Green Beans with Bacon, Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts

Green Beans with Bacon, Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts

This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at

Whether you helped your grandma pick green beans from grandpa’s garden or not, this dish will definitely take you back in time to the happy days of summer. In a dish this simple it goes without saying that the freshness of the beans is either going to work for you or against you. Give the beans a snap at the grocery store to make sure that they are worthy and enjoy this lemony and slightly nutty version of a summer classic.

It’s that easy: The secret to unlocking pine nuts’ flavor is to toast them up in a dry skillet over medium heat. It doesn’t take long and gives you a good reason to practice the skillet flip that makes pro chefs look so cool. It’s not so much an up down movement as it is an out and back movement. Keep practicing. You’ll get it in no time. Onion browns and cooks down more efficiently when thinly sliced. Whip out that shiny new knife and practice using it. You will be amazed at how much faster your kitchen prep will go.

Looking for more time saving celebratory side-dishes? Click here to discover all of my favorites!

Green Beans with Bacon, Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts

Start-to-Finish: 45 minutes
Hands-on Time: 25 minutes
Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 large onion
  • A sprinkle plus
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2-lbs green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, covered over medium high heat.
  2. On a large cutting board, thinly slice the onion, trim the beans and cut them in half and zest and juice the lemon in a small bowl.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon slices to the pan. Cook the bacon until crispy and browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and return the pan to the heat.
  4. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt to the hot fat and sauté the onions until they begin to brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the onions slowly so that they become browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Add a few tablespoons water to the pan if it becomes too brown and stir that flavor into the onions.
  5. While the onions brown, brown the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring or flipping them occasionally. It will only take a few minutes. See It’s that easy tip. Transfer them to a plate and cool.
  6. While the onions are browning, add 1 tablespoon salt and beans to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes or until the beans are crisp tender. Drain the water from the beans and add them to the pan of hot caramelized onions and toss with the lemon zest, lemon juice and pine nuts. Crumble the bacon over all. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper or more lemon juice as desired. Serve warm.
  7. Make-ahead: You can make these a day ahead, refrigerate overnight and reheat in the microwave.

Green Beans with Bacon, Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts

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