Green Beans with Leeks & Feta

by Marla on November 20, 2010 · 37 comments

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Healthy string bean recipe for Thanksgiving & family meals.

It has been a whirl wind week with a trip to the Dole Wellness Institute, activities at school & work. Life is picking up speed as Thanksgiving fast approaches. I have a few more recipes to share before the big day hits.

These green beans are simple to prepare & I keep ‘em light and healthy. The flavor of the crisp beans shines through & they are made more special with the addition of feta cheese & sautéed leeks. They pair perfectly with my Stuffing with Sweet Potatoes & Cranberries.
String beans for Thanksgiving and family cooking.

These string beans are cooked just enough to show off their beautiful bright color I wanted to give you an option beyond the standard holiday green bean casserole. They make the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. Paired with lemon they would be awesome any time of the year. They would be wonderful served at garden parties, potlucks and beach parties too.

Recipe for healthy string beans for holiday meals.

Simple preparations of fresh veggies brings out their true flavors and textures while maintaining vitamins and minerals. Besides, a heaping serving of these before that pumpkin pie will offset the extra calories, right??!!

Thanksgiving green beans for holiday cooking.

On Monday I will be sharing my Thanksgiving Round-Up post from around the web. If you have any great recipes please leave them in your comments below.

Green Beans with Leeks & Feta

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Green Beans with Leeks & Feta


  • 1 pound Green Beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 cup - or- 2 Leeks, sliced small use the light green & white parts
  • 4 Garlic cloves, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh Lemon juice - from 1/4 Lemon
  • pinch of Cracked Black Pepper
  • pinch of Smoked Paprika
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1-2 ounces of crumbled Feta Cheese (see note above)
  • Lemon Zest for garnish


  • Prepare a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Have a colander or large strainer ready in the sink. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add green beans to pot and blanch (cook) for 1-2 minutes until bright green. Immediately dump beans into colander and then plunge them into the ice water bath. This will set the beans, keep them bright and stop them from cooking further.
  • In a large sauté pan melt butter over medium high heat on the stove top. Add leeks & garlic with pinches of the black pepper, salt and smoked paprika. Stir and sautée a few minutes until softened and fragrant. Reduce heat to medium. Add beans and lemon juice to pan and toss to coat. Cook for about 2 more minutes until flavors combine and beans cook a little bit more. Top with feta cheese crumbles and some lemon zest.
  • Notes
  • imply adjust ingredients according to how many people you are serving. These beans make for great leftovers too!
  • I love Sheep Milk Feta for its very pronounced taste. A little goes a long way. Use your favorite variety of feta.
  • As always, use your own taste buds to determine how you want to season your Green Beans with Leeks & Parmesan.
  • We like our beans tender with a bit of snap, if you like them softer you can cook them a few minutes longer in the boiling water.
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  • Add pieces of cooked diced bacon when you toss the beans with the leeks and garlic.
  • Add some diced toasted walnuts or pecans when you toss the beans with the leeks and garlic.
  • Use your favorite cheese. Shaved Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, Gruyere and Blue Cheese would be great too!

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