Spicy blackened green beans, charred to perfection in a skillet, sit atop cheesy grits in this Southern-inspired vegetarian recipe. It makes a great main or side dish!
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If you’re not familiar with blackened seasoning (which is similar to Cajun seasoning), it’s a spice blend that’s commonly used in Southern cuisine. Food that has been coated in blackened seasoning and butter or oil develops a black char as the spices burn during cooking. The result is a delicious spicy and savory meal!
While blackened seasoning is typically used on seafood and meats, you can also use it to coat vegetables (like green beans!). My first experience with blackened green beans was at a restaurant called Grace’s Tavern in the Fitler Square neighborhood of Philadelphia where I used to live.
I fell in love with their spicy taste and perfectly charred crust, so much so that I developed my very own blackened green beans recipe for my cookbook. It turns out that it’s very easy to make homemade blackened seasoning. You just need a well-stocked spice cabinet.
I continued to brainstorm ways to serve these green beans after my book was published. One night this spring, Will and I made blackened shrimp and grits. I soon realized that blackened green beans could also be served with grits! So, here it is!
Side note: we made shrimp and grits because Will got me Mississippi grits from a store called Laurel Mercantile for my birthday. If you have seen the HGTV show Hometown, then you are probably aware of Ben and Erin Napier and the store they own in Laurel, MS. If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend watching!
How to Make Blackened Green Beans
- Prepare the homemade blackened seasoning. The seasoning I developed for this recipe is slightly different than the one in my cookbook, but you can use either one! Toss the green beans in olive oil and the seasoning.
- Get the grits cooking in a saucepan.
- About 10 to 15 minutes before the grits are finished, heat a cast iron or other skillet on the stove. Add the green beans, and cook until blackened.
- Serve the green beans over the cheesy grits, and enjoy!
Check out my expert tips for making perfect blackened green beans and grits. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients and instructions!
- Blackened seasoning is pretty spicy. To make it milder, omit the cayenne pepper and use less paprika.
- If you don’t have some of the spices for homemade seasoning on hand, you can also buy blackened seasoning online or at some stores.
- You can cook grits in water or milk/cream. I prefer to do half water and half whole milk. Then, I stir in some grated cheddar cheese towards the end. They’re so yummy! Use stone ground grits for best results, and adjust the cooking time based on how much texture you want. I like creamy grits, so I cook them for about a 30 minutes.
- Eat your blackened green beans and grits right away. I have never had luck storing and reheating grits. You can do it, but the texture won’t be the same. If you have leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days.
- Serve this dish as a main course with a side of fruit for a summer meal. You can also serve it as a side to seafood (shrimp, white fish), burgers, chicken, or skewers.
More Green Bean Recipes
If you love my blackened green beans, check out the Herb and Garlic Butter Green Beans, Green Beans and Corn with Cider Vinegar, Coconut Green Bean Curry, and the Italian Marinated Green Bean Salad. You may also like the BBQ Lentils with Shredded Carrots and the Shredded Collard Greens Salad with Peanut Dressing.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Blackened Green Beans and Grits
For the cheesy grits
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup stone ground grits
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- Combine the milk and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the grits, and reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until thickened and creamy. Stir the grits occasionally while cooking. When the grits are finished, stir in the cheddar cheese until melted.
- In the meantime, prepare the blackened seasoning by combining the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, cayenne, pepper, and salt. Add the olive oil to a mixing bowl and whisk in the blackened seasoning. Put the green beans in the bowl and toss until well-coated.
- Heat a large cast iron or other skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green beans, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until blackened and tender.
- Serve the green beans on a pile of cheesy grits, and dig in!
- For a milder seasoning, omit the cayenne pepper and cut back on the paprika.
- Serve as a main dish or side to seafood and meat.
- This dish is best enjoyed right away. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a few days, but they don’t reheat that well.
- To make vegan, omit the milk and cheese and cook the grits in water or plant-based milk.
Happy Friday! – Lizzie