This quick and easy side dish made with fresh green beans is perfect for a weeknight and also pairs well as a delicious healthy side for holiday meals. Green beans are a very nutritious vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. In this simple skillet recipe, we’re going to show how to make sautéed green beans using just a few basic ingredients. These crunchy green beans are a great side dish to serve with braised short ribs or gigli bolonese.
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What are Green Beans?
Green beans are a type of vegetable that is related to the legume family. They are typically long and thin, and have a crispy texture and are also called string beans and snap beans. They are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C and manganese. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including sautéing, boiling, steaming, roasting and stir frying.
Green beans also provide antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and other diseases. Consuming them may help improve blood sugar in people with diabetes.
How to Choose Fresh Green Beans
When shopping for green beans, choose those that are tender and stiff with a snap when broken. Avoid limp beans and very tough beans that won’t bend at all. The beans should be a bright green color and not have any brown spots.
Why Not Just Use Canned Green Beans?
Can we discuss the texture!? No? Ok. Well, canned green beans are just not as healthy as fresh green beans. They have a lot of salt and other chemicals in them that may not good for you. While canned green beans cost less than fresh green beans, it’s not a significant difference. We think a few cents more is definitely worth the additional health benefits. Always go for fresh beans first.
Ingredients Needed For Skillet Green Beans
Fresh Green Beans – washed and trimmed and patted dry with paper towels
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – You can also use avocado or non-GMO canola oil
Fresh Garlic – Minced. We don’t suggest using garlic powder or pre-made garlic paste. Fresh is so much better!
Fresh Lemon Juice – Bottled lemon juice is fine as well
Coarse Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper
How to Cook Skillet Green Beans
Wash the beans in cool water and then trim off the ends using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. You can do this by snapping them off with your fingers or using a knife. If the beans are very long, you can cut them in half or thirds so they will be easier to eat.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. We used a large cast iron skillet. Then add green beans and cook for 5-6 minutes until they are tender but still slightly crispy. Be sure to stir the beans occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan and burn.
Add garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and any other seasonings you’d like and cook for an additional 1 minute being sure not to let the garlic burn. Serve immediately.
How to Store Uncooked Fresh Green Beans
Green beans can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Just place them in a baggie or container with some moisture, like a damp paper towel, to keep them fresh. You can also freeze green beans for up to eight months. Just blanch them first by boiling for three minutes then shocking in ice water. This helps preserve their color and texture. Then, dry them off and place them in a freezer-safe bag before storing in the freezer.
How to Store Cooked Green Beans
Store leftover cooked green beans in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Other Ways Cook Green Beans
Boiling or Steaming: Green beans can also be boiled or steamed. Boiling is when you cook the green beans in water that has been brought to a boil while steaming is when you place the green beans on a steamer basket over simmering water. Both methods cook the green beans quickly while preserving their nutrients.
Roasting: Roasted green beans are cooked in the oven at a high temperature, typically 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to bring out their natural sweetness and make them slightly crispy. To roast green beans, toss them in a little oil or butter then season with salt, pepper and any other desired spices. Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring a few times during cooking.
What to Serve with Green Beans
Green beans pair well with a variety of main dishes including chicken, beef, pork and fish. They also go well with rice, potatoes and other vegetables. A few of our favorites are:
- Herb Roasted Salmon
- Oven Baked Sticky Ribs
- Braised Short Ribs
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- Baked Lemon Garlic Chicken and Rice
What are some tips for cooking the perfect green beans?
- Look for bright green beans that are tender and stiff with a snap when broken.
- Avoid limp beans and very tough beans that won’t bend at all.
- If using fresh green beans, wash them thoroughly and trim off the ends. You can also cut them into smaller pieces if desired.
- Remember Green beans can be cooked in a variety of ways including sautéing, boiling, steaming and roasting.
- To make sure your green beans are cooked perfectly, use a kitchen timer and cook for the recommended amount of time depending on the cooking method you’re using. For example, boil green beans for three to five minutes or roast in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes.
- Once they’re done cooking, season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add other spices and ingredients like red pepper flakes, paprika and parmesan cheese.
Can you eat raw green beans?
Yes, you can eat raw green beans but they may be a bit tough and not as crisp as when they are cooked. If you do choose to eat them raw, we recommend adding them to a salad or using them as a dipping vegetable with your favorite dip.
How many calories are in green beans?
One cup of raw green beans has only 30 calories.
What is the nutritional value of green beans?
Green beans are a good source of vitamins A, C and K as well as fiber and manganese. They also contain antioxidants that can help protect against cancer and other diseases. Consuming green beans may help improve blood sugar in people with diabetes.
We hope you enjoyed this easy skillet green beans recipe. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Happy cooking!
Easy Skillet Green Beans
- 8 oz fresh green beans, washed, trimmed and dried
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- coarse kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Wash the beans in cool water and then trim off the ends.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil to the pan.
- Add the green beans to the pan and sauté for 5-6 minutes until they are tender but still crispy.
- Add garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice and cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Season to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!
I love how you are using a skillet for the green beans instead of the typical baking in the oven method. These are delicious!
These look so tasty! Looking forward to trying them🙂
Perfect for a thanksgiving side dish!
Easy and delicious. The lemon is a nice touch.
What a great side dish, these beans look fresh and easy. Perfect to whip up for the holidays 🙂
These green beans are so delicious! Can’t wait to make them again!