Kalyn's Kitchen

Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts

Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts are quickly stir-fried to to turn fresh green beans into a special side dish.

PIN the recipe to try it later!

Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts finished beans on serving plate

When you’re writing a home cooking blog, you’re not only sharing your recipes with the world, you’re also documenting what you’re eating. And when I first posted this recipe for Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts green beans weren’t something I cooked that often. Then I discovered those lovely thin French green beans at Costco, which not only inspired me to make this recipe but also got me started growing my own green beans in the garden. And now have more than 20 Green Beans Recipes on the blog.

But even with all those options, this is one of the green beans recipes I use most, and I took some new photos and to recommend it for my Friday Favorites pick this week to entice you to try it. Of course, lemon, parmesan, and PINE NUTS! How can that possibly not be good? If you’re a gardener and have green beans planted, before long you’ll have more green beans than you ever imagined, so let me recommend this way to cook them. Look after the recipe for more delicious ideas for green beans from Kalyn’s Kitchen and some of my blogging friends.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • fresh green beans, preferably thin French green beans
  •  olive oil
  • whole garlic cloves
  • lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • pine nuts

What if you don’t have pine nuts?

Pine nuts can be pricey if you don’t buy them at Costco, and lately Costco seems to be having a shortage. I think slivered almonds would be a great substitute in this recipe.

Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Trim the beans into pieces about 2 inches long (and wash if you’re using garden beans.)
  2. Put the green beans in a bowl, cover with cling wrap (or a loosely-fitting lid), and microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. While the beans cook in the microwave, zest the lemon and squeeze the juice. Get the garlic and Parmesan ready and toast the pine nuts in a dry pan just until they’re barely starting to brown.
  4. Heat the oil in a large wok or heavy frying pan, then add the garlic and cook about 1 minute, or until fragrant; then discard the garlic. (This is called “seasoning the oil.”)  Don’t let the garlic brown.
  5. Add the green beans and stir-fry over high heat until they are just starting to brown, but are still slightly crisp. Taste one to see if it’s as done as you’d like it; thicker garden beans will take slightly longer.
  6. Lower heat, add the lemon juice and stir to get that flavor mixed in with the beans; then turn off heat and sprinkle the lemon zest and Parmesan over the beans. 
  7. Serve hot, sprinkled with the toasted pine nuts.

Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts close-up photo of finished beans on serving plate

Make it a Meal:

These Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts would be great with something like Baked Swedish Meatballs or Beef and Sausage Meatballs with Tomato Sauce for a low-carb meal.

More Ideas for Green Beans:

Garlicky Green Beans Stir Fry ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Fresh Green Beans with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Herbs ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Green Beans with Tahini-Lemon Sauce ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Green Beans with Lemon-Dill Yogurt Sauce ~ The Perfect Pantry
Green Bean Salad with Greek Olives and Feta Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts

Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

This recipe for Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts is a delicious way to use fresh green beans from the garden.


  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, preferably thin French green beans
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil (or less, depending on your pan or wok)
  • 2 cloves whole garlic
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 T freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted in hot pan 1-2 minutes


  1. Trim ends from green beans. (I do this by gathering a handful, then standing them up on the cutting board while holding loosely so the beans all line up, then trimming the end. Turn over and repeat with the other end.)
  2. Cut beans into pieces about 2 inches long.
  3. Put beans into glass bowl, cover with cling film or a loosely-fitting lid, and microwave on high 2 minutes.
  4. While beans microwave, zest the lemon and squeeze the juice. (You will not need all the juice, freeze the extra to use later.)
  5. In a dry pan, toast pine nuts over high heat 1-2 minutes, until they barely start to brown. Set aside.
  6. Heat oil in wok or large frying pan over high heat.
  7. Add garlic cloves and stir fry about 1 minute. (This is a Chinese cooking technique called seasoning the oil.) Be sure not to brown the garlic or it will taste bitter. Remove garlic and discard.
  8. Add beans and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until beans are barely starting to brown but are still slightly crisp. (I taste one to see if they are done. I prefer them slightly underdone.)
  9. Lower heat, then pour lemon juice over beans, and stir beans a few times.
  10. Turn off heat, then sprinkle lemon zest and Parmesan cheese over beans and stir again.
  11. Remove beans to serving plate, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, and serve immediately.


Recipe inspired by A Veggie Venture.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 155Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g

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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts square thumbnail image of finished beans on serving plate

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts would be a perfect side dish for any phase of the original South Beach Diet and they are low enough in net carbs for most any low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes to 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 can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts

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    37 Comments on “Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts”

  1. For those of us who don’t use microwaves (yes, there are a few of us left), would blanching or steaming the beans be better?

    • Either method will work fine, but you need to drain the beans well before you do the stir-fry step. You might be able to stir-fry a bit longer (and at slightly lower heat) and skip the pre-cooking, but I haven’t tried that. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Happy anniversary! So grateful for your site, you have so many fabulous low carb recipes it makes it possible for me to eat happily. Pinning this green bean recipe to make for on Mothers Day when our daughter will come, she is also low carb. Thank you, truly.

  3. Lydia, everything is better with pine nuts!

  4. Thanks for linking to one of my green bean recipes. I don't cook them as often as I should, and this post reminds me how much I like them. Love the idea of combining with pine nuts.

  5. Pam, I love these beans. Hope you enjoy!

  6. I got some lovely slender green beans from my csa, this would be perfect!

  7. Jeanette, hope you enjoy! I need to go to the Farmer's Market; hopefully this week!

  8. I just picked up green beans from the farmer's market this morning so this is perfect timing. Would really like to try yours with pine nuts.

  9. Dara, glad you like it!

  10. Great to see the before and after of this dish. The flavors sound perfect for summertime.

  11. It doesn't worry me, but if you're concerned you can do it any way you'd like.

  12. Are you sure you are comfortable with microwaving the beans with cling film? I would simply microwave them in a glass bowl – maybe with a lid. Cling film is plastic, after all and putting it through high heat raises many uncomfortable red flags…

  13. EJM and Wendy, thanks. I know I’m repeating myself, but it was just fabulous. I could just eat a big plate of this for a meal.

    Wendy, fun finding your blog.

  14. This sounds delicious. A definite bookmark. 🙂

  15. We’ve GOT to try this! Stir-fried green beans is one of my favourite things but we’ve usually taken an Asian route with peanuts and chillies or fermented black beans and garlic.

    I’ve never thought to add pine nuts. Brilliant idea.