The Washington Post

Brown Butter Green Beans

Brown Butter Green Beans 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nov 14, 2017

These are basic -- no muss, almost no fuss.

For a twist: Add a bag of frozen peas to the green beans right at the end of their cooking/blanching time; top with toasted nuts (chopped or sliced almonds work well); and/or add herbs or spices to the butter while it’s browning (fresh sage or thyme leaves, mustard seed or cumin seed are all great options).

To read the accompanying story, see: The ultimate guide to your first stress-free Thanksgiving.

Make Ahead: The cooked/blanched beans can be refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds green beans, stem ends trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt it generously (as though you were cooking pasta). Add the green beans and cook for about 2 minutes -- just until they’re bright green and barely tender.

Drain the green beans in a colander, then transfer them to a kitchen towel to dry off a bit. (At this point, they can be cooled to room temperature, then refrigerated in a sealed zip-top bag for up to 3 days).

Place the butter in the largest skillet you have and set it over medium heat. Cook the butter until its foam subsides and the butter just begins to brown and smell like (and look like) a toasted hazelnut; this will take about 4 minutes. Watch closely, because the milk solids can burn very quickly.

Add the green beans and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, until they are warmed through and evenly coated. Taste, and lightly season them with salt.

Transfer to a bowl for the table and serve right away.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Julia Turshen.

Tested by Kara Elder.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using 1 teaspoon kosher salt): 90

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 6g 9%

Saturated Fat: 4g 20%

Cholesterol: 15mg 5%

Sodium: 150mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates: 8g 3%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 2g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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