Here’s How To Boil Green Beans Perfectly For A Healthy Side Dish

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Welcome to a tutorial we’d like to call “everything you always wanted to know about green beans but were too afraid to ask.” 

You may have wondered, “Is this dish truly as easy as it sounds?” and “Isn’t it easier to just get frozen green beans?” 

In this article, we’ll show you the basics of how long to boil green beans and ways that you can dress this vegetable up with copious amounts of butter and garlic. These delicious vegetables are a great way to get your greens in. We’ll also give you serving suggestions to help you transform the boring side of your childhood into a culinary delight. Follow our boiled green beans recipe below to get started. 

How to prepare fresh green beans

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (unsalted is best)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper 
  • Red pepper flakes (optional) 

Chef’s note: You can trim green beans by cutting off the tips at each end and slicing the beans into smaller bites if you wish. It can be tedious to cut the tips of tens of green beans one by one, so try to line up several that are roughly the same size on your cutting board and chop off all of the ends on each side in one stroke. 

Preparation instructions 

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add plenty of salt. 
  1. Add the trimmed green beans to the boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender and bright green.
  1. Drain the green beans in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside while you’re preparing the butter (optional). 
  1. Heat a large skillet over low heat and add the butter. Allow it to melt completely, covering the bottom of the pan.
  1. Place the green beans in the pan and toss to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper. If you want some kick, add in a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

Recipe adapted from Billy Parisi.

Nelea Reazanteva – stock.adobe.com

Nutritional values per serving

Calories: 74

Fat: 6 grams

Saturated Fat: 4 grams

Carbohydrates: 5 grams

Protein: 1 gram

Cholesterol: 15 milligrams

Sodium: 55 milligrams 

Potassium: 160 milligrams 

Fiber: 2 grams 

Sugar: 2 grams 

Calcium: 30 milligrams 

Iron: 1 milligram

What to serve with green beans

Green beans are incredibly versatile. For starters, they are the perfect side for most meat-and-potato meals as their juicy, crisp texture and fresh taste contrasts well with richer flavors. It also pairs well with other roast vegetables, like asparagus or Brussels sprouts

Green beans, especially once cooled, are a great addition to salads as well. Try mixing kale with thawed edamame beans, sliced avocado, green beans, and herbs like basil, mint, and cilantro. Toss in a Thai peanut dressing. 

For a Mediterranean feel, top a bed of spinach tossed in vinaigrette with warm goat cheese, green beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and either grilled salmon or canned tuna. A dash of lemon juice can’t hurt, either. 

You can also add green beans as a pop of color and nutrients to quinoa or rice bowls. Combine them with other veggies like red peppers, avocado, and roasted sweet potatoes. For a protein component, add in legumes like cooked black beans or chickpeas, or animal products like grilled fish and chicken or hard-boiled eggs.  

Green beans work well in almost all international flavor profiles, from Italian to Thai, Chinese to French. Even if you’re only preparing these beans aside, you can create a lot of versatility by carefully choosing your spices and glazes. Chinese five spice is a delicious finish on roasted green beans, but so is a simple balsamic dressing or creamy bechamel sauce.

yaisirichai – stock.adobe.com

Other ways to cook green beans

Sauté: You can make green beans in a skillet by heating olive oil and garlic and then tossing in the trimmed beans and seasonings. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Then, add in a couple of tablespoons of water and cover the beans to steam them, finishing the cooking process. 

Roast: Toss trimmed green beans with olive oil, minced garlic, and spices in a large bowl and then transfer the dressed beans to a baking sheet. Roast at 425°F for 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Top with sliced almonds and sprinkle with fresh black pepper. 

Steam: Add the trimmed green beans to the top part of a steamer and follow the instructions in your machine’s manual for cooking times and water levels. 

Fry: You can deep fry green beans by coating them in egg wash and dredging them with flour. Transfer the coated beans to a skillet with hot vegetable oil and carefully fry for roughly 4 minutes, or until golden brown.

Storing green beans

How long do cooked green beans last?

Cooked green beans last for 3-5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Be sure to let the beans cool completely before refrigerating them to prevent the growth of bacteria. 

How to reheat green beans?

You can warm green beans in the microwave or oven. For the oven method, preheat to 350°F and heat the beans in a casserole dish or on a baking sheet. This will take roughly ten minutes. 

It’s time to fall in love with green beans. Prepare this quick, buttery recipe and make the perfect side or topper for your meal

If you’re running low on butter, order more from Gopuff because you’re going to need it. Boil the green beans while you’re waiting because your order will be at your door in no time.

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