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Sauteed Green Beans

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These sautéed green beans are made with just 5 simple ingredients. Tender green beans are sauteed in butter, garlic, salt, and pepper, all of which enhance the fresh flavors of the green beans perfectly. You’ll have these cooked in less than 10 minutes!

A frying pan with sauteed green beans and a wood spoon.

Green Beans With Garlic

Now that it’s the height of summer and the freshest vegetables are available at local farmer’s markets every week, I am obsessed with easy ways to cook them. Green beans are one of the cheapest veggies you can purchase, they’re kid friendly and so incredibly easy to cook up in a frying pan.

If you choose fresh green beans, you really don’t need much to enhance the flavors. A little bit of butter and garlic can really take beans to the next level with flavor.

I love eating a large serving of green beans on the days that I’m too lazy to make a salad to go along with a meal. And this recipe is the perfect way to cook them.

This is one of those recipes where less is more. There are only 5 ingredients, but the flavors really shine through. And really, you can use this easy sautee method to cook all of your summer vegetables including fresh asparagus.

If you’re looking for another green bean recipe, check out my baked green beans with crispy parmesan, my bacon garlic green beans, or this easy air fryer green beans recipe. You can also make garlic butter yellow beans too!

Bowls of chopped green beans, butter, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s an overview of what you’ll need. Scroll to the bottom of blog post for the full recipe card.

  • GREEN BEANS (STRING BEANS) – Use fresh, bright green beans that are firm to the touch. If beans aren’t in season, you can also use frozen green beans for this method, just skip steaming them and go straight to sauteeing.
  • BUTTER – Use salted butter for the best flavor. You can also use a neutral cooking oil like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or canola oil, but the flavor will be a bit different.
  • GARLIC – fresh garlic that’s finely minced works best for the recipe, but garlic powder can also be used.
  • SALT AND PEPPER – You can season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Optional Toppings

Feel free to add some extra toppings for more flavor. You can try freshly grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of sesame oil with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, crispy bacon, or sliced almonds.

How To Make Sauteed Green Beans

Fresh green beans don’t need a lot of work to make them taste great! This quick cooking method will let the natural flavors shine through.

Here’s an overview of how to make it with the full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post:

  1. PREP – First you’ll need to wash and trim off the ends of the beans. I prefer to use kitchen scissors for this.
  2. BLANCH GREEN BEANS – The beans will cook faster if you give them a quick blanching in some water. Add green beans to a large frying pan or skillet. Then pour enough water to create about 1″ worth on the bottom.
  3. You don’t want the water to be too high that you can’t carry the pot over to the sink to drain. A little bit goes a long way. Next, bring the water to a boil and reduce to let simmer. The beans will be cooked in 2-5 minutes. You’ll know they’re done by poking with a fork. Add the green beans to a strainer and drain the water.
  4. COOK GARLIC – Return the frying pan back to the stove. Now add minced garlic and the butter over medium-high heat. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. SAUTEE BEANS – Add back in the green beans and sprinkle and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together, and cook green beans for 2-3 minutes, until beans begin to brown a little.
  6. SERVE – Scoop them onto a serving plate and serve immediately. Drizzle some lemon juice if you like!

How To Store Leftovers

Here are some tips to store them if you have leftovers:

  • REFRIGERATE – Add cooked green beans to an airtight container in the fridge. They can be stored for up to 4 days.
  • REHEATING – Microwave for a few minutes, or add them back to the frying pan with a bit of butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until heated through.
  • FREEZE – Cooked beans can be frozen if placed in a large ziploc or airtight container. I recommend wrapping them tightly to remove as much air as possible. Air is what causes freezer burn. Thaw them in the fridge overnight or in the microwave on defrost.

How To Store Leftovers

Here are some tips to store them if you have leftovers:

  • REFRIGERATE – Add cooked green beans to an airtight container in the fridge. They can be stored for up to 4 days.
  • REHEATING – Microwave for a few minutes, or add them back to the frying pan with a bit of butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until heated through.
  • FREEZE – Cooked beans can be frozen if placed in a large ziploc or airtight container. I recommend wrapping them tightly to remove as much air as possible. Air is what causes freezer burn. Thaw them in the fridge overnight or in the microwave on defrost.
Close up of cooked green beans and a wood spoon.

Recipe Tips

  • Trim the ends of the green beans with kitchen scissors to help save time. I always find this is the easiest method.
  • Only steam until green beans are crisp tender. You should be able to poke them with a fork but not too easily. If you steam them too long they will become mushy.
  • The garlic may burn if you cook too high of temperature. Be sure to cook at medium heat and scoop it on top of the green beans as they are sauteeing.
  • Serve these right away. They taste best when they’re hot, straight from the pan. Cover them with foil if you can’t serve them immediately. This will help keep them warm.
  • Season cooked green beans with salt and pepper just before serving. A sprinkle of fresh lemon juice can add brightness to the flavor too!

Can I use frozen green beans?

Yes, but be sure to cook them a little bit before adding the butter and garlic. The ingredients won’t stick to frozen green beans. That means there won’t be much flavor. Also, you don’t need to steam them as they have already softened. Just go straight to sauteeing.

Can I use canned green beans?

Yes, you can, however the flavor won’t be the same. The texture of the beans will be softer and not very crispy. But the recipe will still work.

A plate of green beans with lemon wedges. A plate of baked chopped sweet potatoes beside.

Whether you need a quick recipe to cook up those fresh green beans you just bought, or an easy idea for a dinner side dish, this sauteed green beans recipe is truly one of the easiest and best ways to cook up some green beans.

Just give them a quick steam in water in the frying pan, then drain them. Next, add some butter and garlic to the pan along with the steamed green beans.

Toss them together with salt and pepper and cook for just a couple of minutes until the edges begin to crispen. Serve while they’re still hot and enjoy!

If you need some more easy side dish ideas, be sure to check out my garlic parmesan carrots, roasted cabbage steaks, frying pan hash browns, or rosemary garlic crispy potatoes.

Cast iron skillet with sauteed green beans and a wood spatula.

Sautéed Green Beans Recipe

Cooking green beans couldn't be easier with this method. Only 5 ingredients needed!
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 24 oz fresh green beans - ends trimmed
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Add the trimmed green beans to a large frying pan. Fill the pan with 1" of water. Bring water to a boil and let green beans cook until they're soft when poked with a fork, about 5 minutes. Drain the water and add beans to a strainer.
    Green beans steaming in water in a skillet.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to the frying pan over medium heat. Cook garlic 1 minute.
    Butter and garlic in a skillet.
  • Add back the drained green beans and sprinkle the salt and pepper overtop. Toss everything together. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until some of the pieces get a bit crispy. Scoop onto a plate and serve.
    Green beans tossed with seasonings in a skillet.

Nutrition

Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 369mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1437IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per serving.

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