Ina Garten’s Easy Side Dish Replaces Classic Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole

A green bean casserole is often among the dishes served at Thanksgiving, but Ina Garten has an even more delicious recipe for fresh beans. The Barefoot Contessa star makes the easy side dish ahead of time, using just a handful of ingredients.

Ina Garten cooks in her kitchen with Willie Geist during Sunday Today
Ina Garten and Willie Geist | Mike Smith/NBC/Getty Images

Ina Garten has an easy green bean side dish for Thanksgiving

Garten shared her easy green bean side in an Instagram post about make-ahead Thanksgiving dishes. “Thanksgiving classics always include green beans but instead of a green bean casserole, I make my Green Beans Gremolata with French string beans, garlic, lemon zest, parmesan, and toasted pine nuts,” she wrote in the caption. “They’re bright, crunchy, and full of flavor. I prep everything in advance and reheat it before dinner. Is it Thanksgiving yet??

Garten’s easy green bean recipe uses just seven ingredients and cooks in 5 minutes, making it the fastest Thanksgiving side dish around.

The Barefoot Contessa star brings a large pot of water to a boil, then adds the green beans. She blanches them for 2 to 3 minutes so they are tender but crisp. In order to stop the cooking process and maintain the bright color, after draining the beans, she plunges them into a bowl of ice water to “shock” them.

She makes gremolata to top the beans

Garten makes a delicious gremolata for the beans by combining garlic, lemon zest, parsley, parmesan, and toasted pine nuts in a small bowl.

When she’s ready to serve the beans, it’s just a matter of heating them up. Garten drains the beans and pats them dry, then adds them to olive oil she heated in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. She sautés the beans for 2 minutes, removes them from the heat, and adds the gremolata, tossing to coat the beans. She finishes the side dish by sprinkling the beans with salt and pepper.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

Garten’s simple green beans recipe earns rave reviews

Garten’s fans love her green beans gremolata recipe, judging by the comments left on the Food Network website.

“Wow! Terrific recipe, make just as directed,” one fan wrote. “Hesitated initially given lemon zest and that ingredients go in at the end off the heat, but has given me new appreciation for the flavor combination and freshness lemon can bring without being overpowering. Guests love it, great and easy for dinner parties.”

The recipe even changed one bean hater’s mind. “I’ve never liked green beans, but these are AMAZING!” they wrote. “My family and friends love this recipe too and are always asking for it!”

Another fan noted that it was a hit at the Thanksgiving dinner table. “Loved these! Brought them as a side for Thanksgiving dinner at my mother’s house,” they commented. “I blanched the beans ahead of time and prepared the gremolata in a bowl. Then I brought it all to her house and sautéed the beans and added the gremolata in just a few minutes before dinner was served. It was perfect!!”

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