A toast to the roast.
This oven roasted green beans recipe with a toasted buttered breadcrumb topping is easy to make and has a much better flavor (and texture) than steamed green beans. Learn how to roast green beans, and enjoy!
Meet This Easy Oven Roasted Green Beans Recipe
I am fairly certain that I will never steam or boil a green bean again. Roasted green beans taste better, and have a better texture. And these easy roasted green beans topped with crunchy, buttery breadcrumbs tossed with shallot and fresh lemon zest add a little extra something to make this easy side dish just about out of this world.
What’s the Healthiest Way to Eat Green Beans?
I shouldn’t be too down on steamed green beans. Steaming vegetables actually preserves nutrition better than other methods. And if you keep an eye on them, it is possible to steam vegetables without overcooking them. But so often, I find it difficult to navigate the fine line between bright, al dente vegetables and flaccid, mealy fail.
Roasting vs. Steaming vs. Blanching Green Beans
But then there is roasting. Roasted vegetables — green beans included — benefit from more concentrated flavor, and good texture. Ease of cooking is another big benefit. This roasted green bean recipe involves little more than simply tossing the beans with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then let the oven do the work while you prepare the breadcrumbs.
Should green beans be blanched before roasting?
A lot of people wonder if fresh green beans need to be blanched before roasting in the oven. The answer is no — no blanching is necessary.
Blanching green beans helps preserve the color and can soften them, but the accurate roasting time on these green beans ensures that the color stays bright and are cooked to a perfect tender result, thus saving you a step. Just throw the beans on baking pans, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in the oven.
Why Are My Green Beans Tough?
Properly-cooked green beans should have an al dente texture: soft but firm, and neither too tough and fibrous, nor too soft and mushy.
Tough green beans can happen for one of two main reasons:
- The green beans were picked past their prime and are old and leathery, or
This recipe for roasted green beans will ensure that your beans are perfectly soft.
Roasted Green Beans Recipe Notes: The Breadcrumbs (and Substitutions)
This recipe is fairly straightforward and uncomplicated. But the combination of textures and the hint of lemon and shallot makes it into something special.
- Toasted breadcrumbs are a great, simple way to add texture to any dish. I like fresh breadcrumbs or Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs because they have larger, lighter crumbs. But any plain breadcrumbs will do.
- Breadcrumbs toast quickly, as do shallots. So keep a close eye on them when they are in the skillet, and stir often so they do not burn.
- Make extra toasted buttered breadcrumbs and keep them in the refrigerator to top on pasta dishes or other vegetables.
Alternatives to breadcrumbs: If you do not want to top the green beans with breadcrumbs, you could serve them plain right out of the oven, or toss with alternative add-ins like crisp, homemade bacon bits; grated parmesan cheese; toasted, slivered almonds, pine nuts, halved grape or cherry tomatoes, minced parsley, or a simple drizzle of olive oil.
How to serve these green beans
Roasted green beans go very well with roasted chicken or turkey, and also make a great side for Italian dishes like chicken parmesan.
These roasted green beans are best served fresh from the oven for the best texture and flavor. Leftovers stored in the fridge in an airtight container will keep for up to two days. Leftover roasted green beans still taste great, but will not be as crisp (especially the breadcrumbs).
How to Roast the Green Beans
- Toss the green beans with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread evenly on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Sprinkle with a little lemon juice, and taste for seasoning.
Love this Roasted Green Beans recipe? You’ll also like:
- Broccoli Rabe, Italian Style
- Baked Cauliflower Gratin
- Native American Sweet Potato and Wild Rice Sauté
- Fried Green Tomatoes
Oven Roasted Green Beans
For the Green Beans
- 12 ounces green beans, preferably haricots verts, cleaned and trimmed
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 turns fresh black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
For the Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs, such as panko
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot (about 1/4 whole)
- 1 generous pinch kosher salt
- zest of 1 lemon
For the Green Beans
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet or a wide casserole pan.
- Toss the fresh green beans with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove the green beans from the oven, and sprinkle with the juice of one lemon wedge.PRO TIP: The green beans should not be crowded. Make sure that the baking sheet is wide enough for them to roast in a single layer. If the beans are too crowded, they will steam.
For the Breadcrumbs and to Finish
- While the green beans are roasting, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and breadcrumbs and stir to coat with butter. Toast, stirring frequently, until medium-brown. Remove from heat.
- Place the green beans on a serving platter. Top generously with the breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Garnish with the rest of the lemon wedges. Serve warm.