Easy Garlic Lemon Green Beans

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Sometimes, it seems like vegetable side dishes take too much effort to make! They often involve a lot of chopping and long cook times, making me wish I’d opted for a one-pot meal instead. That’s why I love this easy garlic lemon green beans recipe. This is one of those completely simple – but absolutely – delicious vegetable side dish recipes that you want to have in your back pocket. You only need four ingredients to make it, and it’s ready to eat in only 10 minutes! As a bonus, these green beans taste perfectly delicious whether they’re served hot, room temperature, or cold, which makes it easy to coordinate dinner. That also means it’s definitely worth making a large batch so you have leftovers.

You can eat these easy garlic lemon green beans any time of day. They’re the perfect vegetable side dish for lunch or dinner, no matter what else is on the menu. You can serve them alongside your favorite chicken recipes, and they also pair exceptionally well with shrimp. I’ll often take the leftovers and add them to my lunch quinoa or rice bowl, or I’ll chop them up and toss them in my breakfast scramble. The possibilities are endless with this simple yet flavorful vegetable dish.

Why We Love Lemon Zest

Lemon zest is a very important ingredient in this easy garlic lemon green beans recipe. While lemon juice will bring some acidity and sourness to the dish, lightening things up, the zest brings its own set of unique characteristics. You see, the zest is just the yellow part of the rind and doesn’t include the white, bitter pith between the skin and the flesh. It not only makes the dish look beautiful, but it also provides a bright, “pop” of flavor that makes this vegetable side dish stand out.

If you don’t already have one, we definitely recommend that you purchase a Microplane zester. They’re relatively inexpensive, and they make quick work at zesting lemons and limes. You can also use them to finely grate chocolate or Parmesan cheese, so it’s certainly a worthy investment.

Easy Garlic Lemon Green Beans

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

4 Servings

about 4 ounces

Easy Garlic Lemon Green Beans

Yield: 4 Servings | Serving Size: 1 ounce | Calories: 69 | Total FatL 4 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 9 g | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 4 g | Protein: 2 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 7 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 1 |


  • 1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmer
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, add the green beans and cook, boiling, for 3 minutes.
  2. Drain the beans and lay them on a paper towel and gently pat dry.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add the green beans and garlic. Cooking, stirring often, until the beans just begin to blister. Add the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the zest. Cook until the beans are tender but still a bit crunchy.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining zest and serve.

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