Garlic Green Beans with Toasted Almonds is a simple veggie side dish that delivers big flavor! Fresh tender beans are tossed with garlic butter and then topped with toasted almonds, it’s so good. Green beans are pretty universally liked by young and old too, so it’s sure to be a hit with your household. This dish is great for weeknights because it’s fast, but I also make it for holiday meals because it feels special too. I’ve been making this for Thanksgiving dinner for years instead of the traditional green bean casserole – sacrilege, I know!
There are three basic steps to the dish. The first is cleaning and steaming the beans, second is making the garlic butter, and third is toasting the almonds. You can make the garlic butter and toast the almonds the day before, making it an even faster side dish the day you serve it. And by “making the garlic butter”, I’m not asking you to get out your great-grandmother’s churn, you’ll just mix the softened butter with minced garlic and salt and pepper – easy! I usually toast the almonds in the oven on a sheet pan, but you can also toast them on the stovetop in a dry saucepan. Just be sure to watch them carefully because they can go from pale to burnt in no time.
To make the green beans I like to use a pan with a steamer insert. Steaming the beans keeps their color bright, and also keeps the flavor and nutrients in the beans from leaching into the water. That being said, if you don’t have a steamer insert, boiling is fine, but only put an inch or two of water in the pan so the beans aren’t completely covered. Sort of semi-steam them!
Once the beans are steamed and tender (but not mushy!), strain them, then place in a mixing bowl. Add the garlic butter to the beans, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. This will not only keep the beans warm until the rest of your meal is done, but will also allow the garlicy, buttery goodness to infuse into the beans.
When you are ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap, toss the beans to combine evenly with the garlic butter, then move to your serving dish (or just leave in the mixing bowl!). Finally, sprinkle the toasted sliced almonds on top for a crunchy, nutty finish. Try these garlic green beans for your next holiday meal, your family and guests will love them. Or try them tonight!
- 3 pounds fresh green beans, tops cut off and cut in half if desired (or whatever amount of beans you need)
- 2 - 3 cloves of garlic, depending on size, minced. About 1 tablespoon.
- 3 tablespoons of butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup of sliced almonds (not slivered), toasted
- Make the garlic butter: In a small dish, mix the softened butter, minced garlic and salt and pepper until well combined. You can do this the day before and store in the fridge.
- Add 2 inches or so of water to a large pot with a steamer insert. Place the cleaned green beans into the pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover the pot and steam the beans for 5-10 minutes, until tender, but not soggy, when pierced with a fork. The beans should still have their bright green color. Drain the beans in a colander.
- While the beans are steaming, toast the sliced almonds. If you have the oven on for another dish, toast the almonds on a cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes or so. If you don't already have the oven on, toast them in a dry saucepan over medium low heat. Watch them carefully as they will quickly go from pale to burnt! You want a slight browning. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl. You can also toast the almonds the day before you make the dish.
- Place the cooked beans in a large mixing bowl and top with the garlic butter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let them sit until you are ready to eat. This will keep them warm, and allow the garlic butter to really season the beans.
- Move the beans to your serving dish and top with the toasted sliced almonds. You are ready to eat!