Green Beans with Shallots and Pancetta

Side DishGreen BeanVegetables

Quick and delicious green beans recipe with fresh green beans, shallots, and pancetta.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

It doesn’t take much to dress up green beans for a holiday meal. In this recipe the beans first blanched and then sautéed with pancetta and shallots, with some salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning.

You can use thinly sliced onion in place of the shallots or substitute bacon or diced ham for the pancetta if that is what you have on hand.

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The secret to delicious green beans is using beans that are crispy fresh to begin with!

Bend one in half; if it breaks easily, it’s fresh, if it just bends, without breaking, then it’s a little passed its prime and you’ll have a tougher time getting the beans to turn out well.

Green Beans with Shallots and Pancetta

The second tip is to not overcook the beans (though if they are older, you might have to cook them longer than usual to get them tender), and to douse them in an ice water bath after boiling to seal in their bright green color and to stop the cooking.

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Green Beans with Shallots and Pancetta Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed, strings removed (if any)
  • Salt
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced very small
  • 2-3 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Boil the green beans: Blanch the beans in a large pot of boiling salted water 4 minutes, or until they are crisp tender.

Note: Test one, if it is "chewy" keep the beans cooking a bit longer. If you are using French cut beans, or extra thin beans, they may not need to cook as long as 4 minutes; start testing them at 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

2 Drain and shock with ice water: Drain and place the beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside. (At this point you can make the beans a day ahead, store in refrigerator.)

3 Brown the pancetta: Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta from the pan to a plate.

4 Add the shallots: Add the shallots to the pan. Cook, stirring often, on medium high heat, in the fat rendered from the pancetta, until lightly browned.

5 Add butter and green beans: Add butter to the pan; add the drained green beans and pancetta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir constantly until the beans are hot and are well mixed with the shallots and pancetta. Serve immediately.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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6 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Claire Conlon

    Excellent recipe to add to our Thanksgiving menu! I added some lemon juice to add a little brightness to a traditionally heavy dinner. Everyone loved them! Thank you Elise, and greetings from Half Moon Bay!


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  2. Justine Tarabokija

    Hi. I love your recipes. I have one question. Can this be made a day for service the following day? And if so what reheating meathod would you suggest? Thank you so much

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  3. Abby

    What a hit! My entire Christmas dinner from roast beef to yorkshire pudding to this fabulous green bean and pancetta side came from your website. Everything was amazing and so easy to makre, it made my Christmas a breeze. This side is absolutely fabulous – ridiculously easy but filled with flavor! Everyone loved it. Thank you thank you thank you for your fabulous site, it made my holiday!!!


  4. Paul

    Can someone explain the value of blanching the beans? I make green beans in a similar way, but just saute them with the other ingredients.

    Blanching them cooks them more evenly, and when you shock them in cold water it locks in the bright green color. ~Elise

Green Beans with Shallots and PancettaGreen Beans with Shallots and Pancetta