My Sautéed Green Beans are so quick and easy to whip up, and they taste amazing! Make these with fresh or frozen green beans for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any time you want some greens on your plate.
I know I don’t share too many side dishes here on the blog. Mainly because when I make dinner on a regular weeknight myself, I don’t want to deal with three or four different pots and pans going on.
So I’ll throw the sides on a sheet pan along with the mains, whip up a one pot dinner or add our veggies to a pot of soup. But for a holiday dinner like Thanksgiving or Christmas, or another special occasion? Well, sometimes it’s good to go all out and make a side dish in its own pan.
But this recipe for green beans? Ever since I shared my best tips for cooking fresh green beans, I’ve been wanting to share this uber-simple way I make sautéed green beans.
I know, I know, I know – nothing like grandma’s green bean casserole. But if you have a bunch of fresh (or frozen!) green beans around? This is one of the easiest ways to make them taste amazing!
How to Sauté Green Beans:
These Easy Sautéed Green Beans are a simple side dish that's quick to whip up and tastes amazing. Make it with fresh or frozen green beans for Thanksgiving, Christmas or anytime you want some greens on your plate.
- 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, (OR 1 pound frozen, not defrosted)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- Optional add-ins: 1 teaspoon mustard (I like whole grain Dijon here) and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Blanch green beans (see notes): Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl with ice cold water.
- Sauté: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add the beans, season with salt and pepper and sauté until softened to your taste, about 5 minutes.
- Season: Stir in the butter mustard and lemon juice (if using). Check for seasoning and serve warm.
Trimming the green beans: If you're using fresh beans, use kitchen shears to trim them in bunches. So much faster and easier than doing it with a knife!
Blanching the green beans: Blanching means you’ll only cook the beans for a couple of minutes, then lift them out with a slotted spoon and place them straight into a bowl filled with ice cold water.
This helps to make the green beans soft without having to sauté them until they are black on the outside. It also helps them keep their nice green color!
But you can sauté green beans without blanching - so just skip it if you're OK with firmer beans. I don’t mind a bit of crunch, but if you want your beans to be soft all the way, you pretty much have to cook them in salted water first.
Sautéing: Make sure to use medium heat, or the beans will blacken on the outside and stay too firm on the inside.
Seasoning: Our favorites are a pat of butter, some lemon juice and mustard – but feel free to adjust this according to your taste!
Green beans: Either use fresh ones, or use frozen. I still blanch frozen ones to flash-defrost them. If you sauté from frozen, they release a lot of water and tend to come out soggy.
Onion and garlic: If you don't have these fresh on hand, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead. I've been doing the same lately because of a picky eater, and the beans still taste delicious.
Mustard: If you’re not a fan of mustard, just leave it out. You can also use prepared mustard instead of wholegrain mustard if you don’t have it.
Butter: If you want to make this dairy free or ar otherwise opposed to butter (don't know why you would be, but to each their own 😉 ), you can just use olive oil instead.
Extras: Feel free to add chopped bacon for extra flavor and deliciousness. I often do this, but I wanted to keep the recipe as simple and basic as possible. Just cook it together with the onion and garlic.
You can also sprinkle fried onions over the top in the end.
How to use leftovers:
If you have leftovers after a big holiday meal, just cover and refrigerate the beans for up to 2 days.
OR chop them up and add them to a soup, pot pie or anything you're making with your leftover turkey ;-.)
Serving Size:4 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93 Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 3mg Sodium: 34mg Carbohydrates: 11g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 4g Protein: 2g