A fun variation on just sauteing them, these spicy green beans are as delicious as a spicy, salty snack – and it’s so easy to make them.
I make green beans recipes quite often because they are tasty and good for you and we all like them (even the picky eater!), so I try to vary the recipes I make. This recipe for spicy green beans is a lovely variation on basic sauteed green beans.
Although I must admit that with all these tasty variations, my favorite way to make them is still the simplest – boiled green beans.
The ingredients needed to make this recipe
You’ll only need a few ingredients to make spicy green beans (the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Fresh green beans: This is not a good recipe to make with frozen green beans. And you DEFINITELY don’t want to use canned beans in this recipe. Fresh is the way to go!
Olive oil: I love the flavor of olive oil and cook with it often. But if you’re worried about its relatively low smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point. Another tasty option is to use butter or ghee.
Kosher salt: If you opt for using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use. Otherwise, the dish could end up being too salty.
Spices: I like to use garlic powder, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Please make sure the spices you use are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish. And if you’d like, you can use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
How to make spicy green beans
It’s easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. For the first step, I lightly steam the beans in the microwave. I steam them just until they’re no longer raw. I don’t want them too tender at this point, because I will continue cooking them in the skillet.
2. After steaming, I briefly saute the beans in seasoned olive oil until they are tender-crisp. Again, it’s important not to overcook them. You want them bright green, not brownish, limp and lifeless. I guess it’s like pasta! You want them to be al-dente.
You can make them as spicy or as mild as you want
Prepared according to the recipe below, these green beans are mildly spicy. You can adjust the heat level to your liking by decreasing the cayenne pepper to 1/8 teaspoon or increasing it to 1/2 teaspoon (which would be way too spicy for me!).
Should I cut the beans in half?
This is completely up to you. I like to leave them whole, simply trimming the ends. The diners can then use a fork and a knife to cut them. But if you’d like to cut them in half before cooking, making them bite-size so that they can be eaten with just a fork, that’s certainly an option.
How to serve spicy green beans
They are very versatile! I think they are the perfect side dish to any meat or fish. However, they do go particularly well with these spicy meatballs. I also like to sometimes serve them alongside a couple of fried eggs for a light, meatless dinner.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep quite well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave on 50% power.
I admit to sometimes snacking on them cold, straight from the fridge! They’re surprisingly delicious this way. Kind of like spicy antipasti.
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Spicy Green Beans
- 1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Place the green beans in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water. Cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Drain into a colander.
- In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, kosher salt, garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne. Add the green beans and toss to coat.
- Heat a very large saute pan over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the green beans, using a spatula to scrape every last bit of the yummy seasoned oil off the bowl and into the pan. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Serve the spicy green beans immediately.