These healthy skillet sautéed green beans with garlic and onions are the perfect side dish for holiday meals. Topped with toasted slivered almonds, this healthy, easy recipe is sure to be a hit!

Sauteed green beans with onions, garlic and slivered almonds in a serving dish with a spoon.

These delicious, healthy vegan green beans are sautéed with onion and garlic for a flavourful side dish everyone will love. They’re a bit sweet, perfectly cooked and an excellent addition to any holiday meal.

This recipe is vegan, whole food plant-based, oil-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients Needed

Here’s what you’ll need to make these green beans:

  1. Green beans. You’ll need green beans, of course! About 1.5 lb or 680 grams to be exact. I used fresh green beans in this recipe.
  2. Garlic. This recipe calls for lots of garlic and onion to create all the yummy, savoury flavour. Love garlic, add a little more…not a big fan, omit or use a little less.
  3. Onions. We’ll be starting the recipe off almost caramelizing the onions. By the time the recipe is done, they’ll be completely caramelized aka soft, gooey, sweet, browned and packed with amazing flavour.
  4. Maple syrup. Just a tiny bit of maple syrup adds a lovely sweetness to the recipe! You can also use coconut sugar.
  5. Fresh thyme. Thyme, garlic, onions, almonds…could it get any more delicious. You’ll only need about 1 tsp of fresh thyme so you may want to consider other recipes that use it. Fresh thyme is lovely in soups or can be used to season roasted vegetables. In a pinch, you can use 2 tbsp of dried thyme. It’s good in this stuffing too!
  6. Slivered almonds. Green beans and slivered almonds are a classic combo. Toasting them add texture and crunch to the final dish.

Recipe Prep

To keep things moving smoothly once you start cooking, prepare by:

  1. Chopping the onions and garlic. The onions should be cut in half and then cut into thin strips. The garlic should be minced.
  2. Prepping the fresh thyme. Simply pluck the leaves off the stem until you have about 1 tsp worth.
  3. Washing and trimming the beans. Cut the little tips off the end of each bean.
  4. Toast the almonds. Pop the slivered almonds onto a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees F until browned. You can also do this as the onions are cooking, just be careful not to burn them – it happens quick.
Trimmed green beans on a cutting board.

How to Make Sautéed Green Beans

There are a few steps to cover here for recipe success! Let’s go through them.

Step 1. Cook the Onions

The onions won’t be completely caramelized before adding the beans but we’ll get them about half way there. Also, guess what – this recipe is butter and oil-free – yay! – less fat, more veggies. I’m into it.

Oil-Free Sautéed Green Beans? Instead of oil, this recipe is cooked using vegetable broth. This keeps the recipe healthy and low in fat but still full of flavour.

Chopped onions in a black skillet.
Cooked onions in a black skillet.

To cook the onions, start with a couple tablespoons of broth and cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until they’re a light golden brown.

As you’re cooking the onions and the pan begins to dry out, add more broth 1-2 tbsp at a time and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and back into the mix. That’s the good stuff!

Step 2. Add the Beans

There are a few steps in between the onions and the green beans, like adding the maple syrup, garlic and thyme, but we’ll cover those in detail in the recipe card below.

When you’re ready to add the green beans, go ahead and toss ’em into the pan along with about 1/4 cup of broth.

Sautéed green beans and onions in a black skillet.
Sautéed green beans and onions in a black skillet.

Give the pan a good stir and scrape to mix in any browned bits, then cover and cook for about 7 minutes. We’re still cooking over medium-high heat.

After 7-ish minutes, remove the lid and cook for another 3-4 minutes, continuing to add a broth 1-2 tbsp at a time to deglaze the pan, scraping in the browned bits back in as you go. It’s ready when the beans are tender but still have bit of crunch.

Finally, top with the toasted slivered almonds and serve!

Sauteed green beans with onions, garlic and slivered almonds in a serving dish with a spoon.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for more holiday recipes? You’ll love these:

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Sauteed green beans with onions, garlic and slivered almonds in a serving dish with a spoon.

Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic and Onions

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan
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A delicious green bean side dish featuring caramelized onions, garlic and toasted slivered almonds. This dish is perfect for Thanksgiving but can be served anytime of year for a light and healthy side.


  • 1 very large or 2 small yellow onions, about 3.5 cups (425 g) sliced
  • vegetable broth for cooking, up to 3/4 cup
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1.5 lb. green beans (680 g), washed and trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted


  1. To toast the slivered almonds, place them on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Watch carefully as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. To prepare the onions, cut them in half, chop the ends off, peel and then slice each half into approximately 1/4 inch slices.
  3. Add the sliced onions to a large skillet with a pinch of salt and 2 tbsp of the vegetable broth. Heat the pan to medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes until the onions are a light golden brown. If the pan gets too dry, add more vegetable broth 1 tbsp at a time to deglaze the pan, scraping any browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir in the maple syrup and fresh thyme and cook for a couple more minutes.
  5. Add the green beans, minced garlic, 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes. Lift the lid and give it a good stir every couple minutes. If the pan is getting too dry, continue deglazing and scraping the pan with 1-2 tbsp broth, repeating as needed. The onions should be starting to caramelize and getting very brown and soft.
  6. Remove the lid and cook for another 3-4 minutes or so, stirring and deglazing with broth as needed, until the green beans are tender but still have a little crunch.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish, top with the toasted almonds. Serve right away.


The recipe makes 4 generous servings but could probably serve 6 if not everyone loves green beans!