Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Lemon, Pine Nuts & Parmigiano-Reggiano

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If I told you I cooked vegetables like this every night of the week, I’d be lying. The truth is that most nights, between soccer practice and homework, I’m steaming frozen broccoli in the microwave in a harried attempt to serve something green. But if I were entertaining or, say, asked to bring a vegetable to someone’s house for Thanksgiving, this is exactly the kind of dish I’d make because it’s impressive and easy to do ahead of time.

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What makes it so good (if I didn’t have you at the title) is the combination of flavors and textures: tender roasted green beans, mellowed chunks of garlic, lemon-infused olive oil, crunchy toasted pine nuts and nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Naturally, this dish takes a bit of time of prepare but it’s not hard–just slightly more involved than steaming in the microwave :)  One way to speed things up is to use pre-washed and trimmed beans in a bag; I, for one, am not above it–it’s a huge timesaver.

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Once you’ve got your beans ready (ahem, opened the bag), simply toast your pine nuts in a small skillet to bring out their flavor. Be sure to watch them carefully…they’re expensive and can burn very quickly!

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Next, toss the green beans with garlic, lemon zest and seasonings…

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Roast them in a blazing hot oven until tender…

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Finally, finish them off with the toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, more lemon zest and shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Vegetables don’t get much better. Enjoy!

Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Lemon, Pine Nuts & Parmigiano-Reggiano
Adapted from a recipe by Ris Lacoste in Fine Cooking
Printable Recipe

Serves 6-8


⅓ cup pine nuts*
2 pounds fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed
10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise (a medium clove should yield 4 slices)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I use Colavita)
1½ tablespoons lemon zest (you’ll need two lemons)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


1. Set oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

2. In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until golden. Watch carefully and stir frequently as they can burn quickly! Immediately transfer to small bowl (don’t leave them in hot pan as they will continue to cook). Set aside.

3. Put the green beans in a large bowl. Add sliced garlic, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon zest, kosher salt, pepper and sugar and toss well. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet (don’t leave any flavor behind: use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the oil and seasoning out of the bowl and onto the beans).

4. Roast beans and garlic for 15 minutes. Stir with a spatula to promote even cooking, then continue roasting until the beans are tender throughout, about 10 minutes more. The beans should be fully cooked, with some lightly browned but not shriveled.

5. Add lemon juice, Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining lemon zest and pine nuts to beans and toss well.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice if necessary. Transfer to serving platter and serve hot or room temperature.

*Always check the origin of pine nuts and be sure to buy the Italian variety. Certain pine nuts, particularly those from China, can cause a bitter aftertaste that can last for days — very unpleasant!

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  • mikey

    sounds delicious! i am enamored by pine nuts. i also have a tendency to add red pepper flakes to everything. do you think that spicing it up a teeny bit would detract from the roasted flavor of the green beans?

  • Chris Tucker

    I just brought some pine nuts back from my trip to Santa Fe – I’m anxious to try the “American” variety :)

  • Hello Thanksgiving side dish! :)

  • Lynne

    These beans are delicious! Definitely a keeper. Thanks!!

  • Hmmmm…. It’s so easy to make and very delicious, I will defiantly it..

  • This might be the perfect green beab recipe!

  • Krista Custer

    Was an absolute HIT for Thanksgiving with an Italian fam. So good I’m making it again tonight!

  • Anna

    We made this for Thanksgiving and it was absolutely delicious!

  • Andrea

    Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a total SUCCESS. Absolutely DELICIOUS… it will now be a regular dish in my house. Thanks!!!

  • I love this recipe and blog…I posted it on my community foodie blog. Hope you can come check it out link to

    Also, feel free to post you’re recipes or you’re favourite foodie tips on it whenever you like!


  • Leah

    Just made this with dinner and it was spectacular. Hubby said he onlywants green beans this way from now on :-)

  • These are SO good! Can’t wait to make them again.

  • Jessica

    I made this recipe with the addition of some crumbled bacon…it was fantastic! The flavors marry perfectly together!

  • Danita

    This is my family’s favorite green bean recipe. I have lost out of how many times I’ve made it. Delicious!

  • Christine

    While I made these a while back (for Thanksgiving dinner), I haven’t forgotten how much I enjoyed them! I don’t really like green beans (other than from the chinese buffet), but these I could easily add into my regular rotation.

  • Julie Backas

    This recipe was my first “Once Upon a Chef” endeavor and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve made these beans several times and my family loves it. Very flavorful!

  • Amy Flick

    This sounds delicious – I’m always looking for new vegetable dishes.

  • Sandra

    Can you roast the beans ahead of time?

    • Jenn


  • Amanda S.

    When I made these I didn’t have pine nuts (they’re expensive!) but I used toasted walnuts instead. I also toasted in them in the oven so I could multi-task and they came out just as good. I love green beans and will be sending this recipe to my mom next time she has a dinner party. Thanks, Jenn!

  • This was so simple and so goo! (And had just that touch of something extraordinary that I was hoping for.) Great idea, thank you! This is a new staple in my kitchen. :)

  • Kira

    Dear Jennifer! This comment is from a far away Helsinki, Finland! I got on your site a couple of month ago and I am absolutely in awe. I have already cooked a few dishes and they were fantastic! This one sounds amazing too! Now I am a regular visitor here :) Your dishes are absolutely amazing and so is the website: stylish, beautiful, easy to use and full of love! Thank you so much for your work!

    • Jenn

      You’re welcome, Kira! Thank you for your sweet words, and so glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

  • Wanda Vella

    Jen, my husband is soooo tired of my vegetable side dishes, always with garlic and oil. So I went to your list of vegetables and found this one! I read ALL of the
    reviews and then said”this is the one” I know my hubby and Kevin will love this and Ryan, well you know, he’ll eat anything!!!!! Say hello to your family!

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