The best grilled green beans use the heat from the grill to caramelize the beans, adding a little char to deepen the beans flavor.
This grilled green bean recipe uses the deep flavors from balsamic vinegar, the sweetness from grilled red peppers and the creaminess from fresh goat cheese to create a dish with complex flavors and textures. Elevating a few simple ingredients into a delicious dish that can be served all year long.
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Making Green Beans Taste Better
It can be a challenge with green beans to get them to absorb the flavors from the other ingredients and seasonings they’re being cooked with. This lack of flavor absorption is why so many people think of green bean dishes as being bland.
Unlike a lot of other ingredients, it can take a while for green beans to absorb flavors, which is why giving them time to marinate is so important. We recommend marinating the beans for at least 30 minutes before cooking. If you have the time they can be marinated for a couple of hours or even overnight.
Green beans also benefit from a quick flavor refresh after they’ve finished cooking. This can be a squeeze of lemon along with a sprinkle of salt or using one of our favorite tips, which is to return the beans to the marinade when they come off the grill.
It’s as simple as tossing them for a minute or two with the remaining marinade after they’ve finished cooking before transferring them to a serving dish.
The heat from the grill opens the green beans up, helping them absorb the flavors from the marinade.
When you’re seasoning green beans it helps to use both a liquid (olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, etc) and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, etc). In addition to adding flavor, the liquid helps herbs and spices adhere to the beans.
Green beans do well with strong bright flavors, such as balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, seasoned salts, chili paste, etc. We also like to pair them with contrasting flavors and textures. In this recipe, we use the sweetness from the red peppers, the creaminess of the goat cheese, and the crispiness of the shallots to bring different dimensions to the final dish.
How to Grill Green Beans
Prep the beans by removing the tip and breaking them into large bite sized pieces. We like to prep them by hand to give them a rustic look that contrasts with the unnaturally uniform size of frozen green beans.
There’s no need to blanch the beans before grilling or to cook them in foil. To keep the beans from falling through the grates use a grill pan or basket.
If you don’t have a grill pan and need something to keep the beans from falling through the grate use a cast iron pan or double up some aluminum foil to create a simple flat top grill.
Start by spraying the grill pan lightly with oil and letting it heat up before adding the beans. Heating the pan up helps sear the outside of the beans and encourages them to carmelize, which is the best way to develop their flavors.
The beans will cook faster and more evenly if the pan isn’t too full. Ideally, they should be in one or two layers with space to move them around as they cook.
To make sure they cook evenly the beans should be turned periodically while they grill. The easiest way to turn them is to use long-handled tongs, to grab and flip the beans. The goal is to cook them evenly and to avoid burning them.
Determining when green beans are done is a matter of personal preference. Green beans are one of those ingredients that can be served all the way from raw to cooked so long they fall apart on the plate.
The easiest way to tell if the beans are done, for this recipe, is to occasionally taste one once they’ve started to char. We like ours with a bit of color on the outside but still crisp enough that there’s a little snap to them.
We usually grill them for 15 to 20 minutes on a medium grill. If you like your beans a little softer, leave them on for closer to 20 to 25 minutes.
A few dishes that are delicious with these beans are Lamb Burgers with Grilled Shallots and Goat Cheese, Smoked Pork Loin, and Slow Roasted Tender Roast Beef.
- 1 lb green beans
- 1 small shallot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 red pepper
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Start by washing and trimming the beans by removing the tips and breaking them into large bite sized pieces. Since everything will be cooked on a grill pan, it’s important to keep the pieces large enough that they don’t fall through the holes in the pan.
- Cut the red pepper lengthwise into bite-sized pieces, slice the shallot into long thin pieces, and thinly slice the garlic. Put the green beans, red pepper, shallots, and garlic into a large bowl.
- In a small bowl mix the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, ground pepper, and smoked paprika together. Combine the marinade with the green beans, mixing thoroughly. Let everything sit together for at least 15 to 30 minutes for the flavors to come together.
- Coat a grill pan lightly with oil and place it on a medium grill. Let the pan heat up for a few minutes before adding the beans to the pan. Making sure to reserve the remaining marinade to toss with the beans when they come off the grill.
- Once the beans have been added to the pan, you’ll want to turn them occasionally using a pair of tongs to make sure they cook evenly.
- It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes to grill the beans. The dish is best when you get a little char on everything and the shallots get nice and crispy!
- When the beans have finished being grilled, remove them from the grill and toss them with the remaining marinade before transferring them to a serving dish.
- The goat cheese should be added to the beans in small chunks right before they’re served.
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