Sauteed green beans are cooked in butter and seasoned with garlic and crushed red peppers. It's an easy recipe. The only caveat? Don't overcook them!
I often make dinner with two vegetable sides, foregoing the starch. So I'm always on the lookout for tasty and easy to make vegetable recipes that would keep things interesting for my family.
I've been making this tasty side dish often. String beans are delicious, and they are one of the few vegetables that all of us can agree on - grownups and young picky eaters alike.
The ingredients needed for this recipe
You'll only need a few ingredients to make sauteed green beans. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.
Unsalted butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great.
Fresh string beans: I like to use medium-thickness beans in this recipe.
Salt and pepper: Freshly ground black pepper tastes best.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work. And if you'd like, you can use garlic powder instead of fresh minced garlic.
Crushed red pepper: It doesn't make the dish spicy - it merely adds an interesting layer of flavor.
How to make sauteed green beans
It's so easy! The detailed instructions are included in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Cook the green beans in butter over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients (salt, black pepper, garlic, and crushed red peppers).
3. Keep cooking until the beans are tender-crisp, about 5 more minutes.
Tips for making this recipe a success
String beans are wonderful when quickly boiled and salted. This is actually my favorite way to make them - boiled green beans. They're surprisingly good when cooked this way, as long as you don't overcook them.
But variety is nice, and sauteing green beans in butter and garlic is also a very tasty way of making them.
Regardless of how you choose to cook them, the most important thing, in my opinion, is to avoid overcooking them.
You want them to be tender. But they should still have a bite - much like "al dente" when cooking spaghetti. You definitely don't want them to be mushy or droopy.
On the other hand, you certainly don't want them too crunchy! Raw string beans do not taste very good. Although I hear that when young and picked fresh from one's garden, they most certainly are. But I never had the privilege of trying that.
In my experience, sauteing green beans for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat is perfect.
But you'll need to double-check in your kitchen. Because as you know, cooking equipment varies greatly, and this includes your cooking range as well as your pan.
Should I blanch green beans before stir-frying?
Blanching is a cooking technique in which a food item is briefly cooked in boiling water, then plunged into iced water to stop the cooking process.
I suppose in an ideal world you should. But we don't live in an ideal world. Hurried and pressed for time most nights, I am not a fan of multi-step recipes.
So no, I don't blanch them before sauteing, and I don't think it makes a big difference in the final outcome.
What to serve with sauteed green beans?
Anything, really. It's such a versatile side dish. I often serve them with one of the following main dishes:
How to store the leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. They are also good cold! Kind of like antipasti. Sometimes I chop them up and add them to a salad.
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Sautéed Green Beans
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat.
- When the butter stops foaming, add the green beans and salt.
- Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
- Add the black pepper, garlic, and crushed red peppers.
- Continue to cook, stirring often, about 5 more minutes, until the beans are tender but not mushy.