Because I spent a decade eating a mostly vegetarian diet, I ate a lot of side dishes at major holiday dinners. Green bean casserole was usually a staple (and one of my favorites). I’d love to concoct my own paleo/AIP reintroduction version of a green bean casserole, and perhaps someday I will, but for now, I’m way way more of a fan of speedy side dishes. A meal like Thanksgiving requires much more preparation than a “normal” meal & there are precious few shortcuts available. These green beans have almost zero hands-on preparation time (dump, drizzle, toss, sprinkle, & roast), though they still look and taste quite fancy when they’re finished.
One of my secrets when it comes to making side dishes, holiday or just regular dinner, is to embrace frozen organic vegetables. They require less hands-on preparation, I don’t have to worry about their shelf life like fresh veggies, and they’re delicious if prepared correctly. I still can’t stomach frozen-then-microwaved Normandy vegetable blend, due to poor childhood memories (sorry, Mom!), so most often, I roast frozen veggies. Something magical happens when vegetables are roasted: the flavor mellows & becomes more toasty/caramelized with such minimal effort. Usually, husband and I stand over the pan of freshly roasted vegetables & fight over eating the most crispy (what some might call “burnt”) pieces.
I’ve been roasting green beans with oil & coconut aminos for a while, but I only recently started adding some bacon to them. No, bacon does not make *everything* better, but somehow, adding a little chopped bacon to the pan of green beans helps make them feel a little more special. Please feel free to leave the bacon off if you want this dish to also appeal to any vegetarian/vegan guests you may have.
Additionally, most roasted vegetables, including these green beans, can be prepared in advance & reheated just before serving. They won’t be quite as crispy as freshly roasted but nevertheless delicious. When making these beans for a crowd, make more than you’ll think you may need. All vegetable shrink pretty dramatically during roasting! In fact, husband and I usually split a 16 oz bag (pre-roasted) of beans between the two of us as side dish for dinner.
A note on reintroducing green beans: green beans were once a “gray area” food, but since the publication of “The Paleo Approach” by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, it is now recommended that legumes with edible pods, such as green beans and green peas, be eliminated for at least 30 days. Once the 30 days are complete & you see significant reduction (better yet elimination) of any symptoms, green beans are considered a stage 1 reintroduction. If you’re interested in reintroducing green beans to hopefully include on a Thanksgiving menu, I recommend trying them out a couple weeks before the holiday itself. Just in case you’d happen to have a reaction to them, it’s better to know before a major holiday! If you’re interested in more in depth information about reintroductions, check out these resources (here and here).
Roasted Green Beans with Bacon (AIP Stage 1 Reintroduction, Paleo, Low FODMAP)
Yields 4 servings for a regular meal, or 6-8 holiday meal servings (if there are other side dishes)
2-16 oz Organic French-style Green Beans
1/4 c Avocado Oil (or other melted fat of choice)
2 Tbl Coconut Aminos
2 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
Smoked Sea Salt, optional for serving.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet (Half Sheet Pan size), with a little of the avocado oil.
- Open both bags of green beans & dump them onto the sheet pan. Drizzle with the remaining oil & coconut aminos Toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle the bacon over the top (I usually use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon right over the sheet pan).
- Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven & stir. Return to the oven for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until well caramelized.
- Serve with a sprinkle of smoked salt, if desired, though the bacon & coconut aminos do have a good amount of salt already.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Remove the bacon to make the dish vegetarian/vegan & make sure to use a vegetarian/vegan oil.
- To make coconut free, omit the coconut aminos, though the flavor will change slightly.
- I have only tried this dish with frozen green beans, not with fresh, mostly because I rarely have the time to prepare fresh green beans.
- I prefer to use french-style green beans because their smaller surface area allows them to roast faster. You can also use regular cut green beans or haricot verts, but the roasting process may take longer.
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