Green Beans with Parmesan and Lemon Butter Sauce

This recipe for green beans with parmesan and lemon butter sauce is a great way to dress up green beans for the holidays.  Quick, simple and so delicious – an easy, no fuss side dish to add to your holiday meal.

Green Beans with Parmesan and Lemon Butter Sauce | Green Valley Kitchen
Preparing holiday meals can be hectic – so I wanted to share a simple recipe that doesn’t take very long to put together but is very flavorful.  You start by cooking the green beans until they are tender crisp and then plunge them into an ice bath to lock in their bright green color.

Green Beans with Parmesan and Lemon Butter Sauce | Green Valley Kitchen

The parmesan and lemon butter sauce is what really makes this dish.  The sauce is very simple – just a combination of frothy, melted butter with garlic and lemon.  The green beans are sautéed in the sauce for a few minutes until warmed through and then tossed with finely grated parmesan cheese.  Toasted pine nuts are added for some delicious nutty flavor.

Green Beans with Parmesan and Lemon Butter Sauce | Green Valley Kitchen

I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you and your family share a wonderful meal and have lots of laughs together this Thanksgiving.

A couple of notes about this recipe:

  • To save a little time, you can cook the green beans the night before and then add them to the sauce right before dinner is served.  Just follow steps 1 through 3 of the cooking instructions and store the cooked green beans in the fridge overnight.
  • The sauce comes together really quickly, so have all your ingredients prepped and ready to add to the sauté pan.
  • The lemon will splatter a bit when added to the hot, melted butter – so add it carefully.
  • When toasting the pine nuts, keep stirring the nuts continuously – they can burn very quickly.

Green Beans with Parmesan and Lemon Butter Sauce

Green beans with parmesan and lemon butter sauce – a quick, easy and delicious way to serve green beans.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 7 mins
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


  • 1 1/2 pounds of green beans – stem ends trimmed
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1/2 of a large lemon – squeezed
  • 8 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add trimmed green beans and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. While beans are cooking, prepare your ice bath by adding ice to a large bowl (fill bowl half way with ice) and add cool water so the bowl is filled about 3/4 of the way.
  3. When the green beans are ready, drain the green beans and add them to the ice bath. This will stop the green beans from cooking further and lock in the bright green color. When the green beans are cool to the touch, drain the green beans from the ice bath and set aside.
  4. In a large sauté pan, sauté the pine nuts for 1 minute over medium high heat. Stir continuously so they don’t burn. Remove pine nuts from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same large sauté pan, melt butter until frothy over medium low heat. When the butter is completely melted, add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Next add lemon juice and 8 twists of black pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Add cooled green beans to the lemon butter sauce. Toss occasionally until the green beans are heated through – about 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add toasted pine nuts and the parmesan cheese to the green beans – toss to combine.

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31 comments on “Green Beans with Parmesan and Lemon Butter Sauce

  1. Joseph T.

    Thanksgiving? Naw, any day..just cooked cooked some up today to go with delicious!! TASTY

  2. annie@ciaochowbambina

    I agree with sippitysup – these beans are a work of art! Oh my Geraldine – I cannot handle these pictures or the flavors you have going on here! My family will love this! While sadly, I missed out on this for Thanksgiving – there’s always Christmas and then, of course, every other day of the year where dinner is served! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. sippitysup

    These beans are a work of art. I hope they were a big hit at you holiday meal. After all, it’s not Thanksgiving without green beans and nobody said the couldn’t be pretty as well as delicious. GREG

  4. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary

    Oh my goodness, Geraldine, I have a serious obsession with green beans… like, I will eat a pound of just green beans for lunch type of obsession. (I am weird, I know). And I am always complaining that people ruin green beans on Thanksgiving (or 365 days a year for that matter). I can’t look when people over cook them and cover them with TOO much stuff. THIS is how green beans need to be devoured!! I LOVE that you have allowed their natural delectable nature to shine through! The parmesan and lemon butter sauce just sounds fabulous! You can bet I will be trying this dish VERY soon, as in tomorrows lunch. If I was having people over for Thanksgiving this year, I would TOTALLY add this to my menu!! Pinned! Cheers, my dear – to a beautiful Thanksgiving week! <3

    1. Geraldine Post author

      I completely agree about green beans – simple is best, Cheyanne. Nothing more depressing than a drab green bean! Wishing you a lovely, peaceful Thanksgiving, Cheyanne.

  5. traci | vanilla and bean

    Such a fabulous and easy side, Geraldine! I love how you’ve blanched the green beans, then add them to the sauce to warm. So smart. I can just taste the snap and the delicious sauce… and the pine nuts… You know I like those nuts – for the crunch! Thank you for this my dear. Your photography is gorgeous!! Have a beautiful and restful holiday my dear! 😀

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks so much, Traci. Wishing you and Rob a wonderful Thanksgiving! And thanks for the photo compliment, Traci – coming from you (and all your gorgeous photos) means a lot!

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks so much, Mary Ann. I’m a big green bean fan – and could definitely eat the whole plate as well! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

  6. Robin

    THANK YOU for this recipe! I just got invited to a friend’s Thanksgiving party and I plan on bringing THIS recipe! I can’t wait to make and serve it. 😀

    1. Bee

      groan~ WHO knew how addictive these were!? I’ve had to buy fresh green beans THREE times since reading this recipe because my family is demanding them for each meal! LOL They are “claiming” to be “Recipe Testers” for our Thanksgiving Dinner…bless them!

      THANKS for this wicked good recipe.

      1. Geraldine Post author

        Thanks so much for letting me know the recipe was a big hit with your family! I completely agree about them being addictive. Tell your recipe testers they are doing a great job! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

        1. Bee

          How thoughtful of you, Geraldine, to take the time to comment back to me. 😀 I’m so used to lazy bloggers that it’s nice to be part of an active blog. I wish you and your loved ones an amazing Thanksgiving. We’ll be thinking of you this day as we nosh on your green bean recipe, once again. <3


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