9 New Ways to Serve Up Green Beans This Thanksgiving (Hint: No Casseroles Necessary)

by Kaila Stein
Nov 6, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Everyone knows sides reign supreme on Thanksgiving. Yes, the turkey is an integral part of the meal but let’s get real — we’re here for the creamy mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and of course, the gravy (which I consider a side in its own right). And since the sides are of vital importance, the pressure is on to get things right. This is not the time for your aunt to experiment with her cranberry sauce or your brother to make a gluten-free stuffing. This is the time for tried and true classics, with bonus points for an Ina Garten-approved recipe.

Green beans, an often-overlooked side, are an important part of the feast. They add much-needed color and contrast to an otherwise beige plate. They’re also a pretty versatile veggie — you can grill them, serve them raw with a tangy vinaigrette or even wrap them with bacon and serve them as an appetizer. Don’t let a mushy casserole ruin your Thanksgiving dinner — try one of these delicious green bean recipes and let your sides take center stage this year.

1 /9: Bacon-green bean bundles

1/9 :Bacon-green bean bundles

Going to your boyfriend’s family's house this year? Show up with a plate of these bacon-green bean bundles and win the whole family over — overprotective mom included!

2 /9: Green bean salad with fried almonds

2/9 :Green bean salad with fried almonds

This salad has a lot going on, but in the best possible way. Crisp green beans, thinly sliced fennel, pickled red onions and fried almonds lend a ton of flavor and crunch to this memorable side. 

3 /9: Green beans with ginger & lime

3/9 :Green beans with ginger & lime

Add a Southeast Asian flair to your menu with these green beans, which are tossed in a ginger-lime vinaigrette and topped with chopped roasted peanuts and cilantro.

4 /9: Spicy garlic green beans

4/9 :Spicy garlic green beans

Green beans are doused with garlic, lemon zest, shallots and red pepper flakes in this delicious recipe.  These will become a permanent fixture on your Thanksgiving menu.

5 /9: Sichuan green beans with fried shallots

5/9 :Sichuan green beans with fried shallots

Crisp-tender green beans are served with a delicious gingery, garlicky and spicy sauce and topped with fried shallots in this tasty recipe. 

6 /9: Lemon butter green beans

6/9 :Lemon butter green beans

You can't go wrong with lemon, butter and Parmesan cheese. These simple yet tasty beans would make a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

7 /9: Blistered green beans

7/9 :Blistered green beans

Your family will love the combo of chili oil, fresh mint and orange zest in this flavor-packed recipe. 

8 /9: Grilled green beans

8/9 :Grilled green beans

These green beans are worth going outside and lighting the grill. Grilling the beans adds a ton of smoky char flavor that you just can’t get in the oven.

9 /9: Green bean salad with basil

9/9 :Green bean salad with basil

This recipe is loaded with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese and drizzled with a delightful balsamic vinaigrette. The key here is plunging the beans in ice water after boiling — it will stop the cooking and keep the beans crisp and bright green.