Sautéed Green Beans
Crisp, fresh Sautéed Green Beans are an easy side dish that you’ll want to make again and again! This simple recipe is extremely versatile and perfect for both weeknight dinners and holiday meals.
Sautéed Green Beans
These sautéed green beans are a simple yet flavorful way to enjoy fresh green beans. Even green bean skeptics have been known to devour these green beans! Both their bright green color and their crisp-tender texture make these green beans especially appealing.
Why You’ll Love this Green Beans Recipe
- Flavor! Fresh garlic, salt and pepper add a pop of flavor that will keep everyone going back for more. By keeping the seasonings simple, we allow the natural sweetness of the fresh green beans to shine through.
- Short Ingredient List. You’ll need only three ingredients, plus salt and pepper to make this healthy side dish. All of the ingredients, except for the green beans, are pantry staples.
- Healthy. Green beans are a good source of fiber, as well as Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
- Versatile. They make a quick, easy and delicious side dish for any meal. Try them with Instant Pot Pork Chops, Baked Chicken Breast, and this favorite Salmon Recipe. Or enjoy them as a Thanksgiving side dish.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Fresh Green Beans. Green beans, often called string beans, are also called snap beans, French beans or haricot vert. They will have the best flavor and texture when you buy them in season and local (such as at a farmer’s market).
- Olive Oil: For sautéing.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic adds delicious flavor.
- Salt and Pepper: I like to use kosher salt or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
How to Cook Green Beans
Trim the stem ends off of the beans, either by snapping them off with your fingers or by cutting them off with a knife.
Blanch green beans. Place them in a pot of boiling water, cover the pot, and boil for 3 minutes. This step makes the green beans tender, which is difficult to do using only a skillet.
Ice bath. Immediately transfer the green beans to an ice bath. This step helps them to retain their bright green color.
Dry the green beans well with a clean kitchen towel.
Sauté. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
Season. Add the minced garlic, salt and pepper to the skillet and remove the pan from the heat. Stir for 30 seconds to allow the garlic to cook in the hot skillet. Then add any additional seasonings, such as grated Parmesan, red pepper flakes or fresh herbs. See the recipe variations below for lots of ideas!
- Buying fresh green beans: Look for green beans that have a bright green color and are free of blemishes or dark spots. The stems should look fresh and the beans should have a crisp snap when broken.
- Don’t overcook: When boiling or sautéing, cook them until just crisp-tender so that they’ll have a crisp, crunchy bite.
- Storage: Fresh green beans are best used soon after buying, but you can store them in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Make ahead: You can wash and trim the beans up to one day ahead and then cook them right before serving. Store leftovers for up to 2 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat them gently in a skillet with a little olive oil or in the microwave.
Here are some easy ways to change up the flavors in this green beans recipe:
- Cheese: Top with grated Parmesan, crumbled feta or goat cheese after cooking.
- Shallots: Sauté 1-2 sliced shallots along with the green beans.
- Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle on chopped fresh herbs before serving. Try basil, dill, parsley or thyme.
- Bacon: Top with cooked crumbled bacon.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Sprinkle on a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes for spice.
- Nuts: Serve sautéed green beans with slivered or sliced almonds or walnuts. Toast the nuts in a skillet for a few minutes to enhance their toasty, nutty flavor.
- Lemon: Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice or grate fresh lemon zest over the cooked green beans.
- Butter: Add richness with a pat of butter or Garlic Butter.
- Tomatoes: Toss the cooked green beans with halved cherry tomatoes. It’s an irresistible combination, especially if you add in sautéed shallots.
- Add a Sauce or Glaze: Serve with Balsamic Glaze or Chimichurri.
Simple Sautéed Green Beans Recipe
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or fine sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional, for serving: grated Parmesan cheese, pinch of red pepper flakes, find more ideas in the notes below
- Put about 2 inches of water in the bottom of a pot. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, wash the green beans and trim off the stem ends.
- Once the water comes to a boil, add the green beans, cover the pot with a lid, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Immediately use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the green beans to a bowl of ice water. Let them rest in the ice water for about 2 minutes, then place the green beans on a clean kitchen towel and dry them well.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the green beans to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the garlic, salt and pepper to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir for 30 seconds; the garlic will cook since the skillet will still be hot.
- Serve as is, or with grated Parmesan, red pepper flakes or as desired.