How to Cook Fresh Green Beans

Learn how to cook green beans this holiday season so you can enjoy them year-round.

By Team Made In
Nov 3, 2022
green beans
Share This

Green beans are a classic holiday side, but so often they’re overcooked, poorly seasoned, or straight out of a can. This year, it’s time to give your green beans an upgrade. Once you learn how to cook them for the holidays, you can enjoy this versatile vegetable all year. Here are three of our favorite ways to prepare fresh green beans.

How to Shop for Fresh Green Beans

When shopping for fresh green beans, look for beans that are a bright, vibrant shade of green. Green beans are sometimes called snap beans because they should be firm enough to easily snap in two. The best beans should be long and stiff, with a smooth texture.

To ensure freshness, it's best to avoid any beans that have withered tips or brown spots. If green beans are limp or have a slimy texture, it's likely that they’re spoiled. After you've purchased fresh green beans, they can be stored in a plastic container or the crisper drawer in your refrigerator for up to four days.Wrapping them in a paper towel can help absorb moisture and preserve freshness.

How to Cook Green Beans, 3 Ways

Before you prepare fresh green beans, you should clean them thoroughly by placing them in a colander and rinsing them with cold water. Trim the stems of the beans and cut them to your preferred size, then you're ready to cook.

How to Steam Green Beans

Steaming green beans helps to bring out their flavor and gives them a great crunch. To steam green beans, you'll need a Saucepan, a steamer basket, and some basic seasonings (like butter, salt, and pepper). We like this method as a side dish for more flavorful proteins, as it lets the natural taste of green beans shine through.

Step 1: Boil Water

Take a 4QT Saucepan and fill it with one to two inches of water. Place the pan over high heat until the water begins to boil.

Step 2: Place in Steamer

Place your freshly cleaned green beans in your steamer basket before placing it on your Saucepan. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pan, and allow the beans to cook for five to seven minutes, or until softened.

Step 3: Add Seasonings

Remove the steamer basket and drain the beans, then add back into the Saucepan and add butter or oil. Add in your desired seasonings, stirring until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

How to Sauté Green Beans

Sautéing just takes a few minutes, and it's one of the best ways to cook vegetables while still retaining their nutrients and adding extra flavor. To sauté green beans, you'll need a large Saute Pan or Frying Pan, a colander, and seasonings of your choice.

Step 1: Boil Your Green Beans

Place a large Pan over medium-high heat and add one pound of green beans along with ¼ cup of water. Bring the water to a boil and allow the beans to cook for around 3 minutes.

Step 2: Drain the Beans

After boiling your beans, drain them and set aside. Add butter or oil to the pan and heat until the butter is melted or oil is shimmering.

Step 3: Sauté

Return the green beans to your pan and let them cook for around 3–5 minutes, making sure that the beans are completely covered in oil or butter. They should be slightly softened but still retain a bit of bite. Stir in your other seasonings and allow the beans to cook for another 30 seconds before removing them from heat.

How to Roast Green Beans

While roasting green beans takes longer than steaming or sautéing them, it also enhances their flavor and gives them a wonderful crispy texture. In addition to your seasonings, you'll need a Roasting Pan or large, rimmed baking sheet, like a Baking Slab or Sheet Pan.

Step 1: Preheat your Oven

Preheat your oven to 400°F. While the oven is preheating, you may want to line your baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for an easier clean-up.

Step 2: Prepare the Beans

Place your green beans on the baking sheet in an even layer. Drizzle the beans with olive oil before adding salt and pepper along with any other desired seasonings.

Step 3: Roast the Beans

Once the oven is preheated, allow the green beans to cook undisturbed for 15 to 20 minutes. After you remove the beans from the oven, transfer them to a serving dish and give them a few minutes to cool before serving.

Ready to Cook?

Now you have three delicious ways to prepare green beans. Whether you choose to steam, sauté, or roast, your side will be ready in under 30 minutes. If we’re cooking our green beans on the stove, we love using Stainless Clad Cookware. Thanks to its 5-ply construction, featuring five layers of four premium metals, our Saute Pan, Frying Pan, and Saucepan heat up quickly and distribute the heat evenly for hot-spot free cooking.

Each piece of Stainless Clad Cookware features a long, Stay Cool Handle for easy maneuverability, and they’re all induction compatible and oven-safe up to 800F. Purchase these pieces individually or get them all with the 10- or 13-Piece Set and save.