spicy yellow beans with shallots + lemon

spicy yellow beans with shallots + lemon | The Clever Carrot

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t flip out over string beans.

But, I really do enjoy them when they’re fresh and in season, especially the skinny ones. I’m convinced that the yellow ones taste differently (questionable), so I buy a bunch because they’re pretty and I have to have them. It’s like finding purple cauliflower…

Yellow or green, I make my string beans the same way every time; chili flakes and shallots, with a hit of juicy lemon at the end. Season with flaky sea salt. Eat straight from the pan. And yes, no matter how I cook them they still squeak (what’s up with that?!) Someone once told me that squeaky beans = undercooked. What do you think? I’m on the fence.

spicy yellow beans with shallots + lemon | The Clever Carrot

I’ve accepted these beans with their inherent squeakiness, as I find this dish incredibly refreshing and easy to make. Chili and lemon happens to be one of my favorite flavor combinations. You can control the amount of heat (or nix it altogether) but for me, it’s all about finding the right balance. I love this with a nice piece of grilled fish or chopped up in pasta with a generous amount of parmesan cheese ;)


  • I use a 1 pan cooking method which involves both steaming and sauteing. This ensures that the beans will be soft in the center, yet crisp-tender on the outside.
  • I’m partial to haricots verts for their thin, tender texture and sweet flavor. Both yellow or green will work for this recipe.
  • Instead of dried chili flakes, you can substitute with fresh chili for a fruity, spicy kick.
spicy yellow beans with shallots + lemon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • ¾ lb. yellow haricots verts, trimmed
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • ¼- 1 tsp. dried red chili flakes (depending on preference)
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • coarse, flaky sea salt
  1. In a large saute pan, warm a splash of olive oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the yellow beans, shallots, garlic and chili flakes. Season with salt.
  3. Saute the beans until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add a small splash of water to the pan, and place a lid on top.
  5. Cook the beans on low for about 3-5 minutes. Tip: If your heat is too high, the outside will overcook, causing the inside to remain crunchy.
  6. Remove the lid, and continue to cook until all of the moisture has evaporated and the beans are crisp tender.
  7. Add a small squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Adjust with more lemon and salt as desired.
  8. Serve warm.


  1. Pam Green says

    This is such a bright and cheery side dish. It would be a great summer picnic dish served cold too. I will definitely save this for a lovely new way to serve up green beans.

  2. says

    Haha, I know exactly what you mean by the squeakiness of string beans…. it can be unnerving but with a recipe this delightful, no matter. Simple perfection. (love the addition of the chili flakes — that’s right up our alley!).

  3. says

    Delicious …but do not put 1 tsp of chili flakes…..Next time I would put none or only 1 shake. Otherwise this was delicious!!!!!! The bean consistency was perfect!!

  4. Don says

    Just picked some yellow beans and beetroot so I had cooked beetroot leaves & the beans for dinner & they were fantastic. Great recipe

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