Quick Vacay Dinner: Shrimp & Haricots Verts

Scrolling through our vacation photos was like the visual equivalent of watching Bubba’s famous Forrest Gump monologue: Barbecue Shrimp. Creole Shrimp. Popcorn Shrimp. Pineapple Shrimp. Coconut Shrimp. Lemon Shrimp. Pepper Shrimp. Wow, we ate a lot of shrimp! This, of course, made perfect sense in South Carolina — where we spent the last leg of our trip, and where we usually feel like something is missing if cocktail hour has come and gone without a dozen jumbos on ice. It made less sense in Amsterdam and Paris, where you’d think we’d have way more photographic evidence of stroopwafels and saucisson. Either way, we struck on this winner one night that I thought might translate well across the Atlantic. Haricots verts were all over the markets, and when pan-fried with garlic, a little French butter (OK a lot of French butter), lemon zest, and sweet cooked shrimp, it was just the thing.

{P.S. We were only in Paris for a few days, staying at our friend David’s apartment, but I did very little documenting. If anyone is interested in what we did there, check out our “Paris with Kids” post from 2012. It should suffice!}

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp with Haricots Verts

2 cups thin green beans or haricots verts
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
juice from half a small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 cups cooked shrimp

Boil beans in water for 2 minutes, then immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet set over medium heat, add oil and one tablespoon of the butter. When butter has melted, add garlic, onion, salt and pepper and cook just until wilted. Add beans, shrimp, lemon zest, and lemon and toss until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter. If I had chives or parsley, here is where I would’ve showered the dish with them.

We ate with a chopped tomato salad (tossed with a little balsamic, olive oil, sea salt) and some crusty bread.

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Jessica Clare

Looks perfect!! Silly question… if the shrimp is uncooked, how long do you cook it for? I am in fear of overcooking and the dreaded rubber-iness! Thanks Jenny 🙂

Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist

I literally laughed out loud when I read your intro paragraph. That was such a funny and creative way of writing about the experience of scrolling through photos of the SAME thing over and over…So funny!


This is one of the perfect meals for summer – light, delicious and fast to make. and when you’re finished with it, you actually feel full. Sometimes I like to add mussels in the mix, just to “spruce it up” a bit, but overall the dish is amazing. I love to serve it when the whole family gathers for dinner. It kinda makes it feel very special.


This looks like a really simple and delicious to whip up on the go! I also made a recipe that is easy and convenient! Would you mind checking it out? makethefood.wordpress.com


I just made the shrimp roll recipe from Dinner: the Playbook (also made: grilled chicken w/ hoison bbq sauce, cilantro rice, & cucumber salad) prompting me & my husband to ask ourselves why we ever cook anything from any other recipe books besides yours. PS. We live one town over. Want to come over for dinner? 🙂


Really good. Forgot to blanche the green beans so added a little water to the pan and covered for 4 minutes before adding the shrimp etc. and turned out great. Thanks!

Karen A

I shelled the raw shrimp and cooked the shells in two cups of water. After 5 minutes I scooped out shells and discarded them. I put the raw shrimp in the salted water for two minutes then removed them. To the shrimp water I added a cup of rice. I served the shrimp and green beans over the shrimp flavored rice. Delish!