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Kalyn's Kitchen

Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce

Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce are absolutely a treat, and this amazing side dish is low-glycemic, Paleo, Whole 30, dairy-free, gluten-free,  and vegan! Use Side Dishes for more recipes like this one.

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Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

I don’t think there are any awards for Thanksgiving side dishes, but if there were I’d nominate this dish of Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce as the Most Interesting New Side Dish. And when I say interesting, what I mean is we couldn’t stop eating it, all the while remarking how plain steamed green beans and carrots had been transferred into something amazing by the sauce.

Charmoula is sometimes referred to as cilantro pesto, and it’s a North African sauce made of chopped herbs and spices.  It’s often used as a sauce on fish, which is probably the next way I’ll trying using it. Charmoula is also fairly similar to Chimichurri Sauce, which is a South American sauce served on meat.   If you’re not a cilantro fan, I think you could adapt this recipe to use more parsley and less cilantro and get a good result, but I’m not sure how it would work with no cilantro at all.

I’d love to make this for Thanksgiving, but I’m going to my sister Sandee’s house where there are a few confirmed cilantro haters, so I may have to just enjoy it at home!  It’s a little hard to believe, but I’ve been experimenting with Carb-Conscious Thanksgiving Recipes for the last six Thanksgivings, and this recipe will be added to that page in the recipe index.  There are also some good recipes ideas there for using leftover turkey, if you’re cooking a big bird this year.

Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

This recipe will look prettiest if you use the thin French-style green beans, although I’m sure regular beans will also taste great. Start by trimming the ends of the green beans and then cutting the carrots into thin strips that are the same thickness as the beans.  (I cut the carrots slightly shorter than the beans.) I used this wonderful vegetable steamer that I inherited from my stepmother Norma, but if you don’t have a steamer you can rig one up with a small metal colander inside a pan.  The pan you use for steaming needs to have a lid.  Start steaming the carrots first, because they take longer to cook.

While the carrots cook, start assembling the parsley, cilantro, garlic, and spices for the sauce. Once carrots have steamed for about 3 minutes, add the beans and steam for 4-5 minutes more.  The vegetables should still be slightly tender-crisp; check one after four minutes to see how they’re doing.

To make the sauce, use a food processor to chop the garlic, parsley, and cilantro, then add the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, ground cumin, and salt, and pulse until it’s well combined and chopped. Drain the cooked veggies for a couple of minutes, then toss then with about half the Charmoula sauce. Arrange the vegetables on a serving platter and drizzle over the rest of the Charmoula sauce.  Serve hot or warm.

More Thanksgiving-Worthy Recipes with Green Beans and Carrots:

Pan-Braised Carrots with Orange and Rosemary from Leite’s Culinaria
Maple-Glazed Roasted Carrots from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roasted Carrots with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette from Steamy Kitchen
Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce

Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce are absolutely a gourmet treat!


  • 1 lb. French-style green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, trimmed into sticks the same thickness as beans (I cut the carrots slightly shorter than the beans)
  • 1 large clove garlic, slightly chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. hot or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Add a few inches of water to a steamer (or large pot with a steamer insert) and bring to a boil.
  2. While water is heating, trim the ends of the green beans, and cut carrots into sticks about the same thickness as the beans.
  3. When water starts to boil and steam, add the carrots and steam for 3 minutes.  Then add green beans and steam for 4-5 minutes more, or until all the vegetables are tender-crisp.
  4. While the vegetables are steaming, chop the garlic a few times and wash, dry, and coarsely chop the cilantro and parsley.
  5. Add garlic, cilantro, and parsley to food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the herbs and garlic are starting to look finely chopped.
  6. Then add the olive oil, lemon juice (I use my fresh-frozen lemon juice), paprika, and ground cumin and pulse until all ingredients are combined.  (I’d start with the smaller amount of paprika and cumin and taste to see if you want more.)  Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. When the vegetables are done, drain for a few minutes and then place them in a bowl and toss with about half the sauce.
  8. Arrange vegetables on a serving platter and spoon over the rest of the sauce.  Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper as desired, and serve hot or warm.
  9. Make-Ahead Tips for Thanksgiving:  The sauce can be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.  Let it come to room temperature before using in the recipe.


Recipe from Fine Cooking with minor adaptations by Kalyn.

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Low-Carb Diet/ Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
The use of carrots in these Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce would make the recipe limited to phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet. The carrots probably make this too high in carbs for traditional low-carb diets, but this recipe is Paleo or Whole 30 if you use an approved oil for the sauce and it’s a pretty low-glycemic dish as well.

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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    33 Comments on “Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce”

  1. Kalyn, I love chermoula/charmoula. I think you might like my adaptationzxs of a kale salad a local restaurant makes with it.

  2. Grace, thank you, and so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I made this on the weekend – it was so very good. I really enjoy your recipes.

  4. Sean, hope you enjoy it, and fun to hear from someone in Ireland!

  5. Wow that looks like a really healthy and tasty veggie dish, will try it out with local grown Irish produce.

  6. Suann, hope you enjoy it!

  7. Glad I checked out your blog this evening! Looking for new ideas for Thanksgiving & this is a winner! We love cilantro. This will be a pleasant change from green beans sauteed with EVOO & spices. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Thanks Andrea! This was really so good.

  9. Count me in as a cilantro lover. This sauce does sound a lot like chimichurri. Lovely dish!

  10. Zesty, I think the smoked paprika is so superior to the regular type. And you know I'm 100% with you on the love for cilantro.

  11. I recently "discovered" smoked paprika and I think it's wonderful. It definitely adds a unique flavor. This dish looks great; anything with cilantro and I'm in!

  12. Thanks Maria! I swear I could eat a big plate of this for lunch and be perfectly satisfied!

  13. Great side dish for any meal!