Pan-Fried Green Beans

Easy-peasy pan-fried green beans, or haricot verts if you prefer the French name, can still be spectacular when prepared with care. Blanch a few handful of green beans, drain, and toss them in some butter and garlic, add some salt and pepper, and you’re set.

A cast-iron pot filled with pan-fried green beans tossed with garlic and butter

All too often vegetable sides, like political leanings, are far from moderate. They either seem to have no thought or consideration behind them OR are ridiculously overcomplicated. This recipe is neither. Instead, it reminds us that goodness requires very little fuss or fanfare. Just a little butter, garlic, and salt, and a sprinkle of parsley, if you’re feeling fancy. If only politics were that simple to fix.–Angie Zoobkoff

Pan-Fried Green Beans

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 4
Print RecipeBuy the Bistro: Classic French Comfort Food cookbook

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  • Sea salt
  • 10 1/2 ounces haricot verts or extra fine (slender) green beans
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 oz)
  • 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


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.

Recipe Testers Reviews

These pan-fried green beans 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!

A simple way to cook green beans to jazz them up a little. Really tasty (because 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 that was 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!

And the 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 rarely think of green beans when I'm planning my vegetable intake. This recipe will join other recipes such as Green Beans Gremolata, and help to remind me how tasty the green bean can be.

I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe—few ingredients and a very quick cooking time but the end result is pretty delicious. I did let the butter cook down until it was more of a brown butter and that added even more to the flavor.

I thought that these pan-fried 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 to see that French style is very different than Haricot verts. But, as they were on my menu for the night, I continued.


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