For an easy vegetable, look no further than these green beans with pecans! It’s the perfect green bean dish for Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving, dinner parties, or even weeknight meals. Steamed and quickly sautéed green beans are paired with sweet and spicy maple pecans in this no-fuss, minimal ingredient recipe.
If you’re hosting for the holidays this year and stressing about what to put on your menu, you’re in the right place! These green beans with pecans are the real deal folks. They’re super duper easy but still so flavorful. I added a pinch of cayenne to the maple syrup coating to make them both sweet and spicy.
Plus, this recipe doesn’t require any oven space. It’s all made on the stovetop in literally under 30 minutes. Even the candied pecans are made in a skillet and take like 5 minutes.
This is really a perfect dish if you’re looking for an alternative to green bean casserole or just a green vegetable for Christmas. It’s also perfectly acceptable to serve for dinner parties, date night, or just a weeknight dinner. Enjoy! And don’t forget about my Healthier Green Bean Casserole with Almonds. It’s also a winner.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Green beans: Use fresh or frozen green beans.
- Pecans: Raw, chopped pecans work best. You can buy them pre-chopped or chop them yourself with a knife or in a food processor. If you want a substitute, slivered, sliced, or chopped almonds also work.
- Maple syrup: If you must change this ingredient because you don’t have it on hand, try honey. I really like the maple flavor when making green beans with pecans though!
- Cayenne pepper: A little bit goes a long way! I added a small pinch, like 1/16 of a teaspoon. Add more or omit it entirely depending on your preferences.
- Salt: Use kosher, sea, or table salt to bring out the flavors.
The full recipe card is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the process.
Steam the green beans until crisp-tender. I prefer to use my Oxo steamer basket, but you can boil them if you don’t have a steamer.
While the green beans are steaming, cook the pecans in the maple syrup, cayenne, and salt until the syrup thickens.
Transfer the pecans to a plate and let them harden.
In the same skillet, warm a little olive oil. Add the steamed greens beans and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly blistered. Remove and top with the pecans!
Storage and Reheating
Green beans with pecans are best enjoyed right away, but you can make the dish ahead of time and/or keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s helpful to keep the two components in separate containers if possible.
Reheat the green beans in a skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat. It should only take a few minutes for them to be warmed through. Add the pecans to the skillet and heat for a couple more minutes.
More Christmas Recipes
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Green Beans with Pecans
- Steam or boil the green beans. If you have a vegetable steamer basket, fill a pot with a couple inches of water and bring to a boil. Insert the steamer into the pot and add the green beans. Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until crisp-tender. You don't want them to be too limp or they will get mushy when you quickly sautee them later. If you don't have a steamer, you can boil the green beans for 2 to 4 minutes.
- In a large skillet, warm the maple syrup, salt, and cayenne pepper over medium heat. Add the chopped pecans and stir to coat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the syrup thickens and the pecans are sticky. Transfer them to a plate to cool/harden, spread out in an even layer.
- In the same skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the steamed green beans. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly blistered. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the green beans to a tray. Top with the maple pecans. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- If you want to make these the day before or on the morning of a holiday, steam the green beans and prepare the pecans as instructed. Store them in separate containers in the refrigerator. You can also keep the pecans in an airtight container at room temperature if you will be using them within a few hours. When you’re ready to serve the dish, cook the green beans in a skillet in olive oil for a few minutes until warmed through and blistered. You can add the pecans to the skillet to warm them up too, or you can just add them to the dish as is.