Everything tastes better with bacon — and green beans are no exception! No one will be sticking these green beans up their nose or in their ears. In fact, you may even have fights over who gets the last spoonful. Don’t worry; this is still a veggie dish. I’m not going overboard with the bacon. We’re talking one strip of bacon per serving (4 servings/4 bacon slices). In this recipe, fresh green beans, garlic, and onion are roasted in a baking sheet/pan with chopped bacon for amazing results. But WAIT, it only gets better! Once out of the oven, the mixture is sprinkled with toasted pecans. And then, to totally knock this out of the park, vibrant, bright lemon juice is drizzled over the top resulting in an explosion of flavor. These may be the best green beans you have ever tasted!
As always, a little mise-en-place goes a long way. First, the basics, preheat the oven and line a baking sheet/pan with aluminum foil. The foil makes clean-up an absolute breeze. No scrubbing the pan! The fresh ingredients prep includes mincing the garlic and chopping the onion. Pre-minced garlic is available in the produce department, and while it saves a couple of minutes, I’m not a fan because of the preservatives used.
A shortcut that I do love is buying washed & trimmed green beans when available. The green beans do require one other step, which is more cosmetic than anything else. To keep the color a bright, vivid green when in the oven, the beans need to be blanched. “Blanched” – I can’t stand that word! I mean, it starts with “bla.” I realize that it’s just me, but I really don’t like that term. Anyway, personal feeling aside. Blanching is really easy when done in the microwave. No need to boil water and have an ice bath on hand! All you need to do is put the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl with a teaspoon of water and cover with a wet paper towel—microwave on HIGH for a couple of minutes. Remove the beans onto a paper towel-lined plate or cutting board to drain. Pat them dry.
While the beans are cooling down, it’s a great time to chop and toast the pecans. Another time-saving shortcut that I totally endorse is buying chopped pecans. Did you know that pecans belong in your refrigerator, not the pantry? Yeppers, it’s true. The oil in pecans can quickly go rancid. To ensure freshness and extend their shelf life, store them in an airtight container (a ziplock bag is perfect) in the fridge. Pecans can also be frozen, extending their shelf life even longer. Have you ever wondered why recipes always call for toasted pecans? It’s because toasting nuts draws the natural oils to the surface, intensifying the rich nutty essence, creating a deeper color, and making the nuts crunchier. Toasted pecans improve the flavor and texture of any dish. If you don’t have pecans or don’t like pecans, almonds are a good alternative (they need to be toasted too).
The four strips of bacon need to be chopped into small pieces. Bacon can be difficult. To make it easier, pop the bacon in the freezer for a few minutes to let it stiffen up. When you remove it, work fast. I like using kitchen shears rather than a knife. While it is very tempting to stack the bacon and cut all four slices simultaneously, it creates more work as you have to separate the pieces that have all meld together. I know of what I speak! It’s faster to cut each slice individually.
Now that everything is prepped set the pecans and lemon juice aside. Place the bacon, veggies, and olive oil in a ziplock bag and add the seasonings. Speaking of seasoning, the dried pepper flakes add a zing of warmth. Feel free to add more – I like my food on the mild side, so I’m very conservative with heat. Seal the bag and gently shake to allow the oil to thoroughly coat the beans.
Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet/pan. Before you pop them in the oven, make sure that the beans are spaced out, so they aren’t touching. When roasting any vegetable, care must be taken to avoid overcrowding. Overcrowding will cause steaming, rendering your veggies mushy (YUCK!) instead of crispy-tender. Once in the oven, roast until the bacon starts to sizzle and the beans just starting to brown, about 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and drizzle the lemon juice on top. WOWZER!
Roasted Green Beans and BaconCourse: Sides, VegetableCuisine: Low-carb, Keto-FriendlyDifficulty: Easy
1 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
4 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking pan/sheet with aluminum foil Toast pecans in a small skillet on med heat for 2-5 mins stirring occasionally. Finely chop onion. Mince garlic. Chop or cut bacon in small pieces with a knife or kitchen shears. Clean and trim green beans. Blanch beans: place in a microwave safe bowl with a teaspoon of water, cover with a wet paper towel, nuke on high for 3 minutes. Remove from bowl and pat dry.
- Set aside the toasted pecans and lemon juice. Place all other ingredients in a ziplock bag or bowl and mix thoroughly to coat everything in oil. Transfer bean mixture to the baking sheet/pan. Spread out the mixture so the beans are not touching,
- Bake in preheated oven until bacon is sizzling and beans are starting to brown, 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven. sprinkle with chopped pecans. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with lemon juice.
- Pecans: Save time by buying chopped pecans. Store pecans, in an airtight bag, in the fridge to maintain freshness. Pecans can also be frozen.
- Almonds can be substituted for pecans.
- Green Beans: Save time by buying washed & trimmed green beans in the produce department