Virtual Vegan Potluck: Spicy Walnut Green Beans

by Robin on November 16, 2013

in Recipes

Spicy Walnut Green Beans

I’m excited to participate in the 2013 Virtual Vegan Potluck with my recipe for Spicy Walnut Green Beans.  At the bottom of this post, you can link to recipes from the more than 100  other Potluck participants!

This recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare green beans — they’re loaded with flavor from the luscious sauce made with walnut butter.  If you don’t want the heat of the red pepper flakes, there’s no need to pass on this dish – it’s very flavorful without them.  Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine made from rice.  To make this soy-free, use coconut aminos instead of tamari. For added crunch, top with a few tablespoons of toasted walnut pieces.

Spicy Walnut Green Beans


  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons walnut butter *(see note)
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon mirin or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste


Steam the green beans just until tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the walnut butter, tamari, sesame oil, mirin, and sugar and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the reserved beans in batches and stir-fry for 30 seconds, transferring the cooked beans to a platter.

When all the beans have been removed, add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes to the same pan and stir-fry for 10 seconds.

Return the beans to the pan and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add the reserved walnut butter mixture and stir-fry until the beans are hot and coated with the sauce, about 30 seconds.

 Serves 4

*Note: To make homemade walnut butter, simply grind a handful of walnuts to a paste in food processor or high-speed blender.

 Nut Butter Universe Cover

This recipe is from my cookbook, Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Lori Maffei.


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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vegan Gypsy November 16, 2013 at 7:51 am

Oh, yum! I love all things spicy, can’t wait to try this!


2 Robin November 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

I hope you enjoy it, Vegan Gypsy!


3 POPPY November 16, 2013 at 8:35 am



4 Robin November 16, 2013 at 9:25 am

It really is, Poppy! Thanks.


5 Rebecca Jane November 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

This sounds fantastic, what an ingenious recipe xxx


6 Robin November 16, 2013 at 10:44 am

Thank you, Rebecca!


7 Annie November 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Nice way to give green beans a kick in the pants! Thanks so much, Robin, for joining us at the Potluck!


8 Robin November 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Ha! Yes, it’s a nice kick! :) Fun to participate in the Potluck!


9 Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) November 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm

This sounds great! I’m intrigued by the idea of making walnut butter, too– I’m not sure I ever thought about that as a nut butter possibility before. And I am always a big fan of green beans, especially with garlic and ginger!


10 Robin November 16, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Me too, Allison!


11 Liane November 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm

This sounds delicious :) my favourite way to prepare green beans is usually just to cook them with sweet potato cubes and some salt. So satisfying.


12 Emma November 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I love green beans! I’m happy with them just steamed but this recipe takes them to a whole other level! I keep meaning to make some walnut butter as well…


13 jodye @ whole pure recipes November 16, 2013 at 9:23 pm

This sounds like such a lovely dish. I love the garlic-ginger-walnut combination. These green beans would make a lovely addition to my Thanksgiving spread!


14 Robin November 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

It’s a delicious combination, Jodye — and a nice change from traditional Thanksgiving green beans! :)


15 Susmitha - Veganosaurus November 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Looks super yum! When I saw the first pic, I thought it was asparagus, then I read the title. Either way the dis looks totally nom! :)


16 Robin November 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

I agree! Asparagus would be great made this way!


17 Somer November 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

For Thanksgiving every year I sauté green beans with sliced radishes for a side dish. I think that tradition is about to change! I can almost taste these vibrant yummy flavors!


18 Robin November 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

I do hope you love it if you try the green beans this way, Somer.


19 Laura November 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Fun combo and a new way to enjoy green beans! Yum!


20 gigiveganville November 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I can take the heat!! I can’t have the mirin though. and the walnut butter is a double win!!


21 Robin November 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm

It’s okay to leave out the mirin — lots of other flavors going on! (just add a little water to make up the difference liquid-wise.)


22 Maggie Muggins November 17, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Mmm, I love the heat! Nice change up by mixing in some walnut butter, sounds like my kind of green beans.


23 Teresa November 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm

This looks delicious. I love your use of mirin and walnuts together.


24 Elyse @ Lizzie Fit November 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I’ve been looking for ways to spice up side greens. Normally I roll with the standard lemon juice & sea salt but this would be awesome!


25 Yinka November 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Oh yum! I love this idea. Can’t wait to give it a go!


26 Robin November 20, 2013 at 7:49 am

Thanks, Yinka. I hope you enjoy it!


27 Angela November 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Yum! Green beans are not a favourite veggie of mine, but with this recipe I am thinking otherwise! I know that your recipe will be a big hit with my family. We love the flavour mirin brings to dishes. :)


28 Robin November 20, 2013 at 7:48 am

I do hope your family loves it, Angela. By the way, the recipe is also good made with asparagus or broccoli. :)


29 Corrin Radd November 26, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Made these today. Delicious!


30 Robin November 27, 2013 at 9:54 am

Glad you enjoyed them Corrin!


31 Kat November 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Mmm, I’ve made some very similar recipes and they are always my favourite things! Yummers.


32 Robin November 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

There’s a lot to love about them, that’s for sure!


33 Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} November 27, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I love this recipe! I have the Nut Butter Universe and love all your recipes. Happy VVP!


34 Robin November 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Thanks very much, Anna!


35 Keely @ Gormandize December 1, 2013 at 3:13 am

Sounds like a delicious combination of ingredients, I love using Asian flavours on my greens. Great thing to bring to the potluck :)


36 Robin December 1, 2013 at 9:08 am

I agree about Asian flavors on veggies–so delicious!


37 Nadine December 24, 2013 at 12:18 am

Outstanding! I am not a fan of green beans, used French green beans instead and made this for a dinner for a bunch of very non vegan family members, and there was not a bean left over. Have been asked to double the recipe for Christmas dinner. Thank you for a wonderful veggie dish.


38 Robin December 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed them Nadine. Thanks for letting me know!


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