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Healthy, Make-Ahead Green Beans

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Don’t waste points—or calories—on Green Bean Casserole! Unless that’s your favorite childhood dish, and it’s a worthy expense. This easy, make-ahead side is perfect for Thanksgiving—or Thanksgivukkah, the nickname given by American Jews to this first mergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah since 1888.

Green Beans with Mustard Vinaigrette - OrnaBakes

I love that you can make the beans and the vinaigrette up to two days ahead, and then you don’t need to take up oven or stove space!

Blanching the green beans (cooking until tender in rapidly boiling, salted water) and then chilling in ice water, keeps the vibrant green color and and prevents them from getting limp or mushy.

Green Beans in pot

The water for boiling the beans and the ice water needs to be salty (like the ocean), or your beans will taste bland.

Salt for ice bath


Ice Bath 

Green Beans in Ice Bath

Mild shallots impart just enough flavor, without making them too strong or onion-y.

How to Mince a Shallot

Click here for How to Mince a Shallot


Green Beans with Mustard Vinaigrette

Weight Watchers Power Food (count the olive oil toward your daily serving). Or 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving.
Servings 12



  • 3 pounds green beans trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons salt


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 4 teaspoons red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • For the beans: Bring about 8 quarts water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Fill large bowl with ice water mixed with 1 tablespoon salt; set aside. Add beans and about 2 tablespoons salt to boiling water and cook until mostly tender, but still underdone, with slight crunch in center, 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Drain beans, then transfer immediately to ice water. Let beans cool completely, about 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  • For the vinaigrette: Shake all ingredients together in jar with tight-fitting lid.
  • To Store: Wrap beans loosely in paper towels and transfer to airtight container (or large ziplock bag). Refrigerate beans and vinaigrette for up to 2 days.
  • To Serve: Let vinaigrette sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to allow oil to liquefy.
  • Transfer beans to large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave until hot and steaming, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain away any accumulated water. Shake vinaigrette to recombine, then toss with beans to coat. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm until serving. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.


Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

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