Charred Sesame Pecan Green Beans

green beans for thanksgiving

This post is sponsored by American Pecans.

It’s not Thanksgiving in our house without green beans, but green bean casserole has been done—dozens and dozens of times. This year I’m freshening up the Thanksgiving menu with the most delicious and EASY green bean recipe: Charred Sesame Pecan Green Beans. They’re rich and savory with a hint of smokiness from the char of pan-frying, the complex flavors of soy, sesame, and maple, and the warmth of toasted pecans. And before you go thinking that the soy-sesame mix gives the beans an Asian flair—it doesn’t! It only adds a deep, complex umami quality.

The charred green beans might seem like the star of this recipe, but the pecans really steal the show. Since they have a naturally sweet taste and a buttery texture, pecans bridge the gap between sweet and savory effortlessly. Here, they add depth to the savory notes of soy and toasted sesame while heightening the warmth of pure maple syrup. This versatility is just one of many reasons why I love pecans in any dish, any time of year. One serving of pecans (1-ounce or about 19 halves) also happen to have 3 grams protein (6% daily value), 3 grams fiber (11% daily value), 10 mg flavonoids, and essential minerals like copper and manganese. (They’re also the only major tree nut native to North America, so hey, they’re American-made, too!)

How to Make Charred Green Beans

Here’s how the recipe works: steam the green beans, cook them in an oiled skillet until they develop a nice char all over, remove the skillet from heat and stir in chopped pecans and a mixture of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and maple syrup. The liquids quickly bubble and thicken to coat the green beans and pecans in a luscious, irresistibly savory-sweet glaze.

green beans with pecans

The key to ensuring that these charred green beans are not only crispy and well-browned on the outside but tender, too, is steaming them before you pan fry them. You can steam them in the microwave or on the stovetop—whatever’s easiest for you! Or for an even easier shortcut, pick up a package of fresh green beans that can be steamed right in the bag in the produce section of your grocery store. Note: although frozen steam-in-bag green beans are super convenient, they also tend to be a little soggier than fresh green beans, which would prevent you from getting that delicious charring.

Make Ahead Green Beans

You can prep these charred green beans ahead of time to make cooking them a cinch. Steam the green beans, drain and dry them well with paper towel, and refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 days. Chop your pecans and store them, covered, in the fridge. Next, whisk together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and maple syrup in a small jar and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook. With these steps done beforehand, all you’ll need to do is pan-fry the green beans on the day of!

green beans recipe for thanksgiving

American Pecans and the Pecan ThanksEverything Pie

And in the spirit of mixing things up, American Pecans will serve up an entire Thanksgiving feast in one amazing pecan pie, in partnership with the Elsen sisters, baking experts at Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie bakery in NYC. The Pecan ThanksEverything Pie features eight unique slices that each represent a different holiday dish with pecans as the star ingredient, proving that pecans fit right into just about any sweet or savory dish for the holidays.

green beans recipe for thanksgiving
green beans recipe for thanksgiving
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Charred Sesame Pecan Green Beans

The most delicious and EASY green bean recipe—perfect for Thanksgiving! The green beans are rich and savory with a hint of smokiness from the char of pan-frying, the complex flavors of soy, sesame, and maple, and the warmth of toasted pecans (115 calories or 3 WW Freestyle points!)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Course: Side Dish, vegetables
Keyword: best thanksgiving sides, green beans, green beans recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 115kcal
Author: Andie Mitchell

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅓ tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or any high-heat oil you like)
  • 12 oz fresh green beans trimmed
  • ½ cup pecan halves, chopped

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir the soy sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the fresh green beans and ¼ cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until the beans are just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until very hot (a drop of water should sizzle when it hits the pan). Add the green beans and cook, without stirring, until charred on one side, about 3 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until beans are charred all over, about 3 more minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and add the sauce mixture and pecans, tossing repeatedly to coat.

Notes

1 serving (1/6th of recipe): 3 WW Freestyle points
Make Them Ahead of Time:
You can prep these charred green beans ahead of time to make cooking them a cinch. Steam the green beans, drain and dry them well with paper towel, and refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 days. Chop your pecans and store them, covered, in the fridge. Next, whisk together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and maple syrup in a small jar and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook. With these steps done beforehand, all you’ll need to do is pan-fry the green beans on the day of.
Adapted from Cooking Light
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15 thoughts on “Charred Sesame Pecan Green Beans

  1. Ellen

    These look amazing! In the spirit of making ahead (following your make ahead instructions), how do you think they would be at room temp (so they could be made earlier in the day on Thanksgiving)?

    Reply
  2. joe k

    5 stars
    i tried this Charred Sesame Pecan Green Beans, and OMG it was amazing. I took it over to a dinner party and it was a huge hit, everyone loved it

    Reply
  3. Sandy

    This sounds heavenly! My only problem is that I’m not a fan of maple flavor. Could I use honey or something else instead?

    Reply
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