Sweet Sesame Green Beans


Are you the type of person who keeps your side dishes separate from your main dishes and salads and eats dainty bites of each one separately, gently nudging any rogue bits or sauces away from each other, lest they accidentally touch?

That’s totally not me. When I find myself in a position of eating, be it snacking or sitting down to a meal, I really like to put as many foods on top of each other as possible and eat them all together. Sometimes it results in a delightful and exciting melding of flavors, other times it tastes kind of weird. For example, roasted veggies, barley, olives and herbs equal a really delicious salad when mixed all together. Sweet potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes and kale work similarly well as a hearty winter stew. Blueberries, yogurt, peanut butter and cinnamon make a MAGNIFICENT breakfast afternoon snack.

But chocolate chips and butter do not belong in an apple cake.

I know, I know, my thoughts exactly.

One would think by that adding chocolate chips and butter to a recipe, it automatically becomes more delicious. Not a classic apple cake though.

I once tried to adapt this simple, flawless apple cake by adding 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup apple sauce instead of the recipe’s original 1 cup of oil. The reason was that oil is a flavorless fat, and butter is a heavenly one, so why not half the amount of fat but make it doubly delicious? And add chocolate chips because, well, why not? The result was not a disaster, but it was dry and the chocolate was confusing with the apples. My dad usually likes everything I bake and is generally my biggest fan, but even he said this cake was “just eh.” I learned my lesson on that one and have since perfected a totally delicious, wholesome apple cake. Thank goodness for that.

This recipe I have for you today is an adaptation of The Healthy Apple‘s baked green beans with caramelized onions. I think it’s meant to be eaten as a side dish, but so far I just keep throwing them on top of my salads and mixing it up with lots of other things, as is my custom. They’re a crunchy, sweet and fresh addition to anything really, but I think they would be especially good with some grilled fish or pasta.


Sweet Sesame Green Beans

These green beans are sweet, light and lemony– a perfect ray of sunshine in the doom and gloom of February!

Adapted from The Healthy Apple
Serves 4

3 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 tsp. fresh lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Steam green beans in large pot for 5 minutes or until crisp and bright green. Remove from heat, pat dry and place them in a casserole dish.



In a large skillet, saute onion, garlic, rosemary, sea salt and pepper in the olive oil until onions begin to caramelize, approximately 10 minutes. Add mixture to the green beans; mix well. Add lemon juice, sesame seeds and lemon zest. Cover and bake for 15 minutes.


Remove from oven and serve warm.


  1. I don’t even like green beans but this is really making me want to eat them!

    1. They’re so easy! The caramelized onions and toasted sesame seeds give them a delightful sweetness and the lemon keeps them really light and fresh. Let me know if they sway your anti-green bean feelings🙂

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