How to make perfectly roasted green beans the highlight of the dinner table

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How to make perfectly roasted green beans the highlight of the dinner table
Roast green beans in the oven for 10 minutes to get the best level of crisp.vm2002/Shutterstock
  • Green beans are easy to roast in the oven and make a great side dish.
  • All you need are green beans, olive oil, salt, pepper, a large cast-iron skillet, and a hot oven.
  • After the green beans are roasted, they can easily absorb flavors from seasonings.

Roasted meats are a common dinner fixture throughout the fall and winter, but roasted veggie side dishes also deliver plenty of warm and toasty flavor notes. One go-to vegetable to roast is green beans.

Executive chef Steven Goff of Jargon in Asheville, North Carolina, and recipe developer Jessica Randhawa of The Forked Spoon provide their top tips for cooking up these appealing legumes.

How to roast green beans

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How to make perfectly roasted green beans the highlight of the dinner table
Before putting the green beans in the oven, season them with kosher salt and black pepper.Ezume Images/Shutterstock
  1. Destem a pound of green beans. Goff says to do this by either twisting off the stems with your hands or by using a sharp paring knife to trim them off.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. As your oven is preheating, put a large cast-iron skillet in the oven and leave it there to warm up. Cast iron retains heat really well, so this "priming" process gives you a hot pan right from the get-go. This helps the roasted beans develop an appealingly crisp texture.
  3. Prep the green beans. As the cast-iron skillet is heating, Goff says to "toss the beans" in one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and then to season them with kosher salt and black pepper "to taste."
  4. Roast the beans in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once the oven finishes preheating, remove the skillet and place the seasoned green beans "straight into the 500-degree pan." Put the skillet back in the oven, and let the beans roast in the heated oven. Goff says you'll want to see "a nice char" on the beans when they're done roasting.
  5. Remove the skillet from the oven. Goff then recommends letting the beans sit in the hot pan for "about 5 minutes." This allows them to cool enough to be edible while still retaining enough heat to stay crispy. Once cooled, season them however you want.

Quick tip: If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, a baking sheet will do just fine. You just won't get as pronounced a charred flavor. Just make sure the pan you use is entirely metal. An oven that hot will melt any plastic elements.

Serving and seasoning suggestions

How to make perfectly roasted green beans the highlight of the dinner table
Serve roasted green beans as a side dish, or by themselves with add-ons like garlic aioli and cream sauce.Aimee Lee Studios/Shutterstock

Roasted green beans are a classic presence on the Thanksgiving table for good reason. They pair beautifully with roasted proteins, such as turkey, ham, and plant-based roasts. Also, because green beans don't have an especially strong flavor on their own, they make the perfect canvas for seasonings and add-ons.

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  • Cream sauce. Goff says that he "loves to treat [green beans] like asparagus [by] serving them with a creamy or buttery sauce and crunchy [toppings]." Specifically, he enjoys furikake (a dry Japanese condiment made of seaweed, fish, and sesame seeds), "shaved hard cheese" (like Romano), and either Hollandaise sauce or aioli.
  • Garlic aioli. Because roasted green beans have a wonderfully crunchy texture, Goff sees them as great candidates for dipping. "I love making a black garlic aioli to dip them in, but a less time-consuming and favorite sauce is a spicy garlic aioli!" he tells us.
  • Lemon juice. A few squeezes of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of sea salt gives roasted green beans a bright freshness. Adding sauteed garlic and grated Parmesan will also help boost the flavor profile.
  • Candied almonds. Randhawa likes the textural contrast provided by topping her roasted green beans with candied almonds. "Oven-roasted green beans with garlic, Parmesan cheese, and candied almonds [have the] perfect combination of savory and sweet," she says.
  • Serve as a side dish to a protein of choice. Whether you like your green beans with lots of seasonings or prefer them with just a pinch of salt and pepper, these roasted veggies make an ideal side dish for a wide range of entree proteins. They work well alongside a roast chicken or turkey, roast beef, short ribs, or even a plant-based dish like baked tofu.

How to store roasted green beans

Randhawa says that, when "properly stored in an airtight container," roasted green beans will "last for three to five days in the refrigerator.

Reheat them "in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit" on either a sheet pan or in a cast-iron skillet until they're heated all the way through, which Randhawa says will take "just a few minutes."

Insider's takeaway

Roasted green beans pick up a nice level of char, and also provide the perfect foundation for bold flavors and robust additional ingredients. Because of this, they make a fantastic side dish for roasted meats, but can also hold up on their own when seasoned or served with different add-ons.

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All you need is some extra virgin olive oil, some salt and pepper, some trimmed green beans, and a hot cast-iron skillet to make roasted green beans. Once they're out of the oven, the sky's the limit on how you can season and serve them.

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