Here is a make-ahead green beans recipe with orange and ginger. These Orange Ginger Green Beans are delicious and can be made ahead which makes them great for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

a skillet of green beans with orange zest

I originally published this recipe on December 20th, 2010. I have updated the recipe, photos and description to share it with you again today.

Why I Love This Make Ahead Green Beans Recipe

I love this recipe first and foremost because of the amazing orange and ginger glaze that gives the green beans so much flavor. But I also love it because it can be prepared two days ahead. When you’re ready to serve it, just reheat the beans in a skillet with the glaze. So easy!

These green beans are great for the holidays too. Since they’re made ahead you will have time to focus on the things that really need last-minute attention like stirring together the Garlic Butter Baby Carrots and mashing the garlic mashed potatoes and whisking gravy.

an overhead view of a round platter of green beans with orange zest

How To Make Orange Ginger Green Beans

I’ll walk you through the how and why and other details on each part of this recipe, but here is the quick rundown on how to make it.

  1. First blanch the beans and shock them in an ice bath.
  2. Mix up the orange honey glaze. (Step one and two can be done a couple days ahead.)
  3. Sauté the shallot and ginger in a skillet.
  4. Add the blanched beans, glaze and salt to the skillet and heat the beans through.
  5. Delight in the deliciousness of this recipe and receive all the compliments on your mad cooking skills!
skillet of green beans from the side

How To Blanch The Beans

  • To make this recipe, start out by bringing a pot of water to a boil.
  • While you wait, trim the stem ends of the green beans.
  • When the water comes to a boil add 1 tablespoon of salt to it.
  • Add the green beans and cook them only until they are crips tender, which takes 3 to 4 minutes.

Shock the Blanched Beans in an Ice Bath

To stop the beans from cooking any further and to chill them down, transfer them to a bowl of ice water with tongs or a slotted spoon. Or you can pour them into a strainer and then add them to the ice water. This is called “shocking” them.

Making the Orange Glaze

Orange Zest

Zest is just the outermost skin of a citrus fruit. The best way to zest an orange is to use a zester or a microplane rasp-style grater.The microplane shaves off only the top most layer of the orange leaving behind the bitter white pith and juicy flesh.

If you don’t own one, I highly recommend buying one. (affiliate link.) And they make a great gift for the foodies in your life!

You can also use the smaller holes on a box grater in a pinch. Try not to get the white part of the orange skin (pith) because that part is bitter.

Orange Juice and Honey

After you zest the orange, cut it in half and juice half of it. You only need two tablespoons of juice, and a teaspoon of the zest so you can use the rest in this Easy Sweet Potato Casserole or make Sesame Ginger Dressing.

Then simply stir together the orange zest, orange juice and a little honey in a small bowl. If you do not want to use honey (to make this vegan) you can use white sugar or agave syrup.

a table with two place settings with blue napkins and two hands are setting down a platter of green beans

Make Ahead Tips For Orange Ginger Green Beans

Refrigerate Up To Two Days

  • After you blanch the green beans and shock them, drain the beans and make sure they are not dripping wet.
  • I put a couple layers of paper towels in the bottom of a colander and then put the green beans on top.
  • Transfer them to a resealable container or bag.
  • If you like, you can put a paper towel or two in the container or bag with the beans to help absorb any additional moisture.
  • You can also prep the glaze up to two days ahead. Simply stir together the orange zest, orange juice and honey in a jar and refrigerate.
Citrus zest on green beans up close

To Finish the Recipe and Heat The Beans

Ginger and Shallot

  • To grate the ginger, break off a section of the ginger root.
  • Peel off the papery skin with a peeler or a spoon.
  • Grate the ginger with the microplane or you can also mince it by hand.
  • Note that mincing the ginger by hand will yield a more “fluffy” result, so there will be less ginger flavor overall.
  • You’ll also need a minced shallot.
  • Note: you can grate the ginger ahead but it will turn grayish. It won’t affect the taste though. You can also chop the shallot ahead but it may make your fridge smell.

Sauté the Green Beans

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet.
  2. Add the shallot and cook it to soften it for about a minute.
  3. Add in the ginger and stir it around to cook it in the oil. Grated ginger is kind of clumpy, so you’ll want to break it up into the oil with the spatula.
  4. Add the green beans, glaze and salt and stir everything together
  5. Cook the green beans until they are hot and cooked to the desired texture (this only takes a couple minutes.) At this point the glaze will be reduced and will coat the green beans.
  6. Take the beans off the heat and transfer them to a platter.

Steps To Make This Recipe

More Green Bean Recipes

At Healthy Seasonal Recipes, we specialize in cooking with fresh veggies and creating weeknight meals. Sign up HERE to get more produce-forward dinner ideas for FREE! If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought! Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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close up of green bean with orange zest on them

Make Ahead Orange Ginger Green Beans

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Katie
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x


These easy Make-Ahead Orange Ginger Green Beans are so delicious! Serve them for a holiday side dish or use this recipe for meal prep. 



1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1 1/4 pounds green beans, stem ends trimmed

1 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, minced

1 teaspoons finely grated ginger root

Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together orange zest, orange juice and honey in a small bowl. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with a generous amount of ice and cold water.
  3. Boil the green beans, stirring occasionally, until crisp tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and transfer to the ice bath. When they are cool, drain again.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring until just softened and starting to brown slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in ginger, and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the green beans and zest mixture, and cook, tossing to combine until the beans are heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.


To Make this ahead prepare through step 3 up to two days in advance. Refrigerate the glaze and green beans separately. 

To make this recipe vegan, substitute sugar or agave syrup for the honey. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 81
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Fat: .6
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 4 g
close up of green bean with orange zest on them