Seared Green Beans with a Lemon Butter Parmesan Sauce

And a crunchy buttery panko topping (!!), but I feel like that long title would have given you a stroke.

So much butter! It was election day when I made this so I just went for it. But it’s real butter, none of that fake alien mess in a tub. So yeah, all the butter. Let’s do this.

What I’m imagining for your life is Thanksgiving. This could be one of your side dishes. And you’re going to see that full stick of butter, but we’re doing different things with it, Chachi, so you can put your eyeballs back in your head.

It’s a simple side, but glorious. You can’t not have green beans and butter together. There’s something so satisfyingly rebellious about taking a crunchy healthy green and draping it in mouth silk.

I’d like to apologize for saying mouth silk just now.

. . . Maybe.

First off, melt a couple of Tbs. of buttah. Okay, you can scale back on the full stick here and there, I’ll let you. But if you go full-on, it’s transcendent. Prepare thy face.

So just sear the green beans in the butter over a medium-high heat for three to five minutes. We want crisp-tender here, nothing too soft. Do NOT overcook those beans, for crying out loud. (Mom, I’m looking at you.)

Pinch of salt, natch. (Also you can can pop a Tbs. of water in and slap a lid on to speed things up!)

So move those beans out, because we’re actually going to get our crunchy topping done and out of the way. See, we’re using the same pan for this which helps cleanup in a bit. Ha-boom.

Melt two more Tbs. of butter, then toast the panko right in that. Use a wooden spoon to move the breadcrumbs around until golden brown and butterlicious.

Pinch of salt, natch.

Looks like this. And you know what, you probably won’t use ALL the breadcrumbs for this side dish, but have it on the table and sprinkle it on top of anything else. Or just violently throw it into your mouths and crunch for days, it’s just fine.

The butter not only helps brown the panko, but o m g what it does to its flavor. RICH, crunchy, toasty. All the happiness.

So now let’s make a sauce. There’s four Tbs. of butter left, and you can melt all four, or three, or even two. The more butter though, the richer the sauce. Also, it’s 2020.

Melt the butter over a medium LOW heat, then grate some garlic right into that. Right after the garlic, zest and juice a lemon in it. Yes, girl.

Theeeeen, you’ve grated about a cup of fresh parmesan cheese (yes you sure did), so add it. It will melt immediately, so just whisk whisk whisk until it’s saucy and perfect. Takes just a second.

Once it looks like, less than 10 seconds in, stop! Get it off the heat and immediately pour it over your beans. What happens is the butter and cheese may separate if the butter cooks too long (happened to me because I was distracted with the news, hi.), so just whisk it, silk it, pour it. Okay?


And here’s your new lover. UGH.

The green beans are perfectly crisp tender.

The lemony buttery parmesany sauce is a blanket of seduction and you will not come back from this the same person.

And that toasty, buttery, crunchy panko topping? Please.

Honestly, if Thanksgiving is too far away, roast a chicken tonight and serve this with it. Or eat it for breakfast in twenty minutes.

Look, I’m not here to judge.

Buttah buttah buttah!

Seared Green Beans with a Lemon Butter Parmesan Sauce
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  • 12 oz green beans
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Coarse salt


  1. Melt two Tbs. of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the beans and sear for three to five minutes, until they pop in color and are crisp tender. (You can add a splash of water and cover with a lid to speed things up.)
  2. Move the green beans out of the pan, then melt 2 more Tbs. butter in the skillet over medium. Add the panko and toast until golden brown, about five minutes. Transfer the panko to a small bowl for later.
  3. Back in the skillet (wipe it clean if needed), melt the remaining 4 Tbs. of butter. (You can scale back to three if needed. But honestly, go all in.) Over a medium low heat, add the minced garlic and whisk for a few seconds. Zest and juice the lemon into the butter sauce, then add the grated parmesan cheese. Whisk for a few seconds, until the cheese is melted. It’s done! Turn off the heat. You don’t want breakage.
  4. Place the beans on a serving platter, then pour the cheese sauce right over them, followed by a sprinkling of the toasted buttery panko. Garnish with thyme of you want.
  5. Serve immediately!
  6. Serves four as a side.

(This post is definitely in partnership with my lover Real Butter. But all butter meltings and ramblings are totally my own. We coo?)

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2 Responses to Seared Green Beans with a Lemon Butter Parmesan Sauce

  1. November 10, 2020 at 4:19 pm # is supposed to help students with academic writing, but it is also a good source of research paper topics for those who need it.
  2. Sabrina November 10, 2020 at 9:19 pm #
    what a lovely way to dress up green beans, or at least make them taste much better than they taste to me, thank you!

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