All too often, vegetable sides, like political standpoints, are far from moderate. They either seem to have no thought or consideration behind them OR they’re ridiculously overcomplicated. This recipe for pan-fried green beans is neither.
Instead, it reminds us that pure goodness requires little fuss or fanfare. Just a little butter, garlic, salt, and, if you’re feeling fancy, a sprinkle of parsley. If only politics were that simple to fix.
Why Our Testers Loved This
The testers marveled at how a simple dish composed of so few ingredients could quickly and easily be transformed into a side dish that is “delicious” and a “perfect accompaniment” to many other dishes.
What You’ll Need to Make This
- Green beans–Look for the slender beans that are labeled haricot verts. If you can only find thicker green beans, you’ll need to increase your cooking time slightly. When selecting green beans, avoid any that have dark spots or are wrinkly or limp.
- Unsalted butter–If you need to substitute salted butter, check your seasoning carefully at the end. You may not need any additional salt.
- Garlic–Using three cloves gives this dish plenty of garlic flavor. For best results, always use freshly minced garlic. Skip the jarred stuff.
How to Make This Recipe
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until bright green.
- Transfer the beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking.
- Drain the beans and transfer them to a kitchen towel to dry.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to brown.
- Add the beans and toss to coat in the garlic butter.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and finish with chopped parsley.
You can blanch the green beans up to a day before serving. After draining the beans from their ice bath and drying them, pop them into an airtight container or resealable bag and stash them in the fridge until you’re ready to finish them.
I don’t recommend it. Canned beans are too wet and soft for sautéing and will become mushy.
While it’s tempting to just throw the raw beans directly into the skillet with the garlic butter, I recommend you blanch them first. Blanching the beans will give you crisp, snappy, evenly cooked beans that need only a brief turn in the skillet to warm through and get coated in the garlicky butter.
If you try to cook them raw in the skillet, you could end up with burned garlic and unevenly cooked beans.
- To quickly trim the ends from your beans, line them up in the same direction. Use a knife to chop off the stem end of the beans. You don’t need to trim the pointy end.
- Make sure that your beans are fully dry before adding them to the skillet. Water droplets can cause the hot butter to spatter.
- Store leftover beans in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing cooked green beans as they can become mushy when thawed.
- Reheat gently in the microwave or in a warm skillet with a little extra butter.
More Superb Green Bean Recipes
Write a Review
If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
Pan-Fried Green Beans
- Sea salt
- 10 1/2 ounces haricot verts or extra fine (slender) green beans
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Leaves from 1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley (15 g or 1/2 cup), finely chopped
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is boiling, trim the ends from the green beans and fill a large bowl halfway with ice water.
- Drop the beans into the boiling water and cook until bright green, anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the green beans and set them aside on a clean kitchen towel.
- In a medium skillet or larger pot, such as a Dutch oven, set over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the garlic and cook until it starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Toss in the green beans and stir to evenly coat the beans.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.
- Trimming the beans–To quickly trim the ends from your beans, line them up in the same direction. Use a knife to chop off the stem end of the beans. You don’t need to trim the pointy end.
- Dry your beans–Make sure that your beans are fully dry before adding them to the skillet. Water droplets can cause the hot butter to spatter.
- Storage–Store leftover beans in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I don’t recommend freezing cooked green beans as they can become mushy when thawed.
- Reheating–Reheat gently in the microwave or in a warm skillet with a little extra butter.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These pan-fried green beans are the epitome of an easy weeknight side dish! Adding garlic, butter, and salt to any vegetable will make it a guaranteed hit. The smell of the garlic frying in the butter will bring everyone to the table.
As this comes together so quickly, you can make it right before you sit down. Definitely a keeper!
It’s a simple way to cook green beans and jazz them up. Really tasty (because of the butter!). A nice side to accompany a lot of different dishes.
I was looking for a vegetable to add to a dinner of leftovers from the weekend. I needed something pretty straightforward with not a lot of complex tastes to complement a group of varied tastes. Pan-fried green beans seemed like the perfect accompaniment. And they were.
Seriously, green beans with butter, garlic, salt, and parsley. It’s not even a question. It’s a pretty perfect match—crunch from the green bean, that garlic bite, earthiness from the parsley, accented by a touch of salt. Even my son had seconds!
The green bean recipe couldn’t be easier. Blanch the beans, shock them in ice water, sauté the garlic, toss in the beans, parsley, and salt, and voila. It really is that simple.
This recipe for pan-fried green beans reminds me how underrated the poor green bean is. I am always happy eating them, but I rarely think of green beans when planning my vegetable intake. This recipe will join other leitesculinaria.com recipes, such as Green Beans Gremolata, and help to remind me how tasty the green bean can be.
I was pleasantly surprised by this fried green beans recipe—few ingredients and a quick cooking time, but the result is pretty delicious. I let the butter cook down until it was more of a brown butter, adding even more to the flavor.
I thought that these skillet green beans were a very delicious side dish. I have to confess that I made the recipe using French-style green beans. (I was surprised that French style is very different from haricot verts.)