These easy Sautéed Green Beans are quick, delicious, and full of garlic goodness. You only need a few simple ingredients, like green beans, butter, and seasonings along with one pan to make this healthy vegetable side. Prepare this dish for a normal weeknight dinner or the next time you’re hosting a party.

Tender green beans are removed from the skillet with a spatula.

For many holidays and special occasions, my mother-in-love has whipped up her incredible sautéed green beans with garlic.

She always made it look so effortless and easy. Within 15 minutes or so she’d transform a huge batch of fresh beans into a perfectly cooked side dish ready to add to the dinner table.

It wasn’t until this past Christmas that I actually observed this sauté magic in action.

And the trick? She didn’t boil green beans or blanch green beans to get them to turn that gorgeous bright green color. Instead, she just added a bit of water to the SAME skillet she’d be sautéeing them in and simply let them steam. *MIND BLOWN!*

The result? A super-fast side that was loaded with flavor from just a few simple ingredients. And now that I know how easy it is to do, we make this once-considered holiday-only dish any night of the week, and you can too!

Green beans, oil, butter, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice are the ingredients for this recipe.

Ingredients

To make this easy Sauteed Green Beans recipe you need:

  • Green beans. Opt for fresh, either French or regular. If you are using French, they may cook up faster since they are skinnier. You can also buy them trimmed in the bag or trim the ends yourself.
  • Garlic. Fresh is a must! Be sure to finely chop for the most flavor. Check here for how to peel and mince garlic.
  • Butter. Salted or unsalted will work and give the dish flavor and great texture. You can also sub with either avocado or olive oil.
  • Lemon. This is optional, but just a squeeze adds a lovely freshness just before serving.

How to Sauté Green Beans

The basic steps for making Sautéed Green Beans are simple to follow. Please see the recipe card for more detailed ingredient amounts.

Steam and Drain

In a large skillet, add enough water to the bottom to completely cover it. Over high or medium-high heat, bring to a boil.

Add the green beans to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the vegetables to steam for 4-5 minutes. You want the green beans to be a bright green color and tender.

Place a colander in the sink. Drain the green beans, being sure to shake off any excess liquid. Leave the vegetables to the side for now.

Sauté in Skillet

In the skillet, add butter and garlic. Sauté over medium-low heat for about 30 seconds. The garlic should be fragrant and slightly start to brown.

Next, add the green beans back into the skillet. Stir the vegetables well to completely coat in the garlic butter sauce.

Season with salt and pepper and then cook everything for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!

These green beans are best served immediately! Simply squeeze some fresh lemon juice, sprinkle additional salt and pepper if needed, and plate them up.

For added flavor and texture, you can add roasted almonds, toasted pecans, roasted walnuts, or even toasted pine nuts.

Green beans are topped with chopped nuts.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Trim green beans and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • To Store: Place vegetables in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Carefully put green beans in a freezer bag or container. If using a bag or plastic wrap, put a layer of aluminum foil around the outside for additional protection. This step keeps air out and reduces freezer burn. Alternatively, flash freeze green beans in a single layer first to keep them from bunching together.
  • To Reheat: Allow green beans to thaw in the fridge. Cook in skillet over medium heat with additional butter or oil as needed.
A spatula is used to remove the green beans from the skillet.

FAQs

Do you have to boil green beans before sautéing them?

Boiling or blanching green beans prior to sautéing helps soften the vegetables. However, in this recipe, we steam the vegetables in the pan before sautéing for the most flavor.

Is it better to steam or sautée green beans?

Typically, steaming green beans before sautéing helps by softening the vegetables. Cooking with oil or butter and garlic adds delicious flavor and texture.

How do you know when green beans are cooked?

Green beans are fully cooked when they turn bright green and are fork-tender. Be careful not to overcook them or they will become mushy. Undercooking will result in less flavorful and tough beans.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Keep it fresh. Garlic cloves give the most flavor to this simple dish. Also, stick with fresh green beans and not canned.
  • Change it up. For different flavors, try topping with fresh herbs, like oregano or parsley. For added spice, use red pepper flakes.
  • Trim well. Be sure to cut the ends of the green beans off before cooking.
  • Save time. Buy pre-trimmed vegetables from the store.
  • Extra flavor. Along with juice, add lemon zest for extra freshness. Or, top with grated parmesan cheese and this healthy balsamic glaze recipe.
Easy sautéed green beans are served for a low-carb and healthy side dish.

Make it a Meal

Pair these Sautéed Green Beans with any of the following delicious main dishes:

Honey Mustard Chicken

Blackened Salmon

Honey Balsamic Glazed Chicken

Lemon Garlic Baked Salmon

Filet Mignon

More Green Bean Recipes

If you are a green bean enthusiast, then you’ll love these other sides:

Green Beans Almondine

Green Beans with Vinegar

Boiled Green Beans

Green Bean Casserole

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic

These easy Sautéed Green Beans are quick, delicious, and full of garlic goodness. You only need a few simple ingredients, like green beans, butter, and seasonings along with one pan to make this healthy vegetable side.
Cooked green beans are top with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. green beans trimmed
  • ¼-½ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
  • Lemon optional

Instructions 

  • Pour enough water into a large skillet or saucepan to completely cover the bottom. Bring the water to a boil and then add in the green beans. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid, and let cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the green beans are bright green and tender.
  • Drain the green beans in a colander in the sink and shake to remove excess liquid.
  • Add butter and garlic to the dry skillet over medium-low heat and sauté for 30 seconds, or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the green beans back into the skillet and toss to completely coat it in the garlic butter sauce. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and continue to cook over medium-low heat for 3-4 more minutes.
  • Serve immediately with additional salt and black pepper, to taste, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Trim green beans and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • To Store: Place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Carefully put green beans in a freezer bag or container. If using a bag or plastic wrap, put a layer of aluminum foil around the outside for additional protection. This step keeps air out and reduces freezer burn. Alternatively, flash freeze green beans in a single layer first to keep them from bunching together.
  • To Reheat: Allow green beans to thaw in the fridge. Cook in skillet over medium heat with additional butter or oil as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 92kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 533mg, Potassium: 254mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 969IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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