Vegan Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts make the BEST accompaniment for any meal or celebration. Steamed green beans are topped with toasted pine nuts and a diced shallot, then finished with olive oil. This simple side dish is sure to be a winner any time of year. Makes 4 servings.
The photos and recipe for these Fancy Green Beans were originally published on May 11, 2016. The text of this post was updated in September 2020.
We love green beans in this house, and we have loved green beans from the get go.
When Winston was a law student and I was a data manager in Nashville, we ate canned green beans at least twice every week, and never did anything fancy with them.
It wasn’t until we moved to Dallas that we got to work on our green bean game. There’s something beautiful about the simplicity of green beans. They don’t need much (or really anything) to taste delicious.
Why I love this recipe:
This recipe was all Winston’s idea because he suggested adding nuts on top of them, instead of doing them our usual way (steamed with a bit of salt and pepper.)
He found a bag of pine nuts in our freezer and a shallot in our pantry. Then he got to work as I wrote down exactly what he was doing… and created this dish.
Not only is it incredibly simple to pull together, but the toasted pine nuts and the caramelized shallot just take the simple steamed vegan green beans to another level. And this is worth a try at least once if you want to fix yourself some “fancy green beans” on a weeknight.
More green bean recipes we adore: Lemon Pepper Green Beans | Crunchy Green Bean Casserole Bites with Creamy Dipping Gravy | Green Bean Bacon Bundles | Roasted Green Beans | Italian Green Beans
Need some side dish inspiration? My Side Dishes Recipe Index has tons of ideas for you!
Tools and products you need to make this green bean recipe
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In addition to having these tools on hand, you’ll also want the following ingredients:
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
- Olive oil
- Pine nuts (also known as pignoli), or another nut that you enjoy toasting if pine nuts are unavailable
- A single shallot, which is like a small onion, but milder
How to make Vegan Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts
In a steamer basket or in the microwave, steam the green beans until crisp tender. (This means they’ve still got a snap to them, but they’re tender enough to eat. We don’t like mush green beans over here, but if that’s your jam, YOU DO YOU!)
When the green beans reach the desired consistency, remove from the heat, and set aside.
As the green beans are cooking, toast the pine nuts. I like to do this in a skillet over medium-high heat. Constantly move the pine nuts around the pan using a wooden spoon. When they’re golden brown, remove them from the skillet. They’ll continue cooking in the hot skillet otherwise, and we don’t want that. Also, we need the skillet to cook our shallot.
Pour olive oil into the already warm skillet, and cook the shallot until softened, then remove from the heat and mix with the pine nuts.
Serve the green beans on a large plate or a bowl. Top with the toasted pine nut and shallot mixture.
Drizzle with the additional olive oil before serving, and enjoy!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
Listen here, friend. Green beans are a lovely side dish to serve at a dinner party or a holiday gathering because they’re well-known and well loved.
These Vegan Green Beans are awesome to bring to a potluck or a gathering that has a large mix of people who eat a large mix of different dishes.
Here are some tips and tricks for bringing them (or serving them) to an event where food is being shared:
- Double or triple the recipe. The current recipe is perfect for our family of four, but you’ll want to offer more if you’re feeding more people.
- Toast the pine nuts and shallot in advance. That way, all you have to do is steam the green beans right before it’s dinnertime!
- Don’t overcook the green beans! It’s best for them to have some crunch to them, so make sure you keep an eye on them as they steam.
- Purchase the steamable green beans in a bag if you want to make this extra easy on yourself! While it costs more than the green beans that you bag yourself, this is a great way to save some time and effort.
Quick Tips and Tricks for the BEST Green Beans
- No fresh green beans? Use the frozen kind! Cook according to the package instructions for crisp tender goodness.
- Swap out pine nuts for another nut! I know pine nuts can be expensive and hard to find sometimes, so use what you’ve got on hand or another nut that you’re a fan of that’s less costly.
- Store leftovers in a food safe storage container in the fridge for up to 4 days. I bet they won’t last that long!
Now who wants to make these green beans? Here you go…
Vegan Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts make the BEST accompaniment for any weeknight meal! Green beans are steamed, then topped with a mixture of golden brown, toasted pine nuts and a diced, caramelized shallot. The green beans and their topping are drizzled with olive oil for the finishing touch. Simple and exceedingly quick to make for a weeknight meal, this vegan side dish is sure to become a dinnertime favorite of vegans and non-vegans alike.
- 1 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed
- 2 ¼ oz. pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- Steam the green beans in a steamer basket inside a large saucepan on the stovetop until crisp tender. (You can also steam your green beans in their packaging or in the microwave if desired. Just follow packaging instructions.)
- When the green beans reach the desired consistency, remove from the heat, and set aside.
- While the green beans steam, toast the whole pine nuts in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Continually move the pine nuts around the pan using a wooden spoon so they don't cook too much. When all the pine nuts are golden brown, remove them from the skillet.
- Pour a teaspoon of olive oil into the already warm skillet, and cook the shallot until softened. Remove from the heat and mix with the pine nuts.
- Serve the green beans on a large plate, and top with the pine nut and shallot mixture.
- Drizzle with the additional olive oil before serving, and enjoy!
- No pine nuts? Use another nut of your choosing!
- If you don't have olive oil on hand, use a neutral tasting oil. I prefer something like avocado oil to canola or vegetable oil, but if that's what you've got, use it.
- You can absolutely purchase the green beans in a bag for steaming for this recipe. Just following the packaging instructions.
- Likewise, you can get frozen green beans and steam them according to their instructions, too. While I prefer the fresh kind, frozen works in a pinch, too.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.