Festive and Flavorful: Holiday Beans with Cranberries Recipe

Welcome to my recipe for Holiday Beans with Cranberries! As a chef, I love creating dishes that are both delicious and visually appealing, and this recipe is no exception. The combination of tender-crisp green beans, sweetened dried and fresh cranberries, and crispy bacon bits creates a flavor profile that is both savory and sweet.

This dish is perfect for the holiday season, as it adds a pop of color and flavor to any table. Whether you’re looking for a side dish for your Thanksgiving feast or a colorful addition to your Christmas spread, these beans with cranberries will not disappoint.

Not only is this dish delicious, it is also easy to make and can be customized to fit your preferences. Whether you prefer roasted green beans or steamed, or you like your cranberries a little sweeter or more tart, this recipe can be adapted to suit your tastes.

So, join me in the kitchen and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Holiday Beans With Cranberries
Holiday Beans With Cranberries

Are you looking for a unique and flavorful side dish to add to your holiday table? Look no further than this delicious recipe for Holiday Beans with Cranberries! This dish is a perfect blend of savory and sweet, with tender-crisp green beans and the tangy, juicy burst of fresh cranberries.

But what sets this recipe apart from other green bean dishes is the addition of honey and bacon bits, which add a depth of flavor and richness that will have your taste buds singing. The honey adds a touch of sweetness that perfectly complements the tartness of the cranberries, while the bacon bits add a salty, savory crunch that will have you going back for seconds (and maybe even thirds!).

Not only is this dish delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of prep work, you can have a show-stopping side dish that your guests will be talking about long after the holiday season is over.

So if you’re looking for a new and exciting side dish to add to your holiday table, give this recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this Holiday Beans With Cranberries recipe:


  • Green Beans: 1 pound (trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Dried Cranberries: 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Cranberries: 1/4 cup
  • Bacon Bits: 1/4 cup
  • Walnuts: 1/4 cup (chopped)
  • Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Butter: 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic: 3 cloves (minced)
  • Honey: 2 tablespoons
  • Grated Orange Peel: 1 teaspoon

You can use either fresh or frozen cut green beans for this recipe. If you use frozen, make sure to thaw them before using. For the cranberries, you’ll need both dried and fresh varieties. Be sure to soak the dried cranberries in hot water for 5 minutes before using them in the recipe. Bacon bits add a nice savory flavor, while walnuts add a crunchy texture. Garlic, honey and grated orange peel bring a sweet and tangy flavor to the dish.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Cook the Green Beans

To start, I like to get my green beans cooking. I prefer to steam my beans because it helps them retain their crunch and vibrant green color. To do this, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain and transfer to a serving dish.

Step 2: Add the Cranberries

While the green beans are cooking, you can prep your cranberries. You’ll need 1/4 cup dried cranberries and 1/4 cup fresh cranberries. If using dried cranberries, you can soak them in hot water for 5 minutes to plump them up. Once the green beans are in the serving dish, scatter the cranberries over the top.

Step 3: Make the Glaze

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of grated orange peel, and 1/4 cup of bacon bits. You can also substitute the bacon bits with cooked and crumbled bacon, if you prefer.

Step 4: Glaze the Green Beans

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the glazed mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is heated through and the butter is melted. Add the green beans to the skillet and toss to coat evenly. Cook the green beans for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are coated in the glaze and the bacon bits are crispy.

Step 5: Add the Final Touches

For extra flavor and texture, you can add 1/4 cup of walnuts or pecans to the skillet with the green beans. You can also add 3 cloves of garlic, minced, for a savory kick.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Once the green beans are glazed and the final touches have been added, transfer them to a serving dish and enjoy! These holiday beans with cranberries are the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.

Substitutions and Variations

There are a variety of substitutions and variations you can make to this holiday beans with cranberries recipe to suit your taste and dietary needs. Here are a few ideas:

– Vegetarian or Vegan: To make this recipe vegetarian or vegan, simply omit the bacon bits or substitute them with vegan bacon bits or smoky-flavored tempeh bits. You can also use vegan butter in place of regular butter.

– Nut-Free: If you have nut allergies, you can omit the walnuts and substitute them with roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for a delicious crunch.

– Gluten-Free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but be sure to check the label of your bacon bits and dried cranberries to ensure they are certified gluten-free.

– Different Beans: You can use different types of beans in this recipe, such as string beans or haricot verts, instead of green beans. You can also use canned or frozen cut green beans if fresh ones are not available.

– Different Berries: If you can’t find fresh cranberries, you can use frozen cranberries or substitute them with dried cherries or blueberries. You can also use a combination of different berries for added flavor and color.

– Cheese: For added flavor and creaminess, you can crumble some goat cheese or feta cheese over the top of the beans before serving.

– Squash: To add some seasonal flair to this dish, you can roast some cubed butternut squash and mix it in with the beans and cranberries for a tasty holiday green bean casserole.

– Salad: If you have leftovers, you can chop up the beans and mix them with some dried cranberries, almonds, and bacon to make a delicious green bean salad.

Serving and Pairing

Holiday Beans with Cranberries are a fantastic side dish that will complement any holiday meal. They add a touch of elegance to your table and are sure to impress your guests. These beans are perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special occasion.

These beans can be served in a variety of ways. They are delicious on their own, but you can also pair them with other dishes to create a complete meal. They go well with roasted turkey, ham, or chicken. The sweetness of the cranberries pairs perfectly with the savory flavor of the bacon bits.

If you want to create a vegetarian meal, you can pair these beans with other vegetable dishes like roasted butternut squash, green bean salad, or string beans with almonds. They also pair well with creamy goat cheese or crunchy pecans.

When it comes to serving, these beans can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference. If you are serving them hot, make sure to transfer them to a serving dish immediately after cooking. If you are serving them cold, let them cool to room temperature and then transfer them to the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Holiday Beans with Cranberries are a versatile side dish that can be served for any occasion. They are easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste. Whether you are serving them with meat or as a vegetarian option, they are sure to be a hit at your next holiday gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Holiday Beans with Cranberries is a great make-ahead side dish that can easily be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To make ahead, simply prepare the recipe as directed and let it cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the beans to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When reheating, transfer the beans to an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat the beans in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, reheat the beans using the methods described above.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the longer the beans are stored, the softer they will become. To help maintain their texture, try not to overcook the beans when preparing the recipe. Additionally, if you are making the recipe ahead of time, add the dried cranberries and nuts right before serving to ensure they maintain their crunchiness.

In summary, this recipe is a great option for those who like to meal prep or for those who want to make their holiday meal prep easier. With a few simple steps, you can make this dish ahead of time and reheat it with ease, making it the perfect hassle-free side dish for your holiday celebrations.

Tips for Perfect Results

To make this Holiday Beans with Cranberries recipe, I have some tips for you to achieve perfect results. These tips will help you to avoid some common mistakes and make your side dish delicious and healthy.

First, make sure to cook the green beans to a tender-crisp texture. Overcooking them can result in a mushy and unappetizing dish. To achieve this, cook the beans in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then drain and transfer to a serving dish.

To add more flavor, I recommend using olive oil and butter to cook the green beans. The combination of these two ingredients will make your beans glazed and tender. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes until they are tender-crisp.

Another tip is to soak the dried cranberries in warm water for 5 minutes before adding them to the dish. This will plump them up and make them juicier. You can also use fresh cranberries if they are in season.

For a sweeter taste, you can add honey to the dish. Use 2 tablespoons of honey for every 1/4 cup of dried cranberries. You can also add a teaspoon of grated orange peel for a citrusy flavor.

If you want to make this dish a little bit more festive, you can add some bacon bits or walnuts to it. Cook the bacon until crispy and crumble it into small pieces. Add the bacon bits or walnuts to the green beans and cranberries before serving.

Lastly, if you are serving this dish for a holiday dinner, you can add some goat cheese or butternut squash to it. These ingredients will add more flavor and texture to the dish. You can also use this recipe to make a bean salad or a bean casserole by adding string beans, dried cranberries, almonds, pecans, or other ingredients of your choice.

By following these tips, you can make a delicious and healthy side dish that will impress your guests and add some festive cheer to your holiday table.


Before we wrap up this recipe article, let’s take a moment to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this Holiday Beans with Cranberries recipe. From ingredient substitutions to storing tips, I’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out more!

How long soak cranberries?

If you’re using dried cranberries in a recipe, it’s important to rehydrate them first. This is an easy process that’s similar to rehydrating raisins; just soak the cranberries in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes and then strain them before using. To give your cranberries a boost of flavor, consider soaking them in fruit juice or liquor instead of water. This will add an extra dimension of taste to your recipe.

Can you use dried cranberries instead of fresh for baking?

When it comes to using dried cranberries as a substitute for fresh cranberries in baked goods, it is certainly possible. However, it is important to keep in mind that there is a slight difference in measurement. To be precise, if a recipe calls for one cup of fresh or frozen cranberries, you will need to use ¾ cup of sweetened dried cranberries instead.

What does a cranberry bean taste like?

If you’re looking for a legume with a unique flavor and appearance, consider cranberry beans. These kidney beans are renowned for their light brown hue and purplish-pink markings. They’re known for having a slightly sweet and creamy taste with a subtle nutty undertone.

Do you cover cranberries while cooking?

Alright, let’s get started on preparing our delicious berry sauce! First things first, we need to make sure our berries are nice and clean. Give them a good rinse under some cool water and set them aside.

Next, grab a saucepan and add the berries to it. We’re going to sweeten things up a bit, so let’s sprinkle in some sugar and pour in some water. Give it all a good stir and then kick things up a notch by bringing the mixture to a boil.

Once it’s boiling, let it cook away uncovered. Give it a stir every now and then and keep an eye on it. After about 4-5 minutes, you should notice the mixture getting foamy and the popping sounds starting to die down. Perfect! That means it’s ready to go.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Holiday Beans with Cranberries Recipe is a perfect side dish for any festive occasion. With its sweet and savory flavors, it’s sure to please everyone at the table. The combination of tender crisp green beans, sweetened dried cranberries, and bacon bits glazed with honey and orange peel is a match made in heaven.

I strongly recommend trying this recipe, and don’t be afraid to make it your own by adding variations or substitutions. Whether you serve it with roasted meats, butternut squash, or goat cheese, this dish will be a crowd-pleaser.

Lastly, don’t forget to follow the tips and recommendations I provided to achieve perfect results. So, gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and let’s get cooking! Enjoy the Holiday Beans with Cranberries Recipe and have a happy holiday season!

Holiday Beans With Cranberries Recipe

Very nice Holiday side dish

  • 1 lb frozen cut green beans
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits (home made are best)
  1. Cook beans to tender crisp.
  2. adding orange peel before cooking, drain.
  3. Stir in cranberries and honey.
  4. Top with bacon bits.
  5. Heat through (if using fresh cranberries, wait until they start to pop).
Side Dish
< 30 Mins, Canadian, Christmas, Easy, Healthy, Kid-Friendly, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Stove Top, Vegetable

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