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Green Beans with Cranberries, Bacon and Goat cheese

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These green beans with cranberries, bacon and goat cheese are a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving table that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

These green beans with cranberries, bacon and goat cheese are a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving table that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

Eating healthy on Thanksgiving is probably one of the last things I’m concerned with but honestly, the marshmallow studded sweet potatoes and creamy, god-knows-what-kind-of canned-soup casseroles do nothing for me.

I’d much rather some veggies dressed up for the occasion but still recognizable as a vegetable.

Looking for healthier Thanksgiving ideas? Check out my post for 100 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes.

And when it comes to green beans, overcooked, mushy or god forbid, from a can (gasp!) are just not gonna cut it. I like them kind of like I like my pasta, al dente.

Cooked yes, but they need to still have a bit of a bite to them.

So let’s talk about what’s going on in this perfect-for-Thanksgiving side dish.

First we’re sautéing the green beans in bacon grease. No blanching necessary.

I really hate blanching vegetables it’s just another pot to clean and it annoys me how long it takes to boil water for them only to be in there for like a minute so I avoid this cooking method at all costs.

Not to mention, it’s just unnecessary because you can throw a lid on a skillet and steam them – a much quicker approach and dish clean up stays at 1.

If the lovely flavor the bacon grease imparts hasn’t convinced you, we then add fresh cranberries to the mix because 1. they’re festive and 2. their tart punch goes lovely with the salty bacon we crumble on top.

Goat cheese is the last element and I love how it softens and adds just a little bit of creamy texture to the dish.

Feta crumbles would be great too if you’re not a fan of goat cheese. 

Slightly crunchy green beans, burst cranberries, salty bacon and goat cheese crumbles make a stunning and delicious side dish for any holiday dinner.

There’s really nothing complicated about these Thanksgiving green beans.

In fact, the dish comes together in under 20 minutes.

But, there’s something about the finished dish that makes it feel fancier than your normal dinner fare.

It’s got the elegance for a holiday meal (it’d be great for Christmas dinner too!) with the ease of a weeknight dinner side dish – kinda the best of both worlds.

And one more win for the Thanksgiving crowd – it doesn’t take up precious oven space since it’s made all on the stove-top.

You can even make this ahead of time and just warm up right before dinner if you wanted to (see the note in the recipe for that). 

These green beans with cranberries, bacon and goat cheese are an explosion of flavor and a healthier take on traditional green bean side dishes for the holidays.

Below is a fun sample Thanksgiving menu these green beans with cranberries, bacon and goat cheese would go well with. Enjoy!

Tart Cherry Chestnut Stuffed Turkey Roulade
5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Corn Muffins
Creamy Cauliflower Pumpkin Mash
Golden Beet Gratin
Paleo Chocolate Pecan Tart

Green Beans with Cranberries, Bacon and Goat Cheese

Green Beans with Cranberries, Bacon and Goat Cheese

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These green beans with cranberries, bacon and goat cheese are a healthy addition to your Thanksgiving table that doesn't skimp on flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside but leave the grease in the pan.
  2. Add the green beans to the pan with the bacon grease. (*see note) Sauté for 3-5 minutes, tossing occasionally until the green beans start to "char". At this point, cover the skillet with a lid and let steam for another 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid, add the cranberries and sauté for another 2 minutes until the cranberries are warmed through and starting to burst. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Plate the green beans with the cranberries, crumble the goat cheese and bacon on top and serve warm.

Notes

*You can do this step in two batches if your skillet isn't large enough. Just reserve some bacon grease for the second batch before adding the green beans.

**This dish can be made ahead of time and just warmed up in the oven for a few minutes before serving. If making ahead, leave the goat cheese off until serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 199mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Tiffany

Saturday 18th of November 2017

What if I need to make ahead and travel with them? How would I warm them?

Running to the Kitchen

Monday 20th of November 2017

I would keep the goat cheese and bacon separate from the cooked beans and cranberries. Reheat the beans right before serving then top with the bacon and goat cheese.

Catherine

Wednesday 18th of November 2015

Dear Gina, I don't think it gets any better than this. The bacon and goat cheese is a perfect combo to balance out the cranberries. A perfect holiday side dear. xo, Catherine

Nancy

Monday 2nd of November 2015

These green beans were absolutely delicious -- loved all of the extras; especially the cheese and cranberries. Thanks for a great recipe. Nancy : )

100 Healthy Holiday Side Dish Recipes - Jeanette's Healthy Living

Thursday 20th of November 2014

[…] Butternut Squash Salad with Chickpeas, Kale and Pearl Couscous (An Edible Mosaic), Green Beans with Cranberries, Bacon and Goat Cheese (Running To The Kitchen), Balsamic and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower (The Joyful Foodie), Quinoa […]

53 Best Thanksgiving Recipes (All the Side Dish Recipes You'll Ever Need!) | Two Healthy Kitchens

Tuesday 18th of November 2014

[…] 7) Green Beans with Cranberries, Bacon and Goat Cheese from Gina at Running to the Kitchen […]

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