Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto

Vibrant green Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto on a white platter topped with baby arugula and Parmesan cheese.

These quick and easy Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto are the perfect side dish for any weeknight dinner or weekend dinner party. Whip up a quick Arugula Walnut Pesto while the beans cook, then finish with more arugula and Parmesan cheese.

While it’s no secret that I love cooking with dried beans (just type ‘beans’ in the search bar!), I also love fresh green beans. They’re delicious in this Zesty Green Bean Casserole with homemade mushroom sauce and so tasty steamed with butter and dill.

However, I find that cooking any vegetable (including green beans) in an air fryer is a game changer!

Vibrant green Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto on a white platter topped with baby arugula and Parmesan cheese.

Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto

These air fryer green beans aren’t your everyday green beans. They are bound to become one of your favourite air fryer recipes. If you already love beans, then I probably don’t have to convince you to try this great green bean recipe.

I’m speaking to the people that won’t make eye contact while passing on the green beans at the dinner table. You are the people who need give this recipe a try.

Vibrant raw green beans in an air fryer basket.

These green beans are tender without being mushy, crispy without being dry, and have a nice chewy texture without being tough. They taste amazing simply seasoned with salt and pepper. However a quick toss in pesto brings them up to a whole new level of flavour.

Cooking Vegetables in An Air Fryer

When you cook vegetables in an air fryer, you are essentially roasting them in a tiny hot convection oven. This appliance does not ‘fry with air’ as the name implies, nor does it make your dinner healthier. What it does is cooks the vegetables at a very high temperature in a small oven with great air circulation.

Ingredients required to make Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto.

Air fryer veggies cook quickly and maintain a moist interior while the outside becomes golden and crispy. Now, not all veggies need to get crispy (like peas for example). You can control the depth of colour/doneness by adjusting both cooking time and the temperature on your air fryer.

Not all air fryers are consistent with temperatures, air circulation, etc. Getting to know your air fryer is crucial to successful air fryer green beans. For example, these beans were in a 375 F Cosori (basket air fryer for 7 minutes. They are fully cooked with slightly crispy ends which is how I like them.

Vibrant green Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto on a white platter.

You may like them less crispy (cook at a lower temperature) or prefer fully crispy green beans (use a higher temperature setting). The great thing is that it’s so easy to check on vegetables while they are cooking in an air fryer. Just pop the drawer open and give one a squeeze. Or, steal one and bite it once it cools down.

There are so many reasons to cook vegetables in an air fryer:

  1. It’s quick. This dish is ready in under 10 minutes!
  2. Handsfree cooking. Enough said.
  3. No spitting oil frying pan mess to clean up.
  4. The big oven is freed up for roasts, etc.
  5. You don’t have to turn on the full size oven to roast vegetables. This is especially handy in smaller households.
  6. My husband loves using the air fryer so there’s less cooking for me to do (this is one reason specific to me!).
Vibrant green Air Fryer Pesto Green Beans with Pesto on a white platter topped with baby arugula and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto

Other than the ingredients for the Arugula Walnut Pesto, you’ll need fresh green beans and extra baby arugula and Parmesan cheese for finishing.

  • Green Beans
  • Baby Arugula
  • Fresh Basil
  • Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
  • Lemon
  • Walnuts
  • Garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Olive Oil

Choose fresh green beans that are firm and full. They shouldn’t have any spots or feel hollow. This recipe would also work with asparagus!

Vibrant green Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto on a white platter topped with baby arugula and Parmesan cheese.

Baby arugula is in the pesto and used as a final garnish. Choose baby arugula that has a bright green colour and crisp (not limp) leaves. Baby arugula has a light peppery flavour but it isn’t as spicy as fully grown arugula. Substitute with carrot greens, if you prefer.

You don’t have to use Parmesan Reggiano cheese. You can use any aged dry Italian cheese including Asiago, Pecorino Romano, or Grana Padano.

I prefer using walnuts in pesto in place of pine nuts, mostly because they are cheaper but still give the pesto a nice nutty flavour. You can use other nuts such as almonds, pistachios, or even sunflower seeds.

Use a bright and fresh tasting extra virgin olive oil to keep this pesto tasting fresh.

Vibrant green Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto on a white platter topped with baby arugula and Parmesan cheese.

How to Make Pesto in a Food Processor

While authentic Italian pesto is made using a mortar and pestle, you can also make it in a food processor. I use the small food processor bowl on my Cusinart processor as it is the perfect size. Place the walnuts, basil, 2 cups baby arugula, sea salt, lemon zest and juice into the small food processor bowl.

Process the ingredients together until they are finely chopped. Keep the motor running and drizzle in 4-6 tablespoons olive oil in through the chute.

A serving of Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto held by silver tongs.

How to Cook Green Beans in An Air Fryer

Wash and trim the green beans. Place them in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then toss the beans to coat.

Preheat a basket style air fryer to 375 F. Place the beans in a single layer in the air fryer basket then air fry green beans for 7-8 minutes. Toss the beans halfway through the total cook time.

Remove beans from the air fryer and place back in the large bowl. Add two tablespoons pesto and toss to coat.

To serve the air fried green beans: Arrange beans on a platter. Top with remaining baby arugula and use a potato peeler or large grater to add Parmesan cheese. Serve.

Pinterest image of raw green beans in an air fryer and Pesto Green Beans on a white platter.

If you make this Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto

Pesto Green Beans on a white platter topped with baby arugula and Parmesan cheese.

Air Fryer Green Beans with Pesto are an easy and tasty air fryer side dish that's perfect for any weeknight dinner or weekend dinner party. Whip up a quick Arugula Walnut Pesto while the beans cook, then finish with more arugula and Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 4 cups fresh arugula; divided
  • lemon; zested and juiced
  • 1 clove garlic; roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese; finely grated (plus more to shave over the dish)
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Wash and trim the green beans. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then toss to coat.
  2. In a food processor bowl, place the walnuts, basil, 2 cups baby arugula, sea salt, lemon zest and juice. Process the ingredients together until they are finely chopped.
  3. With the motor running, drizzle in 4-6 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Preheat basket style air fryer to 375 F.
  5. Cook the green beans for 7-8 minutes at 375 degrees. Toss the basket halfway through the total cook time.
  6. Remove beans from air fryer and place back in the large bowl. Add two tablespoons pesto and toss to coat.
  7. Arrange beans on a platter and top with remaining baby arugula.
  8. Use a potato peeler or large grater to finish with Parmesan cheese. Serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 376Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 723mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Share your dish pic on Instagram or Facebook and tag @dishnthekitchen (or #dishnthekitchen) in your post or story! Rate this recipe and leave a review to share your experience with others!

40 comments

  1. Terri

    Haha I love that – ‘this is for the people that won’t make eye contact when the green beans are passed around’. I can’t believe those people even exist – I LOVE green beans and never even thought of making them in my air fryer. Great idea! And I love adding pesto to them even more – yum!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I know they do because I was once one of them! My mom would can green beans and I just thought they were so disgusting lol. I would eat them fresh from the garden in the summer though.

  2. Michele

    My hubby loves it when I make these green beans. This is one veggie he doesn’t mind eating and asks for it. So good!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh that’s a relief! Well I hope he loves them in this recipe too. Pesto makes everything delicious.

  3. Lisa

    The pesto gives these green beans so much flavor! I could eat the whole plate myself!

    Reply

  4. Ann

    I have never tried combining green beans and pesto together. Love the idea! Cooking green beans in the air fryer is definitely the way to go!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Give this combo a try. I promise it’s delicious.

  5. susan | the wimpy vegetarian

    I love my air fryer, and love that you used it to make these beans. And that pesto would be great for so many things!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Awesome! Congrats on the air fryer. You’ll soon be as obsessed as I am.

  6. susan | the wimpy vegetarian

    The air fryer is just the BEST! This dish looks wonderful, and the pesto could be used for sooooo many things!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Obsessed with my air fryer! Thanks for popping by Susan.

  7. Lauren Michael Harris

    I never thought to use pesto on green beans before, but it turned out delicious! We will definitely make these green beans again and again!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Heck ya! Glad you loved this recipe Lauren.

  8. Amanda Mason

    Insanely delicious! These were so good! And easy to make in the air fryer. The family loved this dish!

    Reply

  9. Sharon

    This is another must-have green bean recipe to add to your collection. They come out perfectly cooked.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yep, it’s a keeper. Thanks for trying it Sharon.

  10. Amy Liu Dong

    A simple and easy but delicious dish to make for my family.
    I love it!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Exactly. Thanks for trying this green bean recipe Amy. Glad you loved it.

  11. Genevieve

    I love green beans and this is such a tasty way to make them. I love that you use parmesan cheese too, yummy!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      They are such a great combination and the cheese really finishes the dish.

  12. Marie-Pierre

    Lovely, simple and elegant dish! I’m a big fan of Air frying but never tried with green beans. This is going on the kids plate tonight! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You are welcome. Thank you so much for trying one of my recipes. Your kids will love them!

  13. Kristen

    We love air fryer beans, so it’s always great to find a new way to flavour them and this pesto is perfect, it’s so flavourful,

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I love pesto and I’ll use any excuse to include it in a dish. It goes really well with the beans and arugula.

  14. Lilly

    The pesto takes these green beans to the next level! They are so tasty!!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It sure does! Thanks for stopping by Lilly.

  15. Kara

    I love any excuse to use my air fryer and these green beans were perfect. I loved the texture!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Same here! The more dishes I make with it, the more I love it!

  16. nancy

    i never had green beans that are this tasty. pesto is a great pairing and the air fryer makes them extra crispy!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I honestly love pesto in so many dishes. Especially in the summer when I have so many herbs and greens!

  17. Keri

    Loved these green beans so much I could eat this as a main course. The arugula and Parmesan really add a wonderful touch.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Keri. Honestly, I could too. I especially love the pesto.

  18. Veronika

    Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables to make as a side – they’re so easy to prep! I really like them with pesto, this might be my new go-to!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      oh awesome! I’m so glad you love this easy air fryer recipe Veronika. Thanks for trying it out.

  19. Cathleen

    I love my air fryer, so I love that I can make this in it! I am obsessed with this, thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Ha!! I’m obsessed with my air fryer too. Welcome to the club.

  20. Colleen

    Green beans are a favorite side dish at my house and the air fryer is my favorite way to cook them. Your pesto addition is such a great way to jazz them up a little. and I’m looking forward to trying this recipe.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It’s just such a handy appliance. I think I might give one to all of my kids for Christmas. Enjoy the beans Colleen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe