Green beans are a favorite side dish, and can be quickly steamed for an easy side dish. It’s easy to make them extra special by adding butter and pancetta.

Pancetta is the Italian version of salty bacon, but in a smoked tubular version that makes it the perfect candidate for chopping into bite-sized nibbles. Add in a few other Italian flavors like Marsala wine—for a touch of sweetness—then top it off with toasted hazelnuts, and these green beans are so flavor-packed they’ll complement anything from turkey to fish to flank steak.

Pancetta Hazelnut Green Beans
Makes 6-8 servings


1 teaspoon olive oil
½ pound pancetta, diced
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon shallots, sliced into thin rings
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
¼ cup Marsala wine or chicken stock
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to same skillet. Once butter melts, add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently and scraping the pancetta remnants from the bottom of the skillet. Add shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add green beans, lower heat to medium, cover with lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Add Marsala wine and additional tablespoon of butter, cooked pancetta and salt and pepper and cook for another 3 minutes or until beans are tender but not soft. Serve topped with toasted hazelnuts.

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Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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