Food + Drink Recipes

Lighten Up Thanksgiving with Lemon and Herb Green Beans

November 15, 2019

Save extra calories this Thanksgiving by swapping out the green bean casserole for this lighter, lemon and herb green beans recipe.

By Kirsten Johnson

There are so many indulgences to look forward to when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner: mashed potatoes, stuffing and far too much pumpkin pie. And we can’t forget the green beans! 

Instead of the classic green bean casserole, with all of its cream-of-something soup, save those extra calories for a second slice of pie and try this dish, vibrant in both appearance and flavor. I brought this to Thanksgiving a few years ago for the dairy-free folks — it happens to be vegan and gluten-free! So many people were digging in I had to fend them off to save some for the ones who couldn’t eat the other option if they wanted to. 

This is by far one of my most popular dishes as a personal chef, both for regular clients and at dinner parties. It goes with just about anything and is surprisingly bright and flavorful for a dish with only a few ingredients. Add bonus: It’s super simple to make. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Green Beans recipe by Fresh Chef Detroit

Serves 6-8


  • 6 cups green beans, ends trimmed (about 1 handful per serving)
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, snipped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Steam green beans until just underdone. They should be vibrant green and still a little crisp. If you don’t have a steamer basket or pot, put them in a pot with an inch or two of water and it will have the same effect. These beans are great warm or at room temperature.

If you are serving right away, I go right to the next step. If not, I recommend plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking, then drain immediately. 

For the dressing, combine lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Toss beans with dressing and serve. It’s that easy!

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