Green Beans with Cranberries and Pecans is an easy recipe that takes fresh green beans and turns them into a flavorful side dish with great taste and texture. Serve at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner as a sweet and savory side dish everyone will enjoy! Ready in just 10 minutes.
When cooking holiday meals, some recipes will be super complicated. This green bean side dish recipe is one of the most simple dishes we like to make!
Not only are the green beans fresh and tender, but they are also paired with sweet and tart cranberries and a nutty crunch from toasted pecans that make an excellent flavor combination.
We adore the contrast between the crisp beans, soft tender cranberries and crunchy toasted pecans.
All you need to do is to blanch trimmed green beans quickly in boiling water. Then and add it to a skillet with oil, butter, and garlic.
Then just toss the cranberries and pecans in until the entire dish is warmed through. It's ready in just 10 minutes and perfect for your holiday table or to serve on a weeknight with any protein.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
It’s a great mixture of fall flavors that are perfect as a holiday side dish.
It uses fresh green beans that are full of nutrients and crunchy texture.
You can change up the nuts or dried fruit you use to customize this healthy side dish.
The entire recipe is ready in under 10 minutes from start to finish.
You only need simple ingredients to make this Sautéed Green Beans recipe. Feel free to switch up the nuts and dried fruit for alternatives!
- Pecans - Adds a healthy crunch and nutty flavor to the green bean dish.
- Cooking Oil - Helps to saute the ingredients together and develop all the flavors.
- Butter - Adds a rich buttery flavor to this green bean side dish. Use vegan butter or extra oil to make this a vegan side dish.
- Fresh Green Beans - The main ingredient adds fiber, nutrients, and lots of texture.
- Dried Cranberries - Gives this side dish a sweet and tart flavor note that pairs well with green beans.
- Fresh Garlic - Infuses the dish with fresh garlic flavor.
- Salt & Pepper - Balances all of the flavors together when seasoned to taste.
Please see the recipe card below for quantities.
Wondering how to make this recipe? It's easy! Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Toast the pecans: Add a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Pour in the pecans and saute, making sure to stir often for about 3 minutes. The pecans should begin to get toasted and will darken slightly. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the green beans: Thoroughly wash your green beans, then trim the tough stems off each side using a sharp knife.
Blanch the green beans: Heat a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the prepared green beans and boil for 3 minutes. Then remove with a slotted spoon and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Cook the green bean dish: Add the oil and butter to a large frying pan or skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add in the green beans, cranberries, and fresh garlic. Stir often for about 3-4 minutes or until the green beans are heated through.
Add the pecans: Season with salt and pepper, then add the chopped pecans, cook for an additional minute, then plate and serve while warm.
Choose green beans that are all even in size and not bruised or browned. This will help them cook evenly and stay fresh.
Keep an eye on the pecans while toasting as they can burn very quickly if they are not watched.
Blanching is an important process for making this side dish as it keeps the green beans fresh and tender and also keeps them from undercooking in the pan.
You can also use an ice bath after blanching the green beans to stop the cooking process immediately. Just plunge the drained beans into a bowl of iced water.
Serve with Vegan Stuffing to make the perfect side dish combination with any comforting protein.
Change up the nuts: Instead of pecans, toasted cashews, walnuts, or slivered almonds add a great nutty flavor and crunch to the dish.
Change up the fruits: Instead of dried cranberries, you can also use dried raisins, currants, or golden berries to get that sweet and tart flavor.
Add additional vegetables by tossing in some sauteed mushrooms and onions or your favorite veggie.
Add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice on top for a bright citrusy flavor. Or for a more festive taste, try a squeeze of satsumas, tangerines or clementines.
To Make it Gluten-Free: This recipe is made with naturally gluten-free ingredients, however, make sure you check your labels on any seasonings.
To Make It Vegan: This pan fried green bean side dish can be made vegan by swapping out the butter for a vegan butter substitute or by replacing it with plant-based cooking oil.
Storing: Sauteed Green beans with cranberries and pecans can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat on a medium heat skillet until warmed through.
Freezing: This cooked side dish does not hold up well in the freezer as the texture of cooked green beans will not thaw properly along with the pecans and cranberries. Therefore, freezing is not recommended.
Frozen green beans are not recommended for this recipe as they can become too soggy when cooked with additional ingredients. It's best to go fresh with this one!
For best results, green beans are usually finished blanching in about 3 minutes. Larger green beans may take one minute more and smaller may take a minute less.
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Green Beans with Cranberries and Pecans
- 5 tablespoons pecans
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 pound (450 grams) fresh green beans washed and trimmed
- 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper or to taste
- Heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat, add the pecans (no oil) and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes until they just begin to toast and darken slightly. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a pan of boiling water, add the trimmed green beans and boil (blanche) for 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
- Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan or skillet, over a medium/high heat then stir in the green beans, cranberries and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes or until the beans are heated through. Season with the salt and pepper, add the pecans, stir well and cook for a further minute.
- Choose green beans that are all even in size and not bruised or browned. This will help them cook evenly and stay fresh
- Keep an eye on the pecans while toasting as they can burn very quickly if they are not watched.
- Blanching is an important process for making this side dish as it keeps the green beans fresh and tender and also keeps them from undercooking in the pan.
- You can also use an ice bath after blanching the green beans to stop the cooking process immediately.
- Instead of pecans, toasted cashews, walnuts, or slivered almonds add a great nutty flavor and crunch to the dish.
- Instead of dried cranberries, you can also use dried raisins, currants, or golden berries to get that sweet and tart flavor.
- Add additional vegetables by tossing in some sauteed mushrooms and onions or your favorite veggie.
- Add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice or tangerine juice on top for a bright citrusy flavor.
- Storing: Green beans with cranberries and pecans can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat on a medium heat skillet until warmed through.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.