Garlic Green Beans with Cranberries

Celebrate the holiday season with a sweet and savory side dish! These garlic green beans with cranberries are crisp, fresh, and fantastically flavorful. And you only need 15 minutes!
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A plate of garlic green beans with cranberries on a white plate.
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I’ve you’ve bean thinking about the upcoming holiday season and fearful of not finding a fun and unique recipe to serve, look no further, my friend! Our easy garlic green beans and berries recipe will check all of your boxes and more. With its appetizing aroma, alluring appearance, and amazing ease of cooking, you’d better be ready for the oncoming compliments.

In less than 15 minutes, you’ll have a plate full of pretty red and green fruits and veggies packed with vitamins, minerals, and full-on flavor. The pungent garlic is offset by the tangy balsamic vinegar and tart cranberries, creating a perfect symmetry of contrasting color and tempting textures. 

Put on an adorable kitchen apron, play your most favorite festive music, and let’s get those green beans boiling. You’ll absolutely love this delectable side dish!

Garlic green beans with cranberries on a white plate, with a small bowl of dried cranberries to the side.

Why You Must Try This Recipe

We hope that the fantastic, food-filled photos will entice both your senses and your stomach. But, if you need more reasons why this garlic green bean recipe is so awesome, here they are! 

  • Healthy and satisfying
  • Super colorful, quick and easy to make
  • An enticing combination of slightly sweet, sour, and savory
  • Dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, fiber-rich

Serving Suggestions

This delightful duo is the perfect partner to any holiday meal. Because it takes only minutes to make, you can leave it for the very last second before serving. Or, even better, make it the night before a memorable meal and dish it up deliciously cold the next day. It’s incredible either way—chilled or warm. 

  • Feeling Grinch-y About Green Beans? – We get it! You can use other green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, sugar snap peas, or Brussels sprouts instead of green beans in this recipe. Consider using cauliflower if you would like a red and white “candy cane” look to your dish.
  • Meet and Greet With Grains – How about grouping blanched green beans and rice together? When it comes to supplementing your supper, we always love pairing a veggie and whole grain together. If the thought of rice is not as nice, consider quinoa, amaranth, or bulgur instead.
  • Craving a Bit of Crunch – Try topping your green beans with almonds and cranberries. You’ll get a crisp bite of the beans along with a tangy and nutty texture that will totally tantalize your taste buds. Other nuts would also work, including cashews, walnuts, pistachios, and Brazil nuts. 

Star Ingredients 

Ingredients for garlic green beans with labels.

This recipe not only tastes heavenly, but is healthy as well. When you’ve got an overload of rich recipes planned for the party season, it’s great to balance those out with a couple of antioxidant-enhanced accompaniments.

Green Beans – High in fiber, rich in vitamins C and A and a good source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, as well as plant-based protein.

Cranberries – High nutrient and antioxidant content, good source of vitamin C and B vitamins, rich in fiber and vitamin E.

Garlic – Excellent source of B6, manganese, selenium, and vitamin C.

Equipment You’ll Need

Just a few essentials and you’ll be one step closer to the most delicious holiday side dish. After a quick boil and dip into icy water, your beans will be ready to dress and serve. Feel free to add more or less of any ingredient as it suits you. This ravishing recipe is really versatile.

How To Make Garlic Green Beans

Step 1: Rinse and drain the green beans and trim off the ends.

Step 2: Fill a large saucepan with four quarts of water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.

A Dutch oven with green beans in water.

Step 3: While waiting for the water to boil, measure out the cranberries, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Add them to a large bowl. Also, fill a second large bowl with ice water for submerging the green beans after boiling.

Step 4: When water is boiling, add the green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes over medium high heat. Drain well and immediately plunge the beans into the bowl of ice water. Let sit for a minute and then drain the beans again.

A bowl of green beans in ice water.

Step 5: Add the beans to the large bowl with the cranberry mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.

A bowl of green beans with cranberries, minced garlic, and seasonings.
A bowl of green beans in a white bowl with dried cranberries.

This dish tastes delicious served either warm or cold. It’s even better the next day. Enjoy!

How To Store

The great thing about green beans is that they store well, either in the fridge or the freezer. Covered well, this string bean side dish should last about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. The recipe will stay fresher longer if you keep the ingredients separate and mix together just before serving. 

If your green veggies are on the way out, this is a great way to save on food waste. Blanch them before it’s too late and then freeze them immediately in an airtight container or storage bag until ready to use. If stored correctly, they can stay freshly frozen for up to 10 months. To thaw, place the beans overnight in the fridge or leave on the countertop until unfrozen.

A plate of garlic green beans with cranberries on a white plate with a fork.

How can I keep green beans green when cooking?

So glad you asked! That’s the very reason why we use the blanching method to cook our beans. Boiling them for a short amount of time and then quickly plunging them into super cold water makes them keep their crispness and color. You could also steam them for 5-7 minutes in a pot with 1 inch of water and a steamed basket with lid.

Will all types of green beans work for this recipe?

Sure! You can even use sugar snap peas, too. Besides the common, run-of-the-mill green bean, you can substitute string beans, wax beans, french beans (also called haricot vert in French), snap beans, and Romanos. They’re all very closely related with similar cooking times. The choice is up to you!

Can I use canned green beans in this recipe?

It’s possible to use canned green beans, but they won’t taste or look nearly as good. Canned green beans have a distinctive green-ish gray tint and will be most likely over cooked and over salted. But, if that’s all you have, we say, “Go for it!” It’s better to have some veggies on your table than none at all. If you have the choice between buying fresh, frozen, or canned, try to choose the first two options. They’ll be much tastier and prettier on your plate.

More Holiday Recipes to Try

A plate of garlic green beans on a white plate with a fork.

If you try this french haricot vert recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more vegan recipe inspiration.

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Garlic Green Beans with Cranberries

Author: Gina House | World of Vegan
5 from 6 votes
Celebrate the holiday season with a sweet and savory side! This brilliant green and red dish is so beautiful and delicious that you’ll immediately come back for more. Crisp, tart, slightly sweet, and fantastically flavorful. It will become a new family tradition!
A plate of garlic green beans with cranberries on a white plate.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 cups


  • 1 pound green beans, or haricot verts (French green beans)
  • ½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, or to your liking


  • Rinse and drain the green beans. Trim the green bean ends.
  • Fill your saucepan with four quarts of water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • While waiting, measure out the cranberries, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Also, fill a large bowl with ice water for submerging the beans after boiling.
  • When water is boiling, add the green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes over medium high heat. Drain well and immediately plunge the beans into a bowl of ice water. Let sit for a minute and then drain the beans again.
  • Add the beans, cranberries, garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar together in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • This dish tastes delicious served either warm or cold. It’s even better the next day. Enjoy!


  • Substitutions for Dried Cranberries – If you aren’t able to have any sugar or you’re just not a huge cranberry fan, here are other options to use in place of red berries in this recipe: small cherry tomatoes, pimentos, chopped pickled beets, tart cherries, red currants, pomegranate seeds, or raspberries.
  • Savory Spice Suggestions – If you want to add more pizazz to the plate, feel free to use crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, cracked pepper, toasted sesame seeds, or parsley with fresh lemon juice. Feel free to add as much garlic as you wish, or none at all.


Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 293mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1019IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 2mg
Course — Side
Cuisine — American
Love this Recipe? Leave a Rating!And follow @Vegan on Instagram for more.

This vegetarian green bean recipe was created and written by Gina House for World of Vegan. Vegan food photography by Amanda McGillicuddy. Edited by Rachel Lessenden. Many thanks to Milan Shah for testing this recipe!

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5 from 6 votes

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    I never knew about this iced water hack! Super helpful!!!

  2. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Love the garlic addition to this green bean mix. So good!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe for decades! I hope you’ll love them as much as my family and I do. It’s such a lovely blend of savory and sweet, plus such great holiday colors! 😀

  4. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    This is an amazing recipe, still preserves the green beans freshness but with the sweet and tart cranberries! Yum!

  5. 5 stars
    Love the addition of cranberries to these delicious and easy garlic green beans … love the photos too!

  6. 5 stars
    I love how crisp, fresh and flavorful these garlic green beans are! I am definitely making this for a holiday side dish this year!

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