Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Pecans

Crisp green beans tossed with caramelized onions, toasted pecans, and sweet dried cranberries. This simple side dish would look good on your Thanksgiving menu. 

This easy side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving. Crisp green beans get tossed with caramelized onions, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. | www.themessybakerblog.com

Thanksgiving is eight days away. That’s next week!

I haven’t even started on my grocery list. I’ll be the fool that decides to go grocery shopping the day before the big feast, sternly reprimanding myself for being a procrastinator. You’d think I’d be better prepared, being a food blogger and all. I should be that annoying gal with the neatly typed menu and grocery list that everyone talks about behind her back–that Jennie thinks she’s so perfect. There should be extra pie in the freezer and plastic containers of prepared side dishes stacked and labeled in the fridge.

This easy side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving. Crisp green beans get tossed with caramelized onions, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. | www.themessybakerblog.com

Instead, I’m testing cookie recipes and creating my All I Want For Christmas 2014 post. I think I mentally skipped Thanksgiving and now I’m moving on to Christmas.

I did get it together long enough to make this recipe for green beans with caramelized onions and pecans. Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. There’s one turkey and, if you’re lucky, maybe a ham. And then there’s about 100 hundred side dishes. The ratio is considerably off, but you won’t find me complaining. I like  me some sides.

This easy side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving. Crisp green beans get tossed with caramelized onions, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. | www.themessybakerblog.com

I like to make my rounds through the buffet line at least twice to ensure I try every dish at least once. I’m considering doubling up this year–a plate for each hand.

Thanksgiving can be a little hectic, so I like to keep my side dishes simple. These green beans come together easily and can even be made a day or two ahead of time. If you’re going to make this recipe ahead, refrain from topping the beans with the toasted pecans and cranberries until you’re ready to serve the dish. I prefer to re-heat the beans in a sauté pan so they keep their crunch.

This easy side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving. Crisp green beans get tossed with caramelized onions, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. | www.themessybakerblog.com

Making caramelized onions is easy. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a sauté pan over low heat. Add thinly sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions become tender and amber brown in color. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper at the end. The process takes about 30 minutes total. It’s extremely important that you cook the onions over low heat; otherwise, they’ll burn.

Blanche the green beans in boiling water seasoned with salt for 2 minutes. Strain and add them to the pot with the onions. Top with a 1/2 tablespoon of butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Plate the beans and top with chopped pecans and dried cranberries.

This easy side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving. Crisp green beans get tossed with caramelized onions, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. | www.themessybakerblog.com

This recipe only calls for a few simple ingredients, but it sure isn’t lacking in flavor. The sweet, salty, toasty flavors add a huge burst of flavor. Your guests will go back for seconds, maybe even thirds.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Pecans

Crisp green beans tossed with sweet caramelized onions, toasted pecans, dried cranberries.

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 35 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over low heat. Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they become a dark golden brown, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. While the onions cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Strain.
  3. Transfer the green beans to the sauté pan with the onions. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer the beans to a serving dish. Top with toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

*You can prepare the beans up to two days prior to serving. Follow the instructions through step three. Store the beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Re-heat in a sauté pan the day you’re ready to serve. Top with toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

All images and text ©.
Whipping up one of my recipes? I wanna know about it! Snap a photo and tag your post with #onesweetmess on Twitter or Instagram. Seeing your creations come to life makes my day!

Love side dishes? Check out my other side dish recipes.

If you like this vegetarian side, you’ll love these Grilled Mushrooms with Merlot Reduction.

Grilled Mushrooms with Merlot Reduction | www.themessybakerblog.com