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Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest

Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest are one of my favorite green bean recipes, and I’ve made this many times for dinner guests. And these tasty green beans are low-carb, gluten-free, Paleo, Whole 30, vegan, and South Beach Diet Phase One.

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Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest found on KalynsKitchen.com

If you have a garden that’s producing green beans, I enthusiastically advise that you bookmark this recipe for Lemony Green Beans Recipe with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest and make it over and over again. I didn’t even have garden beans when I first tried the recipe, but I made it three times with the French green beans that come from Costco.In fact, the first time I made it, I ended up eating a whole pound of green beans myself and calling it lunch!

Thanks to Cheap Healthy Good for inspiring me to buy Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers, which is where I found this idea for my new favorite way to cook green beans!

Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest found on KalynsKitchen.com

Trim both ends of the beans. I do this by 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. 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.

Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Great Recipes for Green Beans:

World’s Easiest Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Greek-Style Braised Green Beans with Lemon (Fasolakia) from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Stir-Fried Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chinese Style Green Beans from Cooking with Amy
Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest

Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest is a great 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


  1. 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.)
  2. Fill a medium-sized saucepan half full with water, add salt, and bring to a boil.
  3. When water boils, add beans, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook beans about 5 minutes, or until they are barely tender-crisp.
  4. While beans cook, grate the zest and squeeze the juice from the lemon.
  5. When beans are tender-crisp, drain into a colander placed in the sink.
  6. Return pan to stove and heat the olive oil.
  7. 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.)
  8. Put beans on serving platter, then sprinkle with lemon zest.
  9. Serve hot.

Recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest are a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any other type of low-carb or low-glycemic eating plan, and the recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, Whole 30, and Paleo.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more 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.

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If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest found on KalynsKitchen.com

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52 comments on “Lemony Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. Thanks Elizabeth! I love these beans.

  4. Love the flavor combination!

  5. Thanks Jeanette!

    Cacharreando en mi cocina, I love this with the lemon. Hope you will try it!

  6. 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.

  7. I love the freshness that lemon zest brings to these lightly cooked green beans.

  8. Thanks Eileen!

    Cindi, that makes me so happy to hear that someone has enjoyed the recipe so much. Thanks for letting me know.

  9. 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!

  10. Simple, classic, and perfect! Green beans and lemon are definitely a match made in heaven. 🙂

  11. Thanks Becky and Lydia. I am not a huge fan of green beans compared to a lot of other summer recipes, but I do LOVE them like this!

  12. This is a recipe that makes me want to run out into my garden and harvest green beans… until I remember that I don't grow beans in the garden! Sigh. I love green beans when they're still crunchy. Thanks for linking to one of my recipes.

  13. lemon + green beans. That sounds like a perfect match and perfectly light and fresh!

  14. Beautiful green beans Kalyn, linking back to this in my next post 🙂

  15. Sue, glad you liked them. I am a big lemon fan, but you could definitely use less lemon if you prefer.

  16. I made these beans about a week ago. I served them with ham with cranberries and roasted sweet potato wedges. Yum!
    My boyfriend liked the lemon flavour, but found them just a tad too lemony for his taste. For me, it was just the right amount of lemon.
    This recipe is simple and tasty and goes well with many dishes. I'll probably make these beans again.

  17. I ALWAYS make my green beans like this, except I add garlic and toasted almonds! It is always a crowd pleaser!

  18. Marie, I like the idea of adding some garlic to this. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  19. Thanks for digging this up and re-posting…I'm new to your blog and love it so far, but haven't delved through all the old posts yet. We made these for dinner last night, with one small change…I added a smashed garlic glove to the oil while it was heating, and tossed it when I got ready to put the green beans back in. The results were AMAZING. I love lemon and garlic, and I'm a huge fan of green beans…I could have eaten the entire batch, if my pesky husband hadn't insisted on having half of them…SO delicious. We love them!!!

  20. A beautiful and simple way to dress up green beans. Delicious!

  21. I love beans done this way! YUM!!

  22. Alanna, no Trader Joe's here, but I keep hoping we will get it.

    Amy, I think this will become a favorite cookbook. I don't know what to do for ants in a garden, but I'd recommend going to a garden center in your area (a small independent place where there will be an expert) and ask them what to do. I'm sure there's an organic way to keep them away from the plants.

  23. I love Moosewood – I have almost all of their books but I don't think I have that one…I'm off to check and if I don't I'll be ordering it.

    I have thought of you many, many times when I go out to my very sad garden. I'm determined to learn how to do it better but this year it's a mess. My herbs look great but even my zucchini is struggling. I can't seem to keep the ants away. They're eating the heck out of my plants. Any thoughts?

  24. That looks gorgeous, Kalyn, so recommendation taken, bookmarked NOW. We've had beans for a couple of weeks now but they're woody, not so great. Luckily good green beans are easy to find, including yes, at Costco and my personal favorite, Trader Joe's.

  25. I like the idea of using this same technique on asparagus, which might not even need 5 minutes of cooking time I'd guess!

    Dara, I love the thin beans from Costco if you don't have a garden.

    Josie, I do cut my beans, but I line them up so only the tiniest bit gets cut off!

  26. My first thought when I saw the photo was, "Oh my–she cut the beans!" This was said with a mixture of awe/jealousy, as my mom *never* let me use a knife on green beans…so I've spent countless hours snapping each end….*smile* These look lovely–and I can't wait to see what kind of kick the lemon gives the beans!

  27. This is a wonderful, simply way to enjoy the season's sweet beans. I don't have any growing in my garden, but we pick them up whenever we find good ones.

  28. Kalyn, I do a similar recipe with asparagus, but will definitely try it with green beans next time, just for a change

    thank you!

  29. Hi Cindi,
    I love it that you've already made the beans! Aren't they great? Now you can see how I ate the whole thing for lunch, loved them!

  30. I made these beans for dinner tonight. YUMMY! I love lemon & it complimented the beans perfectly. They tasted fresh & light. I will be making these again for sure! Thanks for posting this delicious recipe.

  31. The zest is definitely important in this, but I also think that sauteeing the beans in the lemon juice (just for a minute!) really gets the lemon flavor going!

  32. I am sure that the Zest does the trick.

  33. I love green beans because you can take them so many different directions in a recipe! This recipe sounds great!

  34. Lemon + green beans sounds like a match made in heaven. Lovely.

  35. great pictures, nothing like a bit of lemon zest to make a dish shine

  36. That main photo is enough to make your mouth water – great recipe!

  37. So glad a lot of people are liking this!

  38. Great recipe and pretty picture! I also love lemony things — and green beans, so I'm doing this for sure.

    I have a couple of Moosewood cookbooks, but not the one you mentioned…sounds like a goodie.

  39. Wow never thought of using lemon on green beans. I love GBs, eat them off the grill (foil packet) with garlic and herbs. These sound great!

  40. Well, that's quite a recommendation … eating one pound in one sitting, Kalyn! But looking at your photos and imagining the lemon juice, zest, black pepper, and olive oil combo, I can see why. 🙂 We haven't had fresh green beans yet ths year at home, but I'd love to give this recipe a try. It would make a great presentation for a dinner or pot luck, too.


  41. These must have been seriously tasty if you ate a whole pound by yourself! Gotta love Moosewood!

  42. Unfortunately I do not have any greens beans growing in my garden but nevertheless this looks like a brilliant recipe to try!

  43. This looks great, green beans are in season now and I am really getting tired of the steam and butter routine. I'm going to give this a try. Thanks!

  44. Excellent green beans! They are my favorite vegetable and I am always looking for new ways to prepare them, thanks!

  45. Katie, it seems like a great book. I have a bunch of things with post-its that I want to try!

    RV, if you like lemon, you'll like it, I promise!

  46. I don't eat beans often, but this recipe is very inviting.. It looks zesty…

  47. That's one of the few Moosewood books that I don't own, and I think I need to pick it up because these sound delicious!

  48. Suebob, roasted beans, yum!

  49. This is one of my favorite ways to eat green beans. I also like to roast them into semi-crispy little snacks.

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