Roasted Green Beans with Brown Sugar Sauce

Why this recipe?  

According to, COOK'S  ILLUSTRATED, a favorite magazine, ROASTING GREEN BEANS transforms them into deeply caramelized, full-flavored beauties.  

Why? As green beans mature, their fibers roughen and their sugars are converted to starch. The hot, dry heat of the oven helps to reverse the aging process.  Fibers break down and an enzymatic reaction causes the starch to turn back into sugar, restoring sweetness.

Shrivel Action- Wrinkles aren't always a sign of overzealous cooking. For roasted green beans, shriveled exteriors indicate a successful transformation from bland and stringy to tender and flavorful.

Cook's Illustrated is right! These bacon-wrapped bundles are savory and sweet in rich brown sugar sauce with a touch of lemon. What's more, I touched up the recipe to make it healthier—so it's okay to have seconds!!  

The Flip: (per recipe)
  • Cutout 1/2 cup of butter—removing 810 calories and 92g of fat
  • Cutout 1/2 cup of brown sugar—removing 415 calories, 107g carbs and 106g of sugar
  • Used center-cut bacon instead of regular—removing 1080 calories, 111g fat and 5969mg of sodium
  • Used fresh green beans instead of canned—removing 5371mg of sodium
  • Removed the garlic salt and replaced with minced garlic—removing 1180mg of sodium
My thoughts:  I'm hooked on roasted green beans!  Thank you, Cook's Illustrated!

I love the bundled serving style for holidays or my dinner table.  The bundles are easy to prepare ahead of time—then you just add the brown sugar sauce and roast them!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

  • 4 lbs fresh Green Beans  
  • 1 (12 oz) pkg center-cut Bacon   (can substitute regular bacon)
  • 1/2 cup Butter, melted 
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  1. Divide green beans into 4 batches.
  2. Fill a large pot with just enough water to cover each batch of green beans.  Add 2 tsp of salt to water.  Bring water to a boil.
  3. One batch at a time; add green beans to boiling water.  Bring water to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer green beans for 4 minutes. Remove green beans and run cold water over green beans to stop the cooking process.  Cool.  Repeat step 3 with the remaining three batches.  
  4. Cut bacon in half  (I used my kitchen scissors).
  5. On cutting board, lay a slice of bacon flat.  Stack approximately 8 green beans horizontally on bacon. Roll bacon around green beans and secure bacon with wooden toothpick. 
  6. Place rolled up bundles in two 9x13 pans. (at this point, the bundles can be put into the refrigerator until you're ready to prepare)
  7. In small mixing bowl; add melted butter, brown sugar, garlic, soy sauce and lemon juice. Stir well.
  8. Drizzle sauce over green bean bundles.
  9. Bake in 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove pans.  
  10. Increase oven heat to 450 degrees and return pans to oven for 4-5 minutes. 
  11. Remove toothpicks and replace with a frill toothpicks for serving. (optional)



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