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Green Beans with Caramelized Pecans

green beans with caramelized pecans

Make your green beans stand out with a caramelized brown sugar sauce topped with toasted pecans. Whole green beans are a classic side accompaniment to any entrée. Delicious, buttery, nutritious and rich-flavored pecans are the perfect complement to our elegant green beans.

High in vitamins A and C (to support your immune system) and K (for bone health), green beans also contain folate (to help fight depression), thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium and potassium.

The significant amount of chlorophyll in green beans helps block the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines that occur when grilling meats at high temperatures. Remember green beans as a side dish for your summer grilling as well.

One cup of green beans provides about 10 percent of daily folic acid, important for pregnant women, and 6 percent iron that can aid in fertility. And with only 31 calories to a cup and no fat, we didn’t think it would hurt to butter them up a bit. It is the holidays, after all.


  • ½ cup pecan halves and pieces (2 ounces), toasted
  • 2 lbs fresh or frozen whole green beans (remove tips at vine end if fresh)
  • ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped (use more or less depending on your tastes)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat a small skillet to medium high. Add pecans and “toast” 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn the pecans. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Prepare green beans.
    • If frozen, cook according to package directions, however, decrease time by 1 or 2 minutes. You want the green beans to be tender crisp, not well done.
    • If green beans are fresh, cook, uncovered, in a large pot of boiling water to which one teaspoon salt has been added. Water should cover the beans. Cook about 6 minutes.
    • Whether frozen or fresh, plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water for several minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain and dry on paper towels. At this point you can refrigerate until you are ready to prepare the dish.
  3. To finish the dish, heat heavy 12 to 14 inch skillet to medium high.
  4. Add butter. When foam subsides, add shallots and sauté about 2 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and stir in sugar until it almost dissolves, then add pecans and sauté about 1 minute.
  6. Add green beans, salt and pepper and sauté, turning beans with tongs, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes.
  7. Transfer to serving dish and spoon any melted butter and pecans left in bottom of the skillet over the beans. Serve with a smile.

Makes 11 servings.

Adapted from Epicurious.

Nutritional Information
Per ¾ cup serving: 116 calories; 7.9g total fat (3g saturated, 1.3g polyunsaturated, 3.2g monounsaturated); 146.4mg sodium; 11.3mg cholesterol; 10.3g carbohydrate; 3.4g fiber; 6.4g sugars; 2.0g protein; 31.6mg potassium.

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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