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Fresh Garlic Green Beans are a great side dish pairing for any meal. Garlicky, crunchy, juicy, and packed with nutrition. Gluten-Free, Vegan.
These Easy Garlic Green Beans are sautéed in lots of garlic until tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside and infused with just the right amount of flavor. It’s the kind of recipe that you’ll want in regular rotation. Plus, they’re ready in just 15 minutes of cooking time using only 3 ingredients, plus a dash of salt and pepper.
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The Best Crunchy, Garlicky Dinner Side
While green beans are available year-round at your local grocery store, their peak season runs between May and October. You may have been searching for an easy way to use up a big batch you just harvested in your own garden (if you have the yard space, I highly recommend it – you’ll definitely reap the benefits).
Whether you pick crunchy green beans up at the grocery store or your own backyard, this green bean recipe is the perfect side dish to whip up and complete any meal. Or let their perfect texture take center stage and be the star of the meal. I’d have a hard time saying no to a big bowl of crunchy, garlicky goodness!
What You Need for Garlic Green Beans
Making fresh green beans at home requires nothing but fresh, budget-friendly, simple ingredients. Here are the 3 basics:
- Oil: I recommend extra-virgin olive oil for additional flavor, but any neutral oil of choice will do. Avocado oil, refined coconut oil, even vegetable oil are all fine.
- Aromatics: Trust me on this one – this simple side dish only has a few ingredients, so using fresh, minced garlic and freshly ground black pepper goes a long way for the most pronounced flavor!
- Fresh green beans: Also commonly called “string beans,” this veggie is one you likely grew up eating from a can. If you’ve never tried cooking green beans fresh, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their crunchier texture. And with my perfected cooking method, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Juicy and tender on the inside and perfectly garlicky and crisp on the outside.
How to Make Garlic Green Beans
- Using a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once warm, add the fresh garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant and golden.
- Add the green beans into the sautéed garlic mixture, season with salt and pepper, and stir until lightly coated.
- Pour warm water into the pan and quickly cover with the lid. Steam the green beans for 4 to 5 minutes, then uncover and sauté for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Cook until the green beans are a beautiful green color and cooked to your liking.
- Serve warm, as desired. Enjoy!
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Warm the oil before adding the garlic: By heating the oil before adding any aromatics to the pan, this allows the garlicky goodness to infuse into the oil and intensifies their flavor, making the dish as a whole all the more flavorful.
- Warm water will cook the green beans faster: The water is added to help steam the green beans until tender. Adding warm water helps the beans cook faster and won’t damage the lining of your nonstick pan if you’re cooking with one like I usually do (check out my Go-To Pots & Pans in the shop!).
These garlicky green beans can be served alongside almost several mains from fancy date-nights-in to casual weeknight meals. Give them a try with a few of my favorite plant-based mains like Portobello Mushroom Steaks, Smoky Marinated Tofu, Vegan “Chicken” Piccata, and this Vegan Tofu Parmesan (Parmigiana).
If you’re looking for more recipes using green beans, you’ll also love this Garlic Green Bean Stir Fry with Crispy Tofu, this Healthy Green Bean Casserole, and this Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole with Wild Rice!
How to Store Garlic Green Beans
This vegetable side dish is best enjoyed fresh, but will store best in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you’d like to freeze green beans, I’d recommend freezing them before sautéing and sautéing them fresh. If desired, learn How to Freeze Green Beans in this step by step tutorial.
Substitutions and Variations
- Oil alternative: Use vegan butter instead of olive oil. Garlic can infuse the butter the same way it would olive oil and would make a delicious garlic butter.
- Add cheese: Take the flavor to the next level and sprinkle on your favorite homemade or store-bought parmesan cheese (I use dairy-free!).
- Add nuts or seeds: Want an added texture and crunch? Finish your sautéed green beans with a handful of slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, buttery pine nuts, even sesame seeds.
- Green bean substitutes: There are several veggies that can be cooked with the same sauté, steam, sauté method. Replace the green beans with fresh snap peas, French green beans or Haricot Verts, asparagus, snow peas, or broccolini.
It’s not necessary to boil green beans before sautéing them. If you follow the recipe as written, you’ll have perfectly tender green beans without any additional prep work. However, if you prefer your beans to be extremely tender (like canned green beans), you may prefer to boil them beforehand. This will help speed up the cooking process and make your beans as soft as you’d like.
When shopping for green beans, look for beans that are bright green, firm, and free of discoloration or wrinkles. If the packaging contains any excess moisture or the beans have brown spots, steer clear!
To clean your green beans, start by rinsing them under cold water. Turn them out onto a clean kitchen towel or a couple of paper towels and lightly pat dry. Trim about 1/2-1-inch off of each end and remove any strings, if needed.
Absolutely! The simple salt and pepper seasoning allows this side dish to pair with virtually any main dish of choice, but if you have additional seasonings in mind, go for it! Try dried thyme, red pepper flakes, lemon juice or lemon zest, and more!
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Garlic Green Beans
- 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half if desired
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- Aromatics: Warm the oil over medium heat in a sauté pan with a lid. Once warm, add the garlic and sauté for 60 to 120 seconds, until fragrant and golden. Add the green beans to the pan and season generously with salt and pepper, then stir until everything is lightly coated in oil.
- Steam: Add the warm water to the pan and quickly cover the sauté pan with the lid. Let the green beans steam, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes, letting them steam longer if they are thicker.
- Sauté: Uncover the green beans and stir well. Sauté the green beans for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are tender or cooked to your liking.
- Serve: Serve warm, and as desired. These green beans are best served fresh, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.