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Sauteed green beans with garlic are quick and easy to make and super delicious. The fresh green beans (string beans!) are pan-fried until blistered in a few spots then tossed with a little garlic. Yum!
If you love green beans with garlic, also try our garlic butter sugar snap peas!
Table of contents
- Why these sauteed green beans are about to become your favorite
- How to prepare green beans
- Ingredients for sautéed green beans
- How to sauté fresh green beans
- Safety tip
- Can I use frozen green beans?
- What can I season green beans with?
- What to serve with this sauteed green beans recipe
- Favorite green bean recipes
This green bean recipe is so easy to make that it almost doesn't deserve to taste so good. It's our go-to easy sauteed green beans recipe because it's super fast to make (10 minutes!) and they go with nearly every dinner we make. You'll love them, too!
Why these sauteed green beans are about to become your favorite
- The super short (4-ingredient!!) list keeps the focus on the tender green beans.
- Cooking green beans over high heat on your stovetop gives them extra flavor. We're looking at you, deliciously dark blistered spots.
- It's also the fastest way to cook green beans. Only 5 minutes of prep and 5 minutes of cooking and your new favorite side dish will be ready to eat.
- Sauteed green beans are the most versatile side dish. Pick a protein, make these beans, and you'll have dinner. We love them with our perfect baked chicken breasts, juicy baked pork chops, or pan-fried pork chops.
- Green beans are super healthy. They're high in fiber, low in calories, and full of nutrition.
- Sauteeing them with a little olive oil keeps this recipe extra healthy!
- It's a great way to add green beans to your dinner repertoire!
How to prepare green beans
Fresh green beans (also called string beans) are easy to prepare. Most green beans are now stringless, which means that all you have to do to prepare them is cut off the tip.
But if you've bought heirloom green beans they likely will have strings. In this case, use a paring knife to snap the end off then pull it back to remove the string.
Or you can buy bags of prepared green beans at most grocery stores to save a little time.
Ingredients for sautéed green beans
This flavor-packed green bean recipe has surprisingly few ingredients. And if you have green beans in your fridge, you're almost certain to have the other three ingredients in your kitchen, too.
- Olive oil – we use extra virgin olive oil as we like the flavor and high smoke point. You could also use something more neutral-flavored like refined olive oil, canola oil, or avocado oil.
- Green beans – When we're in a hurry, we buy them washed and trimmed in bags; they're super convenient. Otherwise, look for bright green beans that are firm and don't have brown spots on them.
- Garlic – we use three cloves for lots of pungent garlic flavor.
- Salt – We like to use sea salt and the flavor isn't overpowering. If you're using table salt, you'll want to reduce the amount and season to taste.
How to sauté fresh green beans
Fresh green beans can be steamed, roasted, or sauteed. We like sauteéing (or pan frying) green beans as when steaming and roasting it's easy to overcook them.
When making sauteéd green beans you want a super hot pan. This way they'll end up getting blistered in a few spots. Dark blistered spots = lots of flavor!
Simply heat a pan over high heat then add the green beans and some oil at the same time. Cook them for about 5 minutes, tossing the pan a few times until they're bright green with yummy dark spots. That's it! In 5 minutes your sauteed string beans will be ready to eat!
If you've just washed your beans, make sure that they are dry before putting them into the super hot pan. Water and hot oil do not mix well and can cause dangerous splatters.
Can I use frozen green beans?
It's very hard to dry frozen green beans well enough to make them safe to cook over high heat. If you want to use green beans that you have in your freezer, cook them in a skillet over medium-high and cook them from frozen for about 8-10 minutes. Frozen green beans will have a softer texture and won't develop the tasty dark bits.
What can I season green beans with?
These garlic green beans are delicious just as the recipe is written. 99% of the time we don't change the recipe at all. But sometimes we switch things up. Once the green beans are cooked, you can toss them with:
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Chili flakes or Sriracha for some heat
- A sprinkle of parmesan cheese
- Some crispy bacon
- Toasted sliced almonds
- A little blue cheese
- Add butter to the pan and the end and let it melt over the beans.
- Or go simple with salt and pepper
What to serve with this sauteed green beans recipe
These green beans are so versatile that they go well with nearly everything. Some of our favorites are:
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Julia Child's Coq au Vin
- Juicy Baked Pork Chops
- Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts
- Roasted Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Italian Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Olives
Favorite green bean recipes
- Bacon Boursin Green Beans
- Green Beans and Mint Salad with Tahini Maple Dressing
- Green Beans with Garlic Scapes Aioli
- Long Green Beans with Sriracha and Anchovies
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb green beans (trimmed)
- 3 cloves garlic (very finely minced)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Heat a large pan over high heat. When it's hot, add the oil and green beans. Cook the green beans, tossing occasionally, until soft and starting to blister and turn black in a few spots, about 5 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 lb green beans
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook the beans for 1 minute more. Remove the pan from the heat and toss with the sea salt.3 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon sea salt
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our green bean recipes!
This recipe is part of our Best Spring Side Dishes series.