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Romano Beans with Shallots and Bacon capture the essence of summer in a side dish that’s as easy as it is delicious. These seasonal green beans are at their best when fresh and tender, but when paired with the savory richness of bacon and the gentle sweetness of shallots, they become the highlight of any summer meal.

This dish not only complements a variety of grilled meats and fish, but it also stands well on its own for those looking for a lighter fare. With a total cooking time of just 20 minutes, this recipe is tailor-made for those spontaneous barbecues, picnics, or even quick weeknight dinners when you want maximum flavor with minimal effort.

Ingredients for Romano Beans with Shallots and Bacon

Romano Beans with Bacon and Shallots Ingredients on a white marble board.
  • Fresh Romano Beans: Look for beans that are vibrant in color, free from blemishes and fairly firm to the touch.
  • Bacon: Opt for thick-cut, high-quality bacon that will impart a rich, smoky flavor.
  • Large Shallot: Choose shallots that are firm, heavy for their size, and have tight, papery skins.

What are Romano Beans?

Romano Beans, also known as Italian Flat Beans, are a variety of runner bean. Unlike the more commonly known green beans, they’re broader and flatter, with a stringless seam running down the side. Their texture is slightly more tender and their flavor a touch sweeter compared to their green bean relatives.

Native to Italy, these beans are an integral part of Mediterranean cooking and have gained popularity in a variety of cuisines. They’re most available during the summer months, a seasonal ingredient that’s best enjoyed fresh.

Fresh Romano Beans

How do you cook Romano Beans?

Romano Beans are so simple to prepare! Most of the time, I just blanch them, toss them in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. But with bacon and shallots they’re even better. Because, you know, bacon.

Recipe Options

  • Swap the bacon for pancetta if you prefer its slightly sweeter taste.
  • Replace the shallot with a small red onion for a more pungent kick.
  • If Romano beans are not in season, feel free to use fresh green beans instead.
  • Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese before serving.
  • Toss in a few cherry tomatoes for a pop of color and added sweetness.

Recipe Tips

  • Cut the bacon into uniform strips to ensure even cooking.
  • Blanch the Romano beans just until they are crisp-tender to retain their vibrant color and fresh taste.
  • Drain all but one tablespoon of bacon fat to keep the dish from becoming too greasy while retaining flavor.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overcooking the Romano beans, as they should retain a bit of crunch for the best texture.
  • Skimping on the bacon or using low-quality options; this is where your dish gets its rich, smoky undertones.
  • Forgetting to season at each step—season the blanching water for the beans and adjust salt and pepper at the end to bring out all the flavors.

Pair With

Serve these with anything you throw on the grill this summer from: Carne Asada, to Grilled Shrimp to Rosemary-Garlic Chicken Kabobs. And if you happen to have some pork belly to crisp up in place of the bacon, all the better!

More Must-Try Vegetable Side Dishes

Romano Beans with Shallots and Bacon

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Calories: 108
Servings: 4 people
An easy and delicious way to serve Romano Beans when they’re at their summer peak!

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound fresh Romano beans ends and strings removed
  • 3 slices bacon sliced crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped

Instructions 

  • In a wide saucepan, heat 1 to 2-inches of water to boil and add a large pinch of salt.
  • Add trimmed beans and blanch 3 or 4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until nearly crisp. Add shallots; cook and stir until shallots have softened. Drain all but one tablespoon of fat.
  • Add Romano beans to skillet with bacon and shallots; cook and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve.

Notes

Romano beans are also called ‘flat beans’ or Italian flat beans.

Nutrition

Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 14.4mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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31 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    5 stars
    The shallots carmelized so beautifully on a slow heat, I think I might use even more next time — and the beans and bacon were very delicious together –tender, flavorful. I will make this again. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, Chris! So glad you enjoyed them.

  2. Elise says:

    I wish I could pos a photo in the comment. This recipe is sooooo yummy! It can turn even the hardest heart of people to hate green beans! Thank you so much!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these, Elise!

  3. Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says:

    I’ve never seen these beans, but I will definitely be on the lookout for them now! Your description of them sounds wonderful and I love that this recipe really lets their flavor shine.

    1. Marissa says:

      They’re so good! Thank you, Faith. xo

  4. Allie says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had this kind of bean before! I will definitely have to look out for them. They sound fantastic with bacon and shallot, but then, what wouldn’t be??? 😉

    1. Marissa says:

      Right? Shallots and bacon are pretty amazing ingredients. And these beans – do look out for them, Allie. They’re so good! 🙂

  5. Joanne says:

    We got Romano beans in our CSA last year, but I haven’t been able to find them anywhere this year! Love this use of them. Such a lovely summer side!

    1. Marissa says:

      We can’t always find them either. I always feel like we’ve won some kind of prize when we do. 🙂