Go Back
+ servings
5 from 7 votes
Green Bean casserole, it's a given, right? How about being a bit of a renegade this year? How about ... fresh, tender green beans tossed in a light, lemony butter sauce and topped with crisp, lemon-herb panko crumbs? I know, I know, Green Bean casserole is a family institution and even better more than that, it can be made ahead and just popped in the oven at the towards the end of the holiday meal prep. Guess what? Although these delicious green beans may not be a family institution, they have the potential to become quite revered and even better than that, everything can be done ahead and then warmed a few minutes before serving. The beans are quickly blanched, then drained and plunged into cold, icy water to stop the cooking process. The lemony, buttery panko crumbs also take just a few minutes to prepared and can be stored in a zippered bag or small glass jar till it’s time for dinner. All that’s needed later is a hot pan to melt the butter and toss the brightly hued beans. Transfer them to a serving platter, scatter with the flavorful crumbs and dazzle your guests. That’s it! Start a new tradition. They’ll be begging for this one again and again!
Make Ahead Green Beans with Lemon-Herb Panko Crumbs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

Fresh, tender beans with a crisp, buttery lemon-herb topping.

Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 104 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
  • 1 ½ pounds slender green beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small clove garlic finely minced
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • sea salt a pinch
  • zest from 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Up to a day in advance, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Place a large sieve (strainer) in the sink and prepare a large bowl of ice water.
  3. When water is rapidly boiling add 1 teaspoon salt and green beans. Return water to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Don't overcook.
  4. Drain beans well through sieve, then immediately plunge into ice water. Swish beans with your hands for 10 seconds. Drain well and spread out on a clean kitchen towel, removing any remaining ice. Pat with towel to dry then wrap in several thicknesses of paper towel and place in a zippered plastic bag.
  5. For the panko crumbs, melt butter until bubbly in a small sauté pan. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds then add panko crumbs and sesame seeds and sea salt. Cook, stirring continuously for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat and add lemon zest and herbs. Stir to combine and set aside. The panko crumbs can be prepared several hours ahead of time. Wait until just before serving to add the fresh herbs and lemon zest.
  6. Just before serving, melt the last tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan. Allow butter to get foamy and golden.. Watch carefully so butter doesn't burn. Add lemon juice and green beans and toss gently until beans are hot, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. Add lemon zest and fresh herbs to panko crumbs and sprinkle over the beans.
Nutrition Facts
Make Ahead Green Beans with Lemon-Herb Panko Crumbs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 104 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 77mg3%
Potassium 261mg7%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 930IU19%
Vitamin C 15.5mg19%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.