Friday, November 08, 2013

Barely-Cooked Green Beans with Tahini-Lemon Sauce (plus 10 More Green Beans Recipes for Thanksgiving)

Barely-Cooked Green Beans with Tahini-Lemon Sauce and Parsley
Barely-Cooked Green Beans with Tahini-Lemon Sauce and Parsley are a great Thanksgiving side dish!

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and this recipe I first tried for the countdown to Thanksgiving last year is now something I love to make whenever I have fresh green beans.  If you buy those thin green beans at Costco, they're perfect for this.  And if you're looking for a Thanksgiving recipe that everyone can enjoy, this recipe is Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Vegan!)

Thanksgiving is kind of a fun paradox.  Even though it's a food holiday where most people have traditional favorites that they make every year, it's also the biggest time of year for food magazines, cooking shows, and food bloggers to recommend new possible Thanksgiving menu options.  I've been suggesting diet-friendly Thanksgiving Recipes for the last seven years, and that includes quite a few recipes for green beans (including Roasted Green Beans with Mushrooms, Balsamic, and Parmesan, which has turned into one of the most popular recipes ever on the blog.)  This new recipe for Barely-Cooked Green Beans with Tahini-Lemon Sauce and Parsley was quick enough to be super-easy for Thanksgiving, and it was something that Jake and I gobbled up when we tested the recipe.  If you don't feel adventurous enough to have this for Thanksgiving I hope you'll try it another time, because these beans are really good!

Some people might not be familiar with Tahini, which is a middle eastern ingredient made from ground sesame seeds.  It's an essential ingredient in hummus, and adds wonderful sesame flavor to many dishes.  I think Tahini goes especially well with vegetables, and if you enter "tahini" into the search bar on the blog you'll find a lot of recipes where I've used it.  You can find it at ethnic markets, health food stores, and large grocery stores.

Trim both ends of the green beans.  (I do this by gathering a bunch in my hand and standing them up on the cutting board so the ends are even, then do the same thing on the other side.)

Cook the beans for 3-4 minutes in salted water.  Drain immediately and rinse with cold water so they don't keep cooking.

While the beans cook, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, and olive oil to make the sauce and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.  Coarsely chop the parsley.

When the beans have drained, lay them out on a plate, drizzle sauce over, and garnish with chopped parsley.  

Barely-Cooked Green Beans with Parsley and Tahini-Lemon Sauce
(Makes 4 servings, recipe adapted very slightly from Fine Cooking.)

1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed (preferably thin French style green beans.)
1 tsp. salt (for green bean cooking water)
2 T chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley (Parsley is optional, but it did enhance the flavors.)

Sauce Ingredients:
2 T Tahini
2 T fresh-squeezed or fresh-frozen lemon juice
1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic (or more)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (Use the best tasting olive oil you have for this.)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.  Trim both ends of green beans, but keep them whole.  (I trim by grabbing a handful of beans in the center and then standing them up on the cutting board, letting them fall so the ends are even.)   When the water is boiling, stir in the salt and add the green beans.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they are barely tender-crisp.  (The original recipe said 3 minutes, but we let them go for another minute.)  Drain beans and rinse with cold water; then let them drain well.

While the beans are cooking whisk together the Tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, and olive oil to make the sauce.  Taste to see if you'd like more garlic; then season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Wash and coarsely chop the parsley if using.

To serve, arrange the beans on a serving dish, drizzle sauce over and garnish with the parsley.  Serve hot.  

This is best eaten right away, but I was pleasantly surprised how good they were even when they'd been in the fridge for a few days.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Tahini and olive oil would both be considered "good fats" for the South Beach Diet, so this is a great low-glycemic side dish that would be approved for all phases of the diet. 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Ten More Green Beans Recipes for Thanksgiving:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms with Balsamic and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pan Roasted Green Beans with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce from Cafe Johnsonia
Lemony Green Beans - Green Beans with Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest from Kalyn's Kitchen
From-Scratch Green Bean Casserole from Annie's Eats
Stir-Fried Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Balsamic Roasted Green Beans from Sarah's Cucina Bella
Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds from Kalyn's Kitchen  
Brown Butter Green Beans with Almonds from Andrea Meyers   
Roasted Green Beans and Red Bell Pepper with Garlic and Ginger from Kalyn's Kitchen
String Beans with Prosciutto, Pine Nuts, and Meyer Lemon from Food Blogga
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. I'm not the biggest green bean fan but with that tahini sauce...I'm pretty sure that could change!

  2. The perfect cure for the "brown holiday table" blahs! These beans look fresh enough to jump right off the screen, and I think the sesame flavor of the tahini would be such an interesting addition to the traditional menu.

  3. Joanne, I bet you would like this, and the sauce would be good on other veggies too.

    Thanks Lydia! This may not be everyone's idea of a Thanksgiving dish, but it would suit me perfectly.

  4. You are a green bean queen, Kalyn! I love your green bean recipes, especially the Roasted Green Beans with Red Bell Peppers, Garlic, and Ginger, so I'm happy to see you have it in this listing. That's become a family favorite and was requested for Thanksgiving again. :-) I'll try this recipe for myself in the near future.


  5. Thanks Shirley! And this sauce would be good on so many veggies.

  6. I have to say I had never had tahini sauce on vegetables until recently when I tried it with roasted beets - it was probably one of the best ways I've enjoyed beets, so I am not at all surprised to see it here with green beans - definitely going to give this a try.

  7. I heared that green food is extremely good for health. I am not a big fan of green food. Well i tries your recipe and found it awesome. Thanks for sharing. I am looking for more healthy dishes.

  8. Jeanette, I love tahini, and I think this sauce would be good on a lot of things!

    Mark, glad you liked it.

  9. Hi Kalyn, I just added the bean recipe to my meal plan for Thanksgiving. Out to buy ingredients today.

  10. Wow, those look delicious, Kalyn! I have to admit that I have never cooked with tahini (even when I make hummus I use toasted sesame seeds instead). Maybe it's time to change that. Also, thank you so much for including my recipe in your post!!

  11. I came over to thank you. I made your egg muffins from 2008 and I can tell you, they are still delicious. I just wrote them up. Mine are not as pretty as yours but I bet they taste as good.

    Now, these beans are calling my name.

  12. Glad you enjoyed the egg muffins; thanks for the shout-out!

  13. Grean beans, lemon and tahini? This is a flavor combo made in my kind of heaven. Thank you for the idea and recipe.


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