These 10-minute sautéed green beans with garlic (skillet green beans) are tender in the middle and lightly blistered outside for a simple, fuss-free, nutritious, and super tasty side dish! Gluten-free, low-carb, vegan, paleo, whole30, etc.
It’s easy to avoid struggling to come up with quick, easy, and delicious side dishes when you have an arsenal of simple sauteed veggie recipes to hand. Like sauteed sugar snap peas, asparagus, and these 5-minute sautéed green beans with garlic!
All you require for this garlic sauteed green beans recipe is just 4 base ingredients (including fresh or frozen green beans) and about 10 minutes. When cooked, the beans are a vibrant green with a perfect tender-crisp texture, a lightly blistered exterior, and a garlicky flavor to die for.
Even better, though, there are plenty of ways to adapt the recipe with different seasonings, add-ins, and more, to perfectly pair the skillet green beans with your meal of choice. It’s quick, simple, fuss-free, healthy, and tastes delicious. What’s not to love about this easy green bean recipe?
What’s in This Post
You need just 4 ingredients (plus oil) to prepare these delicious sauteed green beans with garlic.
- Green beans: Use green beans (string beans/snap beans) with firm pods and bright green color, free from wrinkles, for the best results. You can also use frozen green beans (check the FAQs below for the cooking method).
French green beans (haricot verts) and purple string beans will also work following this method.
- Olive oil: Or another neutral cooking oil.
- Garlic: I recommend using fresh garlic cloves though garlic powder will work in a pinch. Also, roasted garlic is always amazing when you have some to hand. Adjust the amount to taste.
- Salt & Black pepper: Season to taste. I recommend using sea salt or kosher salt for the best flavor.
How to Cook Fresh Green Beans
Follow a few simple steps to prepare this sauteed garlic green beans recipe in no time! I will show you how to cook fresh green beans on stove.
Do You Have to Trim Green Beans?
Rinse the green beans. I find it easiest to do this in a colander and then dry them with a clean kitchen towel. Then, it’s time to trim (also called “topping and tailing”) the green beans.
To do so, grab a handful of the green beans and ensure the ends are lined up. Then, hold the pile while you use a sharp knife to slice off the tough ends. At the same time, remove any tough strings (the membrane running down). If wanted, chop off the tops as well.
How Long to Saute Fresh Green Beans?
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Once hot, add the green beans and sauté for between 5-7 minutes (or up to 10 minutes for more tender results). Cook stirring them often.
How long to cook fresh green beans depends on your desired tenderness.
Then, add the garlic (minced or sliced) and salt and pepper, and sauté for a further minute or two.
When ready, the sauteed garlic green bean pods should be bright green but with a few blistered spots and a tender-crisp texture.
Taste and adjust the seasonings of the sauteed green beans, then serve them optionally with a drizzle of lemon juice or lemon zest!
How to Serve Sauteed Green Beans
Because of the fairly neutral (yet delicious) taste of these skillet green beans, they are a versatile side dish. They pair with almost any meal or special occasion, like dinner parties, cookouts, the holidays, etc.
- Salmon and other fish or shrimp.
- Chicken shish tawook, roasted, or grilled chicken, etc.
- Lebanese lamb kofta (and other meaty mains like ribs, pork chops, steak, etc.).
- Marinated or crispy tofu, tempeh, or seitan “chicken”.
- Mushroom meatballs and spaghetti or mashed potato.
- Grains like quinoa, brown rice, egg fried rice, etc.
- Mixed into or alongside pasta dishes like garlic lemon pasta, lasagna, gnocchi, etc.
- Over avocado toast.
Some recipes require you to blanch the green beans for 3 minutes. Then you add them into an ice bath (to halt the cooking process), then sauté them for 2-3 minutes.
The results are usually a more tender middle without overly browning the outside of the beans. However, I prefer my beans to be more tender-crisp and I find the additional step unnecessary.
Yes, I prefer to thaw the frozen beans first, then chuck them in the pan to sauté for just 2-3 minutes. They will be softer than cooking fresh green beans, but still delicious. You could also cook them from frozen.
Yes, though you won’t end up with the same crisp outside as canned green beans are already very tender. However, you can use a skillet to warm up the canned beans with the garlic and seasonings.
I wouldn’t recommend it, though it’s not technically impossible. Unlike sugar snap peas, consuming raw green beans can cause stomach upset such as bloating, nausea, and bowel issues due to their lectin content. Along with neutralizing the lectins, cooking green beans also helps improve the bioavailability of the antioxidants within the beans and improves their digestibility.
I love enjoying this fresh green bean recipe as a simple side dish because of how beneficial they are. Such as:
– Green beans are fat-free.
– An excellent source of dietary fiber.
– They contain several vitamins and miners. Including vitamins A, K, and C, plus calcium, iron, folate, and magnesium.
– Green beans contain several antioxidants/
– One cup of green beans contains just 30 calories.
Other Ways to To Cook Green Beans
- 10-Minute air fryer green beans
- Perfect Oven Roasted Green Beans
- Braised Green Beans (Stew)
- How to Boil Green Beans Perfectly
- French’s Green Bean Casserole
- How to Freeze Green Beans – The Complete Guide
If you try this simple sauteed green beans with garlic recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Simple Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic
- 9.5 oz green beans French green beans and purple string beans will also work; use fresh or frozen
- 0.35 oz garlic 2 cloves; adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil Or another neutral cooking oil. i.e.., avocado oil.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- lemon juice when serving, optional
- Rinse the green beans. I find it easiest to do this in a colander and then dry them with a clean kitchen towel. Then trim the beans (also called "topping and tailing"). To do so, grab a handful of the green beans and ensure the ends are lined up. Then, hold the pile while you use a sharp knife to slice off the tough ends. Remove any tough strings (the membrane running down). If wanted, you can chop the tops as well.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add the green beans and sauté for between 5-7 minutes (or up to 10 minutes for more tender results), stirring them often.
- Add the garlic (minced or sliced) and salt and pepper, and sauté for a further minute or two.When ready, the sauteed garlic green bean pods should be bright green but with a few blistered spots and a tender-crisp texture.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings of the sauteed green beans, then serve them optionally with a drizzle of lemon juice!
- Make ahead: You can rinse, dry, and de-string the green beans 2-3 days in advance and store them in an airtight container. Store: Allow the sauteed green beans with garlic to cool and then store in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.Freeze: Spread the sauteed green beans across a baking tray in a single layer, not touching, and freeze until solid. Then transfer the beans to a freezer-safe airtight container or Ziplock bag for 4-6 months. Note that they will be soft upon thawing, so not everyone will enjoy the texture.Reheat: Reheat the leftovers in a skillet, optionally with a small amount of oil or butter, for the best texture. Microwaves will work, too, but the garlic sauteed green beans will become soft.
- To save time: You can purchase the green beans already trimmed.
- Cutting the beans: Feel free to slice the beans in half or thirds if preferred.
- If the beans are rubbery/mushy: Skillet green beans are rubbery (squeaky) when undercooked. When overcooked, they can become mushy. So monitor them while cooking.
- Use the right pan: Use a wide pan to sauté the green beans evenly and help them blister rather than steam.
- Adjust the cooking time: Based on how tender you want the sauteed green beans to be on the inside.
- For softer beans: Either blanch them first or cook them with a splash of water and the lid on for 3-4 minutes to steam before removing the lid and allowing them to cook with oil/butter to sauté.
- Onion/shallots: Thinly sliced and sauteed along with the green beans.
- Lemon: Use fresh lemon to drizzle over the beans for added brightness. Add some lemon zest for a citrus flavor boost in the lemon garlic green beans.
- Butter: For a richer flavor, stir in some melted butter when serving the sauteed green beans with garlic. For more flavor, use compound butter or roasted garlic butter.
- Red pepper flakes: To add some spice. Adjust the amount to taste.
- Parmesan cheese: To sprinkle over before serving. Nutritional yeast will work as a vegan alternative (or a dairy-free parmesan block).
- Sesame green beans: Use 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil and throw in a tablespoon of lightly toasted sesame seeds. For even more flavor, combine a tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce, honey, and water as a “sauce” for the pan-fried green beans.
- Feta cheese/blue cheese: (Or vegan feta/blue cheese) To crumble over the garlic string beans when serving.
- Other seasonings:
- Herbs: Parsley or basil could garnish the sauteed string beans recipe for an extra fresh element.
- Toasted nuts: Add slivered almonds, pine nuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, etc., in the last 2 minutes of cooking the pan-fried green beans.
- Dried cranberries: Delicious when combined with pecans to serve these skillet green beans as a Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.
- Balsamic: Just a teaspoon or two to add a tangy flavor.