Balsamic Green Beans

This balsamic green beans recipe is an easy side dish with only a few ingredients. It’s a simple, healthy, and delicious recipe featuring tender green beans drizzled with a balsamic glaze.

Balsamic green beans have chopped walnuts and glaze over the top. There's a bowl with walnuts in the background.

Balsamic green beans may be the best side dish ever. Of course, everyone loves the Vegan Green Bean Casserole, but if you’re looking for a much simpler way to serve green beans,, this is it.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Green beans are steamed until just tender, creating the best flavor and color
  • A balsamic glaze is lightly sweetened, adding tang and creaminess to every bite
  • Chopped walnuts add a bit of crunch and nutritional benefit, too.

Ingredient Spotlight

A photograph of raw green beans on an old wood table top.

What Green Beans are Best?

Choose fresh green beans that have a bright green color (not yellow or brown). They should snap easily when bent. If they’re in season, supporting your local farmer’s market is always recommended. You can substitute frozen green beans which are usually picked and frozen at peak ripeness. It’s why frozen vegetables are sometimes better than fresh, especially when fresh green beans are out of season. Source

Ingredients are lined up in bowls. The labels read, "green beans, garlic, vegan mayo, walnuts, salt, balsamic vinegar, and agave."

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Green beans  — You can use fresh green beans or even frozen ones, which are the next best things to fresh.
  • Vegan mayo — Any vegan mayo will do. I usually find this at health food stores or in the health food section of many grocery stores.
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Agave nectar — You can substitute maple syrup.
  • Salt — We’ll add just a pinch of salt to the finished dish.

How to Make Balsamic Green Beans

  1. Steam Green Beans by placing them in a steamer basket in a saucepan with boiling water. Steam for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender.
  2. Prepare the balsamic glaze by stirring together the mayo, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, and salt.
  3. Transfer steamed green beans to a serving dish, drizzle with balsamic glaze, and toss.
  4. Serve warm with chopped walnuts.

Storage Tips

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days.

Preparing Fresh Green Beans

To prepare green beans:

  1. Place them in a colander and run water over them to clean off any debris.
  2. Cut off the stem ends, by lining them up on a cutting board with stem ends together and chop off several ends at once.
  3. You may want to chop the green beans into smaller pieces, based on your recipe.
A hand holds a spoon drizzling balsamic glaze over steamed geen beans.

Marly’s Tips

  • You can also add mushrooms to the steamer basket.
  • Cook the green beans in a skillet with some vegetable oil. Once they’re tender, remove from the skillet and transfer to a serving dish and top with the vinaigrette to make sautéed green beans with balsamic vinegar.

Low Carb Keto Green Beans

To make this into a low carb keto green beans recipe, simply leave out the agave nectar, or use a teaspoon of stevia or non-calorie sweetener in its place.

Tasty Vegan Side Dishes

Looking for some tasty vegan side dishes for your next big meal? Be sure and give this a try:

Looking down on balsamic green beans with balsamic drizzle and chopped walnuts on top.

I hope you love these balsamic green beans as much as we do!

Balsamic green beans have chopped walnuts and glaze over the top. There's a bowl with walnuts in the background.

Balsamic Green Beans

Start with fresh green beans, steam them, and then create the most delicious glaze to transform your dinners into something extraordinary! These balsamic green beans are ready in minutes, making it a perfect side dish any day of the week.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 66kcal


  • 1 pound fresh green beans , washed and the stem end removed
  • 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts


  • Use the steamer basket insert and place it in a saucepan, filled with water just below the steamer basket. Bring water to a boil and then add prepared green beans. Place lid on steamer and steam until tender, around 6 to 8 minutes.
  • In the meantime, get out a small bowl and combine the mayo, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, and sea salt. Stir and set aside.
  • Use tongs to remove green beans from the steamer basket to a lidded container. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and then use tongs to toss the sauce throughout. Add chopped walnuts over the top.
  • Serve warm. Store in a lidded container in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 13.9mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1.2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2012 and was updated with new photos, text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

4 Responses to Balsamic Green Beans

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGena Reply

    Simple and classic, Marly! Love it.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Gena. So glad you liked it. Now I’m gonna go drool over the yummy recipes on your site. [sigh]

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPaula- bell'alimento Reply

    5 stars
    I love anything with balsamic. (Marly LOVE that last shot! Great capture!) xoxo

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAggie Reply

    This looks so delicious Marly. I enjoyed a nice bowl of steamed green beans the other day as a salad with tomatoes and goat cheese, I ended up just splashing some balsamic and evoo on it, but this glaze looks so much better!

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