Holiday Green Beans

Holiday green beans with mushrooms and pancetta.

Thanksgiving looms.   Like you,  I’ve been fine-tuning my menu which will be a collaborative effort between my family members.  We split up the duties and everyone pitches in — I like that because one person isn’t stuck with ALL THE WORK.  Still, there’s a lot to do.  This year, I’m in charge of stuffing, green beans, corn pudding and rolls.

green beans
sliced mushrooms and shallots

As far as green beans go, I know that those casseroles with the condensed milk and canned onion rings will make an appearance on many people’s tables this Thanksgiving, but — believe it or not — they’ve never landed on ours.  Instead, our family vacillates between a topping of either caramelized onions (always a hit) or simply dressed with a light touch of lemon, butter and garlic (the standard).  This year, I wanted to try something else — something holiday-ish – but not that ubiquitous casserole.

sautéed pancetta and shallots
adding mushrooms to saute

This is it!  Crisp tender green beans tossed with mushrooms, shallots and crispy pancetta.  It’s quick, simple and delicious.  And you can make it in advance and toss it together at the last minute.  Seriously.   My kind of Thanksgiving prep!

Closeup of Holiday Green Beans
Plated green beans

This delicious pairing of crisp-tender beans, sautéed mushrooms and shallots with salty, crisp pancetta and a punch of fresh herbs is perfect for your holiday table.  It’s full of great flavors and textures without being heavy, so you can have your veggies and still have room for pecan pie!    Bonus!

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3.80 from 5 votes

Holiday Green Beans

Tender crisp green beans with sautéed mushrooms and shallots tossed with crispy pancetta and fresh thyme. Perfect for the holidays!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword fall side dish, squash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 pounds green beans trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta diced
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
  • 6 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons thyme fresh
  • salt to taste
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • pepper to taste


  • Create an ice bath by filling a large bowl half way with ice cubes and water. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until crisp tender and using a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the ice bath to shock them and to set the color. When the beans are cold, transfer to paper towels to dry them off. (If you’re prepping them in advance, bundle the beans up in the paper towels and store them in a zip top bag in the fridge.)
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they’ve given off most of their liquid and start to brown. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl.
  • Add the pancetta to the pan and stir until it begins to crisp and becomes fragrant (3-4 minutes). Add the shallots and continue to cook until the shallots start to wilt and become translucent. Stir in the fresh thyme and add the mushrooms (but not their liquid) back to the pan and stir to combine. (If you’re prepping in advance, transfer the shallot mixture to a storage container and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
  • Over medium heat, add the green beans to the shallot mixture, toss to combine and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes until completely heated through. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 420mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 16.5mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1.7mg

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  1. I love how this dish comes together so quickly – especially if you’re in charge of the turkey this year! It’s full of the usual flavours, but skips the heaviness that is less than desirable. Hope you and your have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    1. Thank you Samantha! Enjoy your Thanksgiving too!

  2. 5 stars
    This looks like such a lighter option than a green bean casserole. Holiday food can be so heavy so I love recipes like this!

    1. I agree. And when there’s several heavy dishes, it’s nice to have something simpler to serve with the rich dishes — though this has plenty of flavor too!

    1. Well, everything’s better with pig, right?

  3. Your posts always make me so hungry! These green beans look perfect! Nice and crisp. Yum!

    1. My husband absolutely detests “mooshy vegetables” – So I’m always cognizant of the texture.

  4. Barbara Fazio says:

    Have done the rest, but the addition of pancetta is great! I’d probably just recrisp it at the last minute in microwave on paper towels and the just top veggies off with it. Especially if it’s thinly sliced pancetta which I cook in a touch of olive oil and then crumble. Love your thoughts!

    1. That sounds like a great idea, Barbara! I get diced pancetta at Trader Joe’s — or if I buy it in the supermarket, I ask them to slice it about 1/4″ thick, then I dice it to my own preferences.

  5. So much nicer then the gloppy green bean casserole normally served on TG day!

  6. Cindy Gordon says:

    THIS looks delicious! I love green beans and I was just searching for a recipe last night! Glad I stumbled upon yours this morning!

  7. I love your spin on green beans. I prefer my green beans like this – crispy.

    1. Thanks, Christie – crisp-tender is the way to go!

  8. These are beautiful! I don’t care for that ubiquitous bean dish. For me, I like my veggies to have color and not be overcooked. The addition of the pancetta is genius. I will be taking this to a Thanksgiving pot luck. Pinning, too!