Green Beans with Shallots and Lemon


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Green beans with shallots and lemon are a healthy side dish you can whip up in just 15 minutes. They’re crispy and tender, and complement just about any main meal!

Green beans in a white bowl.

Don’t overlook a humble bag of green beans! In my opinion, they make for one of the best savory side dishes. They’re easy to cook and come out crisp and tender every time.

And while I love making my air fryer green beans, sautéing them on the stovetop is equally delicious. All you need to do is add shallots, honey, and lemon to take it up a notch!

How To Prep Green Beans 

Before we get to cooking, green beans (also known as string beans) need to be quickly trimmed. Just slice off the ends with a knife or by hand. If the ends are already detached, then you can skip this step and go straight to blanching. 

Trimming the ends off green beans on a cutting board.

How To Boil and Sauté Green Beans 

To get the beans cooked through and tender, just give them a quick blanch in boiling water before sautéeing. Here’s the process: 

  1. Blanch the green beans in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. 
  2. Cool and drain. Transfer the green beans in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the butter (or oil) in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add in the diced shallots and sauté for 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Add honey for a little sweetness and stir for a minute more. 
  5. Transfer the green beans and lemon zest to the pan and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and serve!
Blanching and boiling green beans on the stove.
Cooling green beans in an ice water bath.
Sauteeing shallots in butter.
Sauteeing green beans with lemon and shallots.

Want more garnish options? While lemon zest is one way of dressing up your green beans, you can garnish with a few other ingredients to spice it up or add some texture. Just use:

  • Toasted almond slices 
  • Crushed pistachios
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Crispy bacon bits 
  • Chili Flakes or powder 
Green beans garnished with shallots and lemon in a white bowl.

What To Eat With Them?

Sautéed green beans have a simple fresh flavor, which makes them perfect for pairing with any savory main course. A few of my favorite options are: 

If you have a lot of green beans, you can also turn them into a healthy green bean casserole!

Green beans topped with lemon in a white bowl.

Green Beans with Shallots and Lemon

5 from 16 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Lisa Bryan


Green beans with shallots and lemon are a simple yet flavorful side dish. This is one of my favorite green bean recipes and it’s easy to make.


  • 1 lb green beans
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp butter, or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • salt and pepper


  • Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the green beans and blanch in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes. While the beans are cooking, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain the beans with a colander and immediately transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced shallots and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the honey to the pan and stir with the shallots for a minute more.
  • Add the green beans and lemon zest to the pan and stir together for a couple of minutes, until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


Calories: 93.04kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.85g | Protein: 2.73g | Fat: 3.18g | Saturated Fat: 1.87g | Cholesterol: 7.53mg | Sodium: 34.05mg | Potassium: 318.28mg | Fiber: 4.22g | Sugar: 9.67g | Vitamin A: 869.91IU | Vitamin C: 29.15mg | Calcium: 53.6mg | Iron: 1.48mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Green Bean Recipe, Green Beans
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted October 2014, but updated to include new photos and information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Yum, Yum… easy recipe. I used 1 shallot in the recipe and will use 2 next time per the recipe. Very quick to pull together. I made the Green Beans per your suggestion with the trout almondine recipe( I subbed flounder though). Both are quick and easy. I also made your Kale salad recipe. All 3 were a big hit. My family loved them. Thank you.5 stars

    1. Hi Hollis – Glad you and your family enjoyed this green bean recipe with the trout almondine!

  2. Delicious! They were a yummy side dish at Thanksgiving, a nice balance to the heavier food. They also heated up really well the next day. I will be making them again!5 stars

  3. Delish! Actually used frozen whole organic green beans from Costco and it turns out delicious. Thanks for another great recipe!5 stars

  4. I made these green beans for the first time to serve at my family’s Easter dinner.  They are a bunch of foodies, so I was hopeful the simplicity of this dish would still deliver the punch of flavor I had hoped for.  I doubled the recipe, blanched the beans for 5 minutes, and added a couple tablespoons of chicken bone broth to make all the zest and shallots stick to the beans.  I also toasted some sliced almonds for garnish and crunch on top as well.  They were absolutely  delicious, and I’ll definitely serve these again!!5 stars

  5. Made this yesterday with the garlic grilled shrimp skewers and got rave reviews. Such a lovely way to jazz up veggies as a side dish. Green beans can sometimes be a bit bland, but this is so delicious. Thanks Lisa for the inspiration!5 stars

  6. Finally posting my first review! I had some green beans that needed to be used up and this recipe did not dissapoint! So easy and delicious!! The zest brings out so much flavor. However I did have to sub the honey bc I ran put for a fig jam I had and it was still delicious! Thank you for the recipe Lisa5 stars

  7. This is my favorite green bean recipe!

    I love how blanching intensifies and preserves the color while sautéing the beans makes for a great texture and taste!!5 stars

    1. Hi Jamie – Glad you loved this green bean recipe! It’s a classic to keep on hand when you need to bring some greens to the table.

    1. Hi Mary – You can go ahead and cook this the day before and store it in the fridge. Just give it a quick stir-fry in the pan one more time right before serving. Or I might suggest to just prep the green beans (blanch) the day before and then sautée it the day of right before serving. That way it tastes more fresh and you’ll get a more crisp texture :)

  8. Geat Recipe!!  Made this for dinner tonight and everyone enjoyed it. Definitely will make this frequently!!5 stars