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Green Beans with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese in a Balsamic Glaze

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Try this side dish of Green Beans with Cranberries, Toasted Almonds, and Goat Cheese in a Balsamic Glaze. So much flavor and so easy to make that you will never go back to mushy boring green bean casseroles again!

Plate of green beans with almonds, cranberries, and balsamic sauce.

Green bean side dish - for holidays and weeknights

Green beans are definitely in the top 5 of our favorite vegetables list. Most nights I simply roast them, but when I want to take things up a notch, I make this fantastic green bean side dish with the tastiest (and dare I say... easiest?) Balsamic-Dijon sauce.

Then I top these green beans with some crunchy toasted almonds, sweet and tangy dried cranberries, and generous clumps of creamy goat cheese, just to make this an irresistible side dish that ALWAYS has us reaching for second helpings.

Fork picking up green beans with almonds and goat cheese.

These green beans might seem fancy (and they taste good enough to be a holiday side dish), but are actually quite easy to make:

  1. Simply steam your fresh green beans (or boil or microwave or even use canned green beans - no one is judging!).
  2. Sauté your red onions.
  3. Toss everything with the stupid-easy sauce made with fig balsamic glaze and Dijon mustard.
  4. Top with all the tasty little add-ons!

You'll know you added enough toppings if someone has to ask what's underneath all those tasty crunchy-sweet bits. 🙂

Ready to get started??

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh green beans, cleaned and ends trimmed
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or any cooking oil)
  • ¼ cup balsamic glaze (or regular balsamic glaze... but trust me, you'll want to use a balsamic glaze, not balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (aka craisins)
  • ¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 4-6 oz goat cheese, or to taste (or use crumbed feta cheese or queso fresco)
Ingredients to make green bean side dish: Green beans, balsamic glaze, Dijon mustard, red onions, craisins, almonds, and goat cheese.

Instructions

Step 1: Parboil or steam your green beans until they are cooked to your liking. I like to parboil them: bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the green beans, and cook the green beans until crisp-tender, or however you prefer to eat them. (It takes about 5 minutes to cook the beans to crisp-tender. Add more time if you like softer green beans.)

When the beans are cooked, carefully drain the water and rinse the beans under cool water in a colander until they are no longer hot.

Boiling green beans.

Step 2: Toast the sliced almonds in a small skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until they just start to turn golden. Set aside.

Toasting sliced almonds in a pan.

Step 3: In a large pan or a wok, sauté the sliced red onion in olive oil for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add salt and stir.

Sauteing sliced red onion.

Step 4: Add the balsamic glaze, Dijon mustard, and the dried cranberries. Stir to combine and let them cook together for a minute.

Adding balsamic sauce to sauteed onions.

Step 5: Add the green beans and gently stir to coat them in the sauce. Remove from heat.

Green beans with balsamic glaze in a pan.

Step 6: Serve with toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese, making sure to scoop up all the tasty sauce from the bottom of the serving bowl. 🙂

Adding toasted almonds to green bean side dish.

Questions about this green bean recipe?

Can I use canned green beans?

If you really prefer the texture and taste (and convenience!) of canned green beans, you can use canned green beans. Simply skip the par-boiling step and start by toasting the almonds and sautéing the onions, then add 2 cans of drained green beans.

I don't have balsamic glaze, what should I use instead?

I highly recommend buying balsamic glaze, it is just so delicious and amazing on salads, crostini, etc! Get the fig one, it's EXTRA delicious! But if you don't have it, you can either (1) make your own by simmering ½ cup balsamic vinegar with a tablespoon or two of sugar until it makes a syrupy liquid, or (2) use a splash of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of honey - adjust both ingredients to taste after you've combined them with the sautéed onion and dried cranberries. Just be careful, the mixture is hot!

Other variation ideas:

Try using shallots instead of red onion, crumbled feta or queso fresco instead of goat cheese, chopped pecans instead of almonds, or using a pomegranate glaze instead of balsamic glaze.

Bowl of green bean side dish with cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Bowl of green bean side dish with cranberries, almonds, and goat cheese.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Green Beans with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese in a Balsamic-Dijon Sauce

Try this side dish of Green Beans with Cranberries, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Almonds, drizzled with Balsamic Glaze. You will never go back to mushy green bean casseroles again!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Kate

Equipment

  • Large pan
  • Large pot
  • Colander

Ingredients

Steam or boil:

  • 1 lb green beans cleaned and ends trimmed, see notes for canned green beans

Sauté:

  • ½ medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Add:

To serve:

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds toasted in a dry pan until fragrant
  • 4-6 oz goat cheese or to taste

Instructions

  • Steam or parboil (or microwave) the green beans to your liking: bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the green beans, and cook the green beans until crisp-tender, or however you prefer to eat them. (It takes about 5 minutes to cook the beans to crisp-tender. Add more time if you prefer softer green beans.)
    Carefully drain the water and rinse the beans under cold water in a colander.
  • Toast the sliced almonds in a dry skillet (this can be the same skillet you will use to sauté the onions) over medium heat until they just start to brown. Set aside.
  • In a large pan or a wok, sauté the red onion in olive oil for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add salt and stir. 
  • Add the balsamic glaze, Dijon mustard, and dried cranberries. Stir to combine.
  • Add the green beans to the same pan and gently stir to coat them in the balsamic sauce. Remove from heat.  
  • Serve with toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese.  

Notes

  • Make sure to use balsamic glaze, not balsamic vinegar. It is DELICIOUS and not as acidic as vinegar. If you don't have balsamic glaze, you can use a splash of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon or two of honey (add both to taste!), or make your own glaze by simmering ½ cup balsamic vinegar + 2-3 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan for a few minutes, until reduced to a syrupy liquid.
  • If using canned green beans, use 2 cans and skip step 1. Simply drain and add the green beans to the sautéed onion + balsamic sauce mixture.
  • Try swapping red onion for diced shallot, almonds for pecans, and goat cheese for crumbled feta or queso fresco.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Green Beans with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese in a Balsamic-Dijon Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 256 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 445mg19%
Potassium 239mg7%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 1075IU22%
Vitamin C 13.9mg17%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* The nutritional information shown here is just an estimate and not meant to be used as dietary/nutritional advice. Please consult a nutritionist for exact nutritional information based on the exact ingredients you use.
green beans with cranberries

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