Proper Green Beans are just minutes away. See how to cook green beans in just 15 minutes plus 7 different flavor variations!
Green beans are one of those side dishes that I can never get tired of. Especially when they’re dressed up in different ways. Green Beans are so nutritious and SO versatile—you can cook them up to compliment any main dish. Check out my flavor variations below!
What is the best way to cook fresh green beans?
For me, the best way to cook these beans is to let their fresh, nutritious flavor shine. That’s why I like this basic Skillet Green Beans recipe. The beans are the star of the dish, and they are simply dressed with a small amount of butter, salt, and pepper.
How to cook fresh green beans?
First, you want to get your skillet nice and hot. I preheat mine on medium-high heat with a little bit of vegetable oil. Once the oil starts to smoke ever so slightly, I know it’s time to add the beans. I like to have the beans cook in the super hot skillet until a few of them get browned spots on them. Once I see that happening then I know it’s time to reduce the heat, add water, and cover the skillet with a lid to steam the beans. After a few minutes, I take the lid off of the skillet and continue to cook the beans until the water evaporates and they’re crisp-tender.
Well, it’s when the green beans have reached that happy place of still crisp but cooked and tender. In my opinion, it’s the only way to eat these beans!
Green Beans Nutrition:
Green beans don’t just taste good, they’re good for you, too! They’re a good source of minerals and vitamins that your body needs like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and more! Plus, in 1 cup of steamed green beans, you’ll have just 32 calories!
How do you make green beans taste good?
For me, these beans shine on their own. BUT I have played around with a few different flavor variations. Below are some of my favorites.
Skillet Green Beans – Flavor Variations:
- Pearl Onions – Before cooking the beans, sauté 1 cup of pearl onions in butter and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
- Spiced Walnuts – add in some walnuts that were toasted with butter, cayenne pepper, and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Bacon – Everything tastes better with bacon, right?! Cook up and crumble 3 strips of bacon, and then use the bacon drippings to cook the green beans in, YUM!
- Almandine – Mix the cooked beans with 1/3 cup of toasted sliced almonds and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
- Garlic – When you add the butter to the skillet in the recipe below, also add 3 garlic cloves that have been peeled and pressed through a garlic press.
- Dijon – When you add the butter to the skillet in the recipe below, add 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, too.
- Lemon Pepper – Replace the water in my recipe below with lemon juice and add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
Which flavor variations did I miss? Let me know down in the comments below!
Cook’s Note – Sautéed Green Beans:
- Leftover beans will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do note that they will lose their bright green color as they sit in the refrigerator as well as when they are re-heated.
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- 1 pound green beans
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tablespoon butter cut into 2 pieces
- salt & pepper
- Rinse, drain, and pat dry the green beans. Trim the end off of each green bean.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the green beans and 1/8 teaspoon of salt and shake the green beans into an even layer. Cook the green beans, stirring occasionally, until spotty brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and add the water, cover, and cook the green beans until they are bright green but still crisp about 2-3 minutes.
- Uncover the pan, add the butter, and increase the heat to high, and continue to cook until the water evaporates and the beans are crisp-tender, about 1-2 minutes longer.
- Season the beans with salt and pepper, and then serve.