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French Green Beans with Shallots

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These simple French green beans make an easy and elegant side dish.

French Green Beans with Shallots

These simple and elegant French green beans are the perfect side dish for just about any meal. The recipe only requires one pan, so it’s quick and easy to make. Just cook the shallots with olive oil or butter in a large skillet, then simmer the beans in a bit of water until tender in the same pan. The recipe calls for French green beans, which are thinner, sweeter, and more tender than most American varieties. They are usually labeled haricot vertsharicot meaning beans and vert meaning green—and you can usually find them bagged, pre-trimmed, and ready to cook at the supermarket.

How to make French Green Beans with Shallots

adding shallots to oil in skillet

Begin by thinly slicing the shallots into rings and cooking them slowly in olive oil until soft, sweet and mellow.

cooked shallots

Next, add the beans, salt, pepper and water.

adding the beans, salt, pepper, and water

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for about 8 minutes.

simmered beans

Remove the cover and continue cooking until the pan is completely dry, the shallots are jammy, and the beans are tender, about 6 minutes.

cooked beans

Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar.

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French String Beans with Shallots

These simple French green beans make an easy and elegant side dish.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 20 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ pound (12 ounces) French string beans (haricots verts), trimmed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch sugar


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown.
  2. Add the beans, salt, pepper and water; bring to a boil. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 8 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is evaporated, the beans are tender, and the shallots are jammy, about 6 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 116
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 302 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • I couldn’t find fresh French green beans so I bought frozen. UGH! Do I make this any differently since the green beans are frozen?

    • — Emily Marks on September 8, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Emily, Unfortunately frozen green beans won’t work here – sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 10, 2023
      • Reply
  • This would have been a great recipe but mine was fairly soggy. I made it for my dad and his friends who are in assisted living and they didn’t eat it until the night after I dropped it off. I noticed it was pretty soggy when I tried it myself right after making. Can you tell me what mistakes I possibly made? I want to try making this again. 😊

    • — Bizzybee82 on September 8, 2023
    • Reply
    • It sounds like it may have just been a bit overcooked; I would reduce the cooking time next time.

      • — Jenn on September 10, 2023
      • Reply
  • This recipe converted me. I have never like green beans, not even with butter. This however is a recipe I am loving. I seriously can make a meal out of just these beans! Thank you for this recipe!! I made it for a group of 25 people. I will be making this regularly 🥰

    • — Terri J. Moore on July 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • So simple and yet so delicious. Tried this recipe over the holidays, now one of our favorite bean recipes. Shallots add an intricate flavor, milder and more sophisticated than onions. Looking forward to summer when I can make this recipe with my home grown verts. We omit sugar, quite flavorful without it.

    • — Marianne on February 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love your recipes, they are my go-to favorites for weeknight dinners as well as weekend dinner parties. I have both of your beautiful books. I have made these green beans many times but now I plan to serve them at a party for 12 as a side with your Moroccan Chicken Tagine, which we love. My question is when I triple the recipe ingredients should I also triple the amount of water after the shallots are cooked? Thank you for your amazingly delicious and easy recipes.

    • — Nancy on January 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Nancy, So glad you like the recipes! 🙂
      Yes, I think you should triple everything including the water. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2023
      • Reply
    • Hi Nancy, So glad you enjoy the recipes! Yes I would triple the water as well.

      • — Jenn on January 30, 2023
      • Reply
  • I have made this a couple of times and to put this over the top I have found a couple of pinches of sugar is better than just 1 pinch.

    • — Keb on January 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made these for Thanksgiving and they were delicious! For years I have been trying to slowly replace “traditional” side dishes (gloppy casseroles) with healthier and more tasty dishes. With this recipe, I think I have finally shown the green bean casserole the door! Everyone went for seconds and asked for the recipe. Thank you for the upgrade I’ve been looking for!

    • — HartofAthens on December 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • We made these for Thanksgiving they were perfect even after sitting out due to the usual delay of serving.
    Thank you for the recipe.

    • — Denise and Chandler on December 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe completely exceeded my expectations!
    Not a super huge fan of green beans, but I guess now I am!

    • — Kristin BP on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent-beyond good! Made these for Thanksgiving & my husband said these were the best green beans he’s ever tasted & I agree! Happy Thanksgiving Jenn!

    • — Dana on November 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can I use regular green beans? If so, any changes to the cook time?
    Thank you 🙂

    • — Shelley Rampton on November 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Shelley, you can use regular green beans. They’ll take a little longer to cook so just keep an eye on them.

      • — Jenn on November 24, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi! About how much is two large shallots? I looked it up on line and the answers varied wildly. Thank you in advance.
        P.S. I love all of your recipes – the ones I’ve tried are some of my all-time favorites!

        • — Chandra on December 11, 2022
        • Reply
        • Chandra, So glad you like the recipes! And I’d guesstimate that 2 large shallots would give you about 1 cup of sliced shallots. Hope you enjoy the green beans!

          • — Jenn on December 14, 2022
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m planning to make these delicious haricots verts for Thanksgiving/tomorrow! I wanted to make the beans ahead of time so I plan to boil and blanch today. What’s the best was to store them, though? On a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap? In a zip top bag?
    Thanks, as always, for the amazing recipes!

    • — Alex S. on November 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Alex, So glad you like the recipes! I don’t think it’s necessary to blanch the green beans. That said, I’d either store them in a zip-top bag or an airtight container.:)

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    These green beans sound perfect! I assume if making this entire recipe ahead that it should be refrigerated until microwaving for the 3 plus minutes before serving?

    • — Liz on November 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Liz, yes, you should refrigerate them until you’re ready to reheat. And you probably won’t need 3 minutes in the microwave; I’d start with one minute, give them a stir and keep going in 30-second intervals until they get warmed through.

      • — Jenn on November 19, 2022
      • Reply
      • These green beans were absolutely delicious! The make ahead directions we’re perfect!
        As always, thank you so much Jenn for another great recipe!

        • — Liz on November 20, 2022
        • Reply
  • These green beans are absolutely delicious – the shallots really make it special! I’m having 12 people for Thanksgiving and wanted to know any suggestions for tripling the recipe. Would I need to use more water in the pan? Or blanche the beans instead? I plan on making it earlier in the day and reheating in the microwave. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • — Susan on November 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, so glad you like the green beans! I wouldn’t do anything different if tripling the recipe though if you don’t have a pan large enough, you can divide the ingredients between two pans. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on November 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was a delicious dish. How would you make this ahead of time for thanksgiving? Can you serve it room temp?

    • — anne on November 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, Glad you like these. It’s fine to make them ahead and reheat. Before serving, partially cover them and reheat in the microwave for about 60 seconds or warmed through.

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • We loved it! I’ve made this dish three times now. Simple yet so good! I used yellow onion instead of shallots the last two times and it was still great.

    • — Stephanie H on November 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • I was told by my guests that this green bean side dish tasted insanely good! I cannot comment myself because it was finished before I could even get to that side of the table! And was so easy to make! Bravo again Jenn!

    • — Tara on October 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Great recipe! We love these green beans. Am making now (for the second time in a week).

    • — Sallie on September 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • These beans are so simple and yet taste like they require a lot of work. Absolutely restaurant worthy, they’re spectacular! Thank you!

    • — Margaret F on September 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Today I made the recipe with regular green beans and added 1.5 cups of halved cherry tomatoes for the last two minutes – nice way to use home grown produce!

    • — Susan on August 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • These green beans came out excellent! Love the subtle saltiness with a tinge of umami. An absolute delight!

    • — NDS on June 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Tasty and simple to prepare!

    • — Katherine on June 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this easy recipe for The French green beans. Delicious. I look forward to trying some of your recipes.

    • — Lydia on April 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • We cooked these yesterday for lunch and they were the best green beans I have ever had! My husband typically turns down green beans, said they were phenomenal! The recipe was simple, yet requires close attention, especially in the last step. Thank you for all your great recipes! It is amazing you do so much work to help others to become better cooks and expand our palates. You are very much appreciated!

    • — Cheryl S on April 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on April 11, 2022
      • Reply
    • Totally agree with the amazing flavors of Jenn Segal recipes!! Never disappoint.

      • — Kathy on August 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • Unbelievably delicious, seriously. My 5 kids 9 and under were fighting over the last of them 😊

    • — Lynnessa R Struble on April 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is a great recipes loved it thanks you

    • — Tweetybird on February 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • This meatloaf was delicious and soft. Only thing I didn’t have was milk so instead use water and it was prefect next time I’ll use milk. This is a keeper Thank you for sharing and excellent to try others recipes again thank you so much

    • — Tweetybird on February 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are the best green beans ever! My 15 yr old daughter (who thinks French fries are a veggie) asks for these all the time. Thanks for sharing!

    • — Debbie Wheaton on February 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious and easy side dish. Elegant enough for holidays and quick enough for a weeknight dinner!

    • — Heather Montalbano on February 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • My “holiday job” is to make the green bean dish – made many different styles but this one is the BEST…the “jammy” shallots put it over the top…and at Christmas dinner I watched two lbs of green beans disappear…thanks for this and your many other wonderful dishes…

    • — Bob Dingle on January 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is my favorite green bean recipe! I’ve made it 3 times in the past month and everyone in our family loves it, including our kids that say they don’t like green beans. The beans come out perfectly crisp.

    • — Anna on January 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Served on Christmas with your Roast Beef Tenderloin recipe. These string beans along with your Roasted Carrots were the perfect sides. Thank you for helping me serve my best holiday dinner ever.

    • — Sandra on December 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Yes I m ade it and it came out wonderful making it again for Christmas dinner. Thank you!

    • — Mary Richardson on December 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Very easy and delicious! I used a 12 oz package of regular stringbeans. I actually made 2 separate batches, one I left the shallots sliced and the second, I cut them up smaller, which I liked better! Really good flavor!

    • — Sally on December 23, 2021
    • Reply

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