Make perfect Sautéed Green Beans every time, with this perfectly customizable recipe. Crisp-tender green beans are blanched (or not, it’s up to you!) and then sautéed in lots of butter, onion, and garlic.
The Best Way to Make Flavorful Green Beans on the Stove
Skillet cooking is one of my favorite cooking methods, and green beans are one of my favorite vegetables, so you can probably see why I’m crazy about this recipe! But even if you’re not obsessed with skillets and green beans, you will be obsessed with this recipe once you try it. I guarantee it. These green beans are so easy to make, and turn out perfectly crisp-tender and buttery every time.
So if you are looking for new ways to serve up an old favorite, or just need to make sure that you get those green veggies on the table, you’ve got to try this dish. It might just be your new favorite! With tons of garlicky flavor and an ultra-simple, ultra-versatile prep, you really can’t go wrong.
(And if you want to check out some other easy ways to use green beans, make sure to take a gander at this simple recipe for Air Fryer Green Beans and this one for Roasted Green Beans. And for Thanksgiving, this green bean casserole made from scratch is an all-time favorite!)
What Are the Benefits of Eating Green Beans?
Like most vegetables, green beans are a healthy choice for a number of reasons. They provide fiber for your digestive tract, for one thing. They’re also high in folate (a B vitamin) which is especially important for a healthy pregnancy, and can also be good for balanced hormones. Green beans also provide Vitamin C, Vitamin A, manganese, and other nutrients. All of this, and they’re low in carbs as well!
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best, and I think this one is a perfect example. The list of ingredients is totally minimal, and you can practically count on having most of the items on hand at any given time.
- Fresh Green Beans: Wash them and trim off any tough ends.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted, whichever you like.
- Onion: Dice up a red, yellow, white, or sweet onion.
- Garlic: Mince it, or put it through a garlic press.
- Salt and Pepper: I like to use kosher salt and freshly ground pepper for this recipe.
- Fresh Parsley: This is optional, but minced fresh parsley makes a nice garnish.
How to Make Perfect Sautéed Green Beans, Step by Step
Let’s take a look at the cooking method for this recipe. It’s very simple, even if you include all of the optional steps.
- Optional Blanching. If you choose to blanch your green beans before sautéing, you’ll need to bring about 5 cups of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans, and let them cook for about 3 minutes. Drain them well.
- Optional Ice Water Bath: After blanching, you can plunge the drained green beans into an ice water bath to keep them really crispy. If you like them more tender, just leave them drained but don’t ice them.
- Cook the Onion and Garlic. Next, heat up some butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add your onions and cook them until they’re softened and translucent. This should take 5 – 7 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for another 30 seconds or so, to release the fragrance of the garlic.
- Sauté the Green Beans. If you placed the green beans in an ice water bath, drain them well. Add the green beans to your skillet, and let them sauté for 7 – 9 minutes. You want them to fry a bit.
- Enjoy! Transfer the sautéed green beans to a serving dish, or just serve them from the skillet. Top with parsley for a garnish if you like. Serve immediately.
Not only is this an incredibly easy dish, it’s also very easy to customize. Here are just a few tips on the different ways you can make it:
- To Blanch or Not to Blanch: Blanching gives the beans a better final texture and color, and they won’t have to cook as long in the skillet. If you don’t care about the color and want the green beans to be more tender, you can skip the blanching step and cook them longer in the skillet.
- Ice, Ice… Maybe: Personally, I blanch my green beans, but I skip the ice water bath. I like my green beans in that perfect (to me) in-between spot of crisp and tender, and this seems to create that texture very reliably.
- Garlic: When you make this recipe, don’t skip the garlic! It’s key to a really flavorful dish.
(Note: If you want extra-gender green beans, then you may be looking for more of a Southern-style smothered green bean recipe. This recipe for Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon is how my granny always made hers. The green beans are cooked in rendered bacon fat until they are extra tender.)
This simple side dish really does go with just about anything, from pasta to chicken to beef. Here are a few easy dinners the whole family will love!
- Salmon Patties: Easy, healthy, and flavorful, these Crispy Salmon Patties are a family-pleasing favorite.
- Chicken Drumsticks: I often find these on sale at the store, which is great – all the more reason to make these incredible Crispy Brown Sugar Air Fryer Chicken Legs! You won’t be able to resist them. Or go all out with my favorite recipe for the best Oven Baked Chicken!
- Ham: Green beans and ham are a mouthwatering combo. And when you make ham using this easy Crockpot Ham method, it’s almost completely hands-off, while still being juicy and full of flavor.
Storing and Reheating Instructions
Store these in the refrigerator in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
To reheat, use a skillet on the stovetop again if possible. In a pinch, they can be reheated in the microwave, but that may make them softer.
Can I Freeze Sautéed Green Beans?
Yes, definitely! Freeze your cooled sautéed green beans in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
- 2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Freshly minced parsley, optional, for garnish
- Optional blanching: In a large stock pot, bring 5 cups salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook them for 3 minutes. Drain the green beans.
- Optional ice water bath: If you like your green beans to stay really crispy, drain them in a colander and then plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. If you like them more tender, you can simply drain them and leave them in the pot.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Drain the green beans from their ice water bath (if you did this step) and then add them to the skillet. Cook for about 7 – 9 minutes, or until they begin to sizzle and fry.
- Serve immediately. Top with freshly-minced parsley for garnish, if desired.
- Why blanch the green beans? Blanching gives the beans a better final texture and color, since they won’t have to cook as long in the skillet. If you don’t care about the color and want the green beans to be more tender, skip the blanching step and cook them longer in the skillet.
- Personally, I blanch my green beans – but I skip the ice water bath step. I like my green beans in that perfect in-between spot of crisp and tender, and this seems to create that texture for me very reliably.
- Store these in the refrigerator in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. Freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating. To reheat, use a skillet on the stovetop again if possible. In a pinch, they can be reheated in the microwave.
More Green Side Dishes
- Crockpot Green Bean Casserole
- Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Green Bean Salad
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Loaded Pea Salad
- Cheesy Creamed Green Beans
- Best Creamed Spinach
- Creamy Baked Brussel Sprouts
- Easy Green Bean Casserole Recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.