French green beans, or haricots verts, steamed in the microwave and tossed in a mustard and shallot vinaigrette make an easy, quick side dish, perfect for a holiday gathering or easy weeknight dinner. Ready in less than 10 minutes!
This healthy side dish is a delicious, lighter alternative to the heavy green bean casserole often served at Thanksgiving. I usually serve this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner and Hanukah, and it also works well for Rosh Hashanah, the dinner before Yom Kippur, and shabbat.
Easy recipes can be life savers when making large holiday meals. You can skip the steamer basket, stove, and ice water bath - the microwave is one of the easiest ways to make perfect steamed green beans!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy recipe, ready in less than 10 minutes!
- Fresh green beans are a lightened up side dish.
- Using the microwave frees up the stove and oven when preparing a large meal.
Dana’s note: Sometimes the green vegetable is not the star of the meal. Like on Thanksgiving it's all about the turkey, the stuffing, and the other carbs. And on Hanukah it's all about the potato latkes and applesauce. Yet I still want to serve a tasty green vegetable to round out the meal. In such cases, this green bean dish is my "go-to" recipe. While I'm busy making all the other dishes, I want the vegetable side dish to be quick and easy to prepare like this easy recipe!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
See the recipe card below for a complete ingredient list and measurements.Jump to Recipe
- French green beans - Also called haricots verts. They are thinner than traditional green beans and a bit more delicate. You can sometimes find bags of green beans that have already been washed and trimmed in the produce section to save prep time. The recipe can also be made with traditional or blue lake green beans.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Can substitute with another oil such as walnut or hazelnut oil which would add a lovely flavor.
- White wine vinegar - Adds some tang. Can substitute with other vinegars such as champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.
- Coarse ground or Dijon mustard - It is fine to use either for this recipe. Coarse ground mustard is sometimes called whole grain mustard.
- Small shallot - The easiest way to finely mince a shallot is to use a garlic press. Substitute with the white of 1 green onion.
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Change up the flavor combination of this recipe with a few tweaks.
- Add a minced garlic clove to the dressing for garlic green beans.
- Toss green beans with freshly grated parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
- Add a drizzle of honey to make a honey mustard vinaigrette.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor up.
- Swap out the vinaigrette for soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds for Asian style green beans.
If you don't have a microwave, the green beans can be steamed on the stove in a pot with a steamer basket. Make the sauce as directed, and toss with green beans while warm.
Step by Step Photos
See the recipe card below for complete directions.Jump to Recipe
This recipe couldn’t be easier and makes a great side dish!
Step 1: Trim and Microwave
Wash and trim green beans if needed. Put them in a microwave-safe bowl, with a little water in the bottom. Cover with wax paper, and steam in the microwave for about 2-4 minutes until tender but still crisp.
Step 2: Make Sauce
In the meantime, add mustard, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper into a small jar. Minced shallot with a garlic press, and scrape into the jar.
Step 3: Whisk Sauce
Whisk to combine sauce, or place lid securely on jar and shake well.
Step 4: Pour and Combine
Pour most of the sauce over the warm green beans, and toss to coat. Taste, and if needed, drizzle more sauce and add a little more salt and pepper.
For best results, I don’t recommend steaming the green beans ahead of time, but you can prep them and make the sauce the day before. Store the sauce in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Storage and Reheating
How to store: Store leftover green beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
How to reheat: Reheat in the microwave until just warmed through.
What to serve with French Green Beans with Mustard Shallot Sauce
Frequently Asked Questions
Haricots verts are French green beans. They are thinner than regular green beans, which gives them a more delicate texture. They also come in purple or yellow.
You can regular green beans for this recipe in place of haricots verts. You may need to add a minute or 2 to microwave time as they are thicker than the thin French green beans.
French Green Beans with Mustard Shallot Sauce
- 8 ounces French green beans Haricots Verts, washed and trimmed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground or Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- ½ small shallot minced in a garlic press (or white of 1 green onion)
- a large pinch of salt
- a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper
- Steam green beans with a little water in a covered glass bowl in the microwave until crisp tender, about 2 to 4 minutes.
- To make the sauce: Put the remaining ingredients in a small jar. Put on the lid and shake to combine well. Alternately, use a small whisk. The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
- Pour ¾ of the sauce over warm green beans, and toss to coat. Taste and add more sauce or salt if desired. Serve immediately.
- This recipes doubles or triples to feed a crowd; just add more cooking time.
- For best results, I don’t recommend steaming the green beans ahead of time, but you can prep them and make the sauce the day before. Store the sauce in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- How to store: Store leftover green beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- How to freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
- How to reheat: Reheat in the microwave until just warmed through.