How to Cook Fresh Green Beans


fresh green beans

Forgive me if a post on how to cook fresh green beans seems elementary, but I had never cooked fresh green beans in my life until a few months ago. (See also: How to Cook Fresh Brussels Sprouts)

Now I can't stop making them, and Jordan swears he could eat green beans every single night. That's a recommendation if I ever heard one. Cooking fresh green beans is so easy and so delicious, I just can't believe I haven't started making them sooner. 

Here's the best way I've found to cook the most delicious fresh green beans! (Recipe adapted from my mother-in-law.)

First things first: don't buy the green beans in a can. Just don't do it. Buy the real green beans from the actual produce section. You can buy the actual real green beans from a farmer's market or land of good and plenty such as Whole Foods, or you can get a bag that feeds 2-3 people for less than $3. Or a giant bag  of green beans that will fill a family for $6. (If you get a giant bag and you're only one or two people, just toss the rest in the freezer until you're ready to cook them!)

Fill a large pot with water and get it boiling. Dump the fresh green beans in and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Cook just until they become tender but are still a bit crunchy. The point is not to cook the green beans all the way but just to loosen them up a bit. The main cooking will happen in a skillet. 
cook fresh green beans
(The reason you boil them first, as I learned from my mother-in-law, is that if you haven't, cooking in a skillet alone takes a long time. It's a similar idea to boiling potatoes or carrots before putting them in a stew. And since you aren't using salt or anything else, you don't really even need to wash the pot after you're done with it, so the cleanup is easy.)

While the green beans are boiling, heat up a large skillet with some olive oil. Just enough to help the beans to not stick to the bottom of the pan, maybe 1 tablespoon. You can use butter too, if you want. Or both.

When the green beans are starting to get tender in the water, drain them and add them to the hot skillet. Sprinkle on kosher salt (you can use regular salt, but it will not be as good, trust me), fresh-ground black pepper (again, you can use regular pepper, but it won't be as good), and some garlic salt. I don't have measurements; just eyeball it. Trust your Jedi instincts.

*Note: this would also be a good time to add in onion power, garlic powder, crushed fresh garlic, chopped onion, bacon, or any other spice your heart desires. We like our beans simple with salt, pepper, and garlic, but feel free to get adventurous.

Mix well and then cover the skillet and let the fresh green beans steam for a few minutes. Turn every so often until they begin to turn brown. This process should take no more than 10-12 minutes, depending on how many beans you're cooking and how hot the skillet is. (You also don't need to steam them if you don't have a skillet with a lid.)

When you think they're done, try one just to make sure. The green beans should be tender, limp almost, and a bit charred on some sides. And oh so deliciously salty.
delicious fresh green beans

Serve as a side with any meal! This is what I served it with most recently: 
-chicken marinated in a teriyaki/garlic sauce (& cooked on my electric George Foreman grill)
-long grain & wild rice a roni 
-Pioneer Woman's crash hot potatoes 

These fresh green beans would also go great with my recipe for pork chops & stuffing!

Don't forget to check out more of my recipes on my recipe page
p.s. You might also like: How to Cook Fresh Brussels Sprouts

henning love said...

oh i agree definitely not from a can, fresh is better and fresh provides more nutrients than cans, cans no way!

Katie said...

yum!! I can enjoy vegetables if they are cooked like that!

Anonymous said...

Is it bad that I REALLY needed this recipe because I failed last time I tried to make them?! Ha! I just boiled them and they were so flavorless! I've already added green beans to my grocery list for next week! So glad you linked up with us! :)

Claire@MyDevising said...

I was literally going to search the web this week to figure out how to cook fresh green beans. We'd done it before but I was never a fan of how they turned out. This sounds perfect though!

Jessica Miller said...

I am SO glad that you posted this! I don't know why, but I've been reluctant to cook "FRESH" green beans.. I've been doing the can thing! This sounds so good and easy.. trying soon! :)

Thanks for linking up! xoxo

Jordon said...

Oh I love this! I normally just buy the steam bags, but my fiance HATES them. Maybe he will appreciate these a little more :)

LeAnna said...

Yes, yes, yes, so good. I like to use a little sesame oil, garlic and ginger on mine. Kind of like those beans you get at the Chinese restaurants!

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I love green beans but have never made them this way. Will be trying this the next time I make them!

Caroline @ In Due Time said...

I LOVE green beans - making them tonight! It's so good if you slice up and saute onion with them too :) nom nom

Unknown said...

We grew them in our garden for the first time this year. Do I cut the ends off before boiling? Never made them fresh before!

The Lady Okie said...

Good question! I always cut/snap off the ends, but I really don't think you have to.

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

I just had to check out this "famous" post after you mentioned it :) I love fresh green beans. We grow them in our garden and I swear it seems like we eat them every day for months. I've never done this method (I usually just steam) so this will be another I will have to try!

Amie said...

I like mushy veggies, no crunch, so would this still work??