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 is neither. Instead, it reminds us that pure goodness requires very 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.–Angie Zoobkoff

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

Pan-Fried Green Beans

4.73 / 11 votes
These easy pan-fried green beans are blanched, then given a quick turn in a skillet with garlic butter, and finished with a sprinkle of salt. Simple and classic.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories114 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


  • 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.
Bistro Cookbook

Adapted From

Bistro: Classic French Comfort Food

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 114 kcalCarbohydrates: 6 gProtein: 2 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 6 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.4 gCholesterol: 26 mgSodium: 6 mgPotassium: 169 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 2 gVitamin A: 820 IUVitamin C: 10 mgCalcium: 35 mgIron: 1 mg

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2018 Alain Ducasse. Photo © 2018 Pierre Monetta. All rights reserved.

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!

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.)

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Green Bean Salad with Mint

This easy, make-ahead summer salad is proof that tomatoes and green beans are a match made in heaven.

1 hr 30 mins

Carrot Fries with Chipotle Sauce

Need to get your fry fix without breaking your diet? These carrot fries are easy to make, healthy-ish, and come with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

50 mins

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. A last minute thing I tried and used some of the drippings from pork chops and canned French style green beans. It turned out really well and my family loved it.