Balsamic Braised Green Beans are a quick, easy, and healthy side dish. For this braised green beans recipe, fresh green beans are seasoned with thyme, braised with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, onion, black olives, and topped with toasted pine nuts.
These balsamic braised green beans are a nutritious, flavorful twist on a classic holiday side dish! Seasoned with Mediterranean-inspired herbs and spices, they’re ready with minimal prep time and a total time of under an hour.
Plus, they’re crisp, crunchy, and so tasty your guests will forget they’re actually good for them, too! Prepare them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or simple weeknight meals.
What Does It Mean to Braise Green Beans?
How to Make the Best Braised Green Beans
What You’ll Need
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – This is used to sauté the veggies, enhancing their flavor and adding a boost of healthy omega fats.
- Aromatics – Minced garlic cloves and onions add a sweet, pungent taste.
- Water – This helps steam and soften the ingredients as they cook. Vegetable or chicken broth or chicken stock would also work!
- Oranges – Use both the juice and slices.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Adds a rich, sweetness.
- Maple Syrup – Technically optional, this enhances the sweetness of the balsamic and orange juice.
- Black Olives – Kalamata olives work, too. Or, feel free to omit them if you’re not a fan.
- Green Beans – Fresh green beans are best! Frozen varieties can also be used. Just make sure they’re thawed first, and note that their texture may be slightly different than fresh varieties.
- Herbs and Spices – Kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh thyme enhance the savoriness.
- Toasted Pine Nuts – We toast them ourselves, but you could also use pre-toasted pine nuts.
- Sauté. Heat the oil in a large pot or saucepan or saute pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic and onion just until fragrant.
- Caramelize. Add the orange juice and maple syrup (if using), and continue to cook for an additional few minutes.
- Add the veggies. Add the olives to the pan along with the water, and cook until the olives begin to soften. Then, add the green beans, salt, pepper, balsamic, and an extra ½ cup water or so.
- Cook. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the green beans are tender.
- Toast the pine nuts. In the meantime, toast the pine nuts in an oven or toaster oven just until they’re golden brown. Be careful not to burn!
- Serve. Garnish the green beans with fresh thyme, orange slices, and toasted pine nuts, and enjoy warm.
How to Store and Reheat
- Store: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container, and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: Warm your green beans in a skillet over medium heat. Or, transfer them to the oven, and warm them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes or just until heated through. Be careful not to let them burn!
Common Questions About This Braised Green Beans Recipe
Boiling or braising is typically the best way to prevent green beans from becoming stringy as the cooking process is fast.
Some people prefer to soak green beans a few hours before cooking to speed up the process, but it’s not necessary!
You can if you want, but it’s not necessary as the stem ends are completely edible. Trimmed green beans are often simply more visually appealing!
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