Lemony Green Beans
Lemony Green Beans have lemon juice and lemon zest, and these are one of my favorite green bean recipes that I’ve made many times. And these tasty green beans are a perfect quick and easy low-carb side dish that’s delicious enough for a special meal!
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If you’re someone who likes those lovely thin green beans you can get almost all year, I enthusiastically recommend you try this recipe for Lemony Green Beans that literally takes minutes to get on the table. When I first tested the recipe; I made it three times in one week with the French green beans that come from Costco.
And trust me when I say this recipe is ridiculously easy but so, so good! In fact, the first time I made Lemony Green Beans, I ended up eating a whole pound of green beans myself and calling it lunch! And through the years I’ve made these beans often when I needed a side dish for a special dinner.
Beloved recipes like this one that I’ve made over and over are the ones I love to spotlight for my Friday Favorites posts, so today I’m reminding you about this favorite way to cook green beans and urging you to make it soon!
What ingredients do you need?
- fresh green beans
- lemon (lemon zest and lemon juice) (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
- Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- salt and black pepper
How can you make this recipe with thicker green beans?
If you have green beans that seem a lot thicker than the ones in my photos, I’d just increase the cooking time for about a minute.
What if you don’t have a lemon zester or squeezer?
Using a fresh lemon is essential for this recipe! But if you don’t have a lemon zester (affiliate link) or a lemon juice squeezer (affiliate link) like you see in my pictures, you can zest the lemon with the fine side of a cheese grater and just squeeze the lemon by hand.
Want more low-carb vegetable side dishes ideas for special dinners?
Check out Keto Vegetable Recipes for Thanksgiving or Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes for lots more tasty ideas. You can also use Green Beans to find more recipes like this one.
How to Make Lemony Green Beans:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Trim both ends of the beans. I take a handful of beans, standing them up in my hand, then let them fall down on to the cutting board to line up the ends.
- Bring salt and water to boil in a small saucepan, then cook the beans for about 5 minutes, or until they’re barely tender-crisp.
- While beans cook, zest and squeeze the juice of one lemon. (I used all the juice, but I like things really lemony.)
- Drain beans in a colander placed in the sink.
- Heat the olive oil in the same pan you cooked the beans in, then add the beans, pour over the lemon juice, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and cook about 1 minute (just long enough to get the beans infused with lemon flavor.)
- Put beans on a serving dish and sprinkle with lemon zest. Serve hot.
More Favorite Green Beans for Special Dinners:
Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms, Balsamic, and Parmesan
Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts
Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds
Roasted Green Beans and Red Peppers
Lemony Green Beans
Lemony Green Beans have lemon juice and lemon zest, and this is a great low-carb side dish to serve guests.
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, both ends trimmed
- one large lemon (lemon zest and lemon juice)
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Trim both ends of green beans. (I do this taking a handful of beans, standing them up in my hand, then letting them fall down on to the cutting board, which lines up the ends. Then trim that end and repeat with the other end.)
- Fill a medium-sized saucepan half full with water, add salt, and bring to a boil.
- When water boils, add beans, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook beans about 5 minutes, or until they are barely tender-crisp.
- While beans cook, grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the lemon.
- When beans are tender-crisp, drain into a colander placed in the sink.
- Return pan to stove and heat the olive oil.
- When the oil is hot, add the beans, pour over the lemon juice, season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper, and cook beans for about 1 minute, stirring a few times. (Cook beans just long enough to get them infused with lemon flavor.)
- Put beans on serving platter, then sprinkle with lemon zest.
- Serve hot.
Recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 734mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Lemony Green Beans are a perfect side dish for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, or any other type of low-carb or low-glycemic eating plan, and the recipe is also vegan and gluten-free.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Green Beans to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2012, and I’ve made it many times for dinner guests since then. It was last updated with more infornation in 2021.
51 Comments on “Lemony Green Beans”
J, I'm afraid I don't think there is a way to warm these so they'll be as good as freshly made, but if you do have to reheat, I would undercook the first time.
I have been making this recipe for years… it's my go to for Thanksgiving!! It's always a hit! Question – I have to pre-make this year as there will be no options for cooking at the in-laws tomorrow. How can I pre-make these and then re-warm with the same yummy results? When I have them as left overs, they're still good, but not as 'fresh' as day of.
Kalyn, I have to say thank you. My fiancé and I started the south beach diet a week ago. If I had not found your yummy recipes I would never hear the end of the whinning. But you are making me look like a stellar cook with all the right meals. ( he still says he needs candy corn Oreo, for the love of Pete). I have never been much of a cook. When I have been on the south beach before a hamburger patty and some Brussels sprouts would do me. With some beef jerky for a snack. I feel like I am doing the diet healthier because of your recipes ( and his whinny, but don't tell him") so thank you for putting your time into your blog!
Thanks Elizabeth! I love these beans.
Love the flavor combination!
Cacharreando en mi cocina, I love this with the lemon. Hope you will try it!
In Spain we usually eat green beans boiled and then we put oil but I newer have seen with lemon juice. It sounds different but good. I'll try to make it this way next time.
I love the freshness that lemon zest brings to these lightly cooked green beans.
Cindi, that makes me so happy to hear that someone has enjoyed the recipe so much. Thanks for letting me know.
I can't tell you how many times I have made these beans since the recipe was first posted! It's definitely a keeper!!! I love them!
Simple, classic, and perfect! Green beans and lemon are definitely a match made in heaven. 🙂