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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.

Spoon in a dish of 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 in a skillet.

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 in a skillet with shallots.

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

Simmered beans in a skillet with shallots.

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

Dish of French green beans with shallots.

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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 just read comments and see you suggest to blanch when someone quadrupled recipe. I am doubling recipe, do I need to blanch? If so how does that change the rest of the recipe, will I still add the water, if not just mix beans in with shallots and seasoning? I love this recipe, thanks for another great recipe.

    • — Terri on April 22, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Terri, I don’t think it’s necessary to blanch the green beans if you’re just doubling the recipe.

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2024
      • Reply
  • Love this recipe so easy and so good. This year I am cooking it and then bringing to my son’s house. What is best way to reheat? (If microwave cannot use plastic wrap), but could cover with paper dish. Thanks for your help.

    • — Terri on April 22, 2024
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! You can reheat the green beans either in the microwave or on the stove top.

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2024
      • Reply
  • A straightforward easy recipe that yields excellent results every time. This is one of my favorite ways of making green beans. Thank you for posting the recipe, Jenn!

    • — Nels on March 18, 2024
    • Reply
  • Simple, uncomplicated recipes are always the most delicious and this one fits the bill! I prepared this last night in the 3 steps but I spaced the steps out to coordinate with preparation of the rest of the dinner so the beans ready & hot when the rest of the dinner was ready. These sauteed haricot verts were perfect with the grilled lobster & steamed Jasmine rice. I added a small clove of minced garlic to the shallot sauté. Next time if serving alongside beef, pork, or chicken, I might add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the shallot sauté. Thank you ChefJenn for another delicious recipe!

    • — A@4U on February 18, 2024
    • Reply
  • I, too, will be making my green beans this way from now on!! I used to blanch them first and then sauté but no need for that anymore! These were absolutely delicious as are all of your recipes. Perfection! Even my daughter said “they’re really good tonight!” Thanks!!

    • — Sharon on January 12, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made these last night and this will be the new way I make my green beans. I usually blanch my beans and then fry them. Now it’s one less step with delicious results. Thanks for yet another wonderful recipe.

    • — Daniella on December 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • I am quadrupling this recipe for a party of 16 …so I am blanching the green beans in advance, as suggested. Would I then eliminate the step where you add the water (1/2 cup for single recipe …so 2 cups for quadruple)? Or will still need to add a little bit of water at that point and if so, how much would you recommend ? Thank you

    • — EL on December 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • You don’t need to add the water to the pan. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2023
      • Reply
  • Wow! This is such a great recipe!! It’s a keeper. My friends all love it, too. Thanks, as always, for sharing your awesome recipes!

    • — JayeC on December 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Fabulous! Outstanding! Made a single recipe last night as a test run for then making for a crowd on Christmas Eve. I will need to quadruple this recipe … I am reading your comments/responses (thank you for such detail!!) and wondering if it is important to blanch first if quadrupling or can I just follow your recipe as written even if 4X? Thank you!

    • — EL on December 15, 2023
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked them! Yes, for a large batch like that, I would blanch them. Hope everyone enjoys as much as you did. 😊

      • — Jenn on December 15, 2023
      • Reply
  • So I made these for dinner for 22 tonight. I usually just boil and serve! These were absolutely delicious. Several people took the recipe home. Thank you. Eileen S

    • — Eileen Spiegel on November 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Very bland. Two friends who have made this said the same thing. It’s not a recipe I will make again.

    • — CindyG on November 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Just my opinion but these were far from bland. I always try Jenns recipes exactly as written the first time and they’re usually spot on. Did you use enough shallots? The shallots alone give it tremendous taste. I would suggest giving them another go. Maybe it was the beans?

      • — Sharon on January 12, 2024
      • Reply
  • Hi!

    This recipe looks great. I’m just wondering is there anyway this can be made ahead or partially made ahead as I’m running out of time and would like to serve this tonight with my salmon dish.



    • — Ken Russo on November 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Ken, You can definitely make this ahead and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • Love you, Jen! Always great recipes. Questions:
    Commentors are mentioning make ahead directions, but reading through I cannot find anything definitive. What are your suggestions when doubling and making ahead?

    • — Janet on November 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! If you’re doubling this recipe, I’d blanch the beans in boiling salted water and then shock in ice water. Once cool, drain the beans. Heat the oil/butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the shallots until soft. Then add the drained beans and seasoning to the pan and cook a few minutes more. And if you’d like to make them ahead, that’s fine. You can reheat them in the microwave or on the stove — just until heated through — you want to be careful not to overcook them. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • Jenn, I’m a big fan and love your recipes! I plan to double and cook ahead for a dinner party, but am confused by different recommendations for this method of preparation. Are you able to summarize instructions for doubling and preparing ahead (do you blanch, etc.)? Thanks!

    • — Jill on November 8, 2023
    • Reply
    • Jill, so glad you like the recipes! Yes, if you’re doubling the recipe, I’d blanch the beans in boiling salted water and then shock in ice water. Once cool, drain the beans. Heat the oil/butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the shallots until soft. Then add the drained beans and seasoning to the pan and cook a few minutes more. Hope everyone enjoys!

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2023
      • Reply
  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 💗

    • 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
    • Reply
  • This is a great recipes loved it thanks you

  • 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

  • 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
    • Reply
  • Delicious and easy side dish. Elegant enough for holidays and quick enough for a weeknight dinner!

    • — Heather Montalbano
    • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Yes I m ade it and it came out wonderful making it again for Christmas dinner. Thank you!

    • — Mary Richardson
    • 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!

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