçoise salad)
  • 1 lime
  • Oil-packed tuna or smoked salmon, your preference!
  • Components for a vibrant Niçoise: tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, red bell pepper
  • Sandwich rolls (or a baguette)
  • Mozzarella or ricotta cheese

We've assumed you have butter, garlic, whole-wheat flour, eggs, and vinegar.

What you can do ahead

  • Boil potatoes (for the paratha and the Niçoise)
  • Cook rice (for the thoran)
  • Make yogurt dressing (for the chopped salad) and vinaigrette (for the Niçoise)
  • Hard boil eggs (for the Niçoise)


  • Add some spice, serve over rice (sorry...): Take inspiration from the South Indian vegetable side dish thoran. Toast mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sliced chile, and curry leaves in hot oil until the spices sputter and the leaves crisp. Stir in ground turmeric, then add sliced shallots and cook until they're caramelized. Toast coconut (fresh shredded coconut is ideal, but dried unsweetened coconut will also work), stir into the green beans, then pour the spices and shallots over top and fold in chopped cilantro. Serve over warm basmati rice.
  • Crunchy chopped salad with cool yogurt dressing: Make a refreshing yogurt dressing by stirring together Greek yogurt, garlic, mint, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Chop cucumbers, scallions, fennel (or whatever other leftover vegetables you have in the fridge: snap peas? snow peas? celery?) and mix in the green beans. Toss with the dressing, then add a salty and/or crispy element: Sara Jenkins likes to use grated bottarga, but you can easily add well-toasted sunflower seeds or itty-bitty croutons in its place.
  • Green bean-stuffed paratha: Follow Panfusine's recipe for potato-full flatbreads—don't worry, the dough is made with just whole-wheat flour, water, and salt—but mash up some of the green beans along with the boiled potatoes. If rosemary strikes you as a wintry choice for flavoring the filling, sub in cilantro instead—and, garlic fiends, add another minced clove, too.
  • Niçoise-ish: Hard cook eggs, boil potatoes, slice some tomatoes, and open a jar of oil-packed tuna (or open a package of smoked salmon). Arrange all of your components on a platter—and don't forget the garlicky green beans—then add any olives, capers, or anchovies you'd like. Make a sharp vinaigrette for drizzling over top.
  • Green beans-and-cheese sandwich à la Caroline Lange: Mix the green beans with a tablespoon or two of red or white wine vinegar and a generous pinch of red chile flakes. While the green beans hang out, brush rolls (or a baguette) with olive oil and toast in the oven. Layer on sliced mozzarella cheese (or spread on ricotta or paprika aioli), then top with your green beans. Head straight to the pool.

What's your favorite green bean preparation? Tell us in the comments!

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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