Sautéed Green Beans

I like to think these sautéed green beans are like the little black dress of side dishes: simple, classic, and perfect for any occasion. It’s a green bean recipe that goes with everything.

And it’s an easy vegetable side dish full of flavor. Fresh green beans are sauteed with garlic, butter, lemon, and fresh herbs until they are crisp-tender. Make them for holiday meals, weeknight dinners, or Sunday supper – I think you’ll love them.

a bowl of garlic butter green beans


This green bean recipe combines three of my favorite things: garlic, butter, and lemon. But with veggies! So that we can feel good about the butter part! It all balances out.

ingredients for the recipe
  • Fresh green beans – To make things easy, I like to buy packaged French green beans in the produce department. The stems are usually removed, making the prep easier, but you can use any kind of fresh string bean or haricot vert.
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Lemon zest and juice
  • Fresh parsley

How to Make Them

Remove the stems from the green beans and cut them in thirds. You can gather a bunch at a time and chop, chop!

a bunch of green beans cut into thirds.

Mince the garlic. Chop the parsley. Zest the lemon. Zip, bam, boom.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan, and then sauté the green beans in the hot oil for 10 minutes. Stir them often so they don’t brown too much.

green beans in a skillet with olive oil

After 10 minutes, add the butter, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Stir to coat the green beans evenly. Cook them for five to ten minutes or until they are crisp-tender.

sauteed green beans in a skillet with butter, garlic, lemon zest, and salt.

Right at the end, add the parsley, give them a good stir, and they are ready to serve.


What else can you add?

If you want to dress them up more, add some freshly ground black pepper, a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, or add a different herb like chopped basil.

You can also use dried herbs like oregano – if you do, add them when you add the green beans to the pan instead of waiting until the end.

If you want to change the flavor, try using shallots instead of garlic or do a mix of both.

Can you make them ahead?

You can, but I recommend reducing the cooking time by two to three minutes. That way, when you reheat them (either in the microwave or on the stovetop they won’t end up overcooked.

How long do the leftovers keep?

Cooked green beans will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days as long as they are stored in an airtight container.

How do you know when green beans are done?

I like them crisp-tender, which means the texture is soft but with a little bit of resistance when you bite them. If you want them softer, cook them for one to two minutes longer, but be sure to taste-test so they don’t end up mushy.

Do you have to blanch green beans first?

For this recipe, you don’t. Blanching is a quick-cooking method that lightly cooks the green beans so they retain their bright green color. It’s not necessary when you saute them.

Can you use frozen green beans instead of fresh ones?

I haven’t tested this recipe with frozen ones, so I can’t say how they will turn out. Frozen green beans don’t always look as nice as fresh ones once they’re cooked.

the finished green beans in a skillet

I hope you give this recipe a try! Butter, lemon, and garlic are a flavor match in heaven with the green beans. It’s the perfect side dish for any occasion.

Happy sautéing!


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garlic-lemon green beans in a serving bowl

📣 Do you love this recipe? I would love to know! Leave a comment below the recipe, along with your recipe star rating.


Sautéed Green Beans

sauteed green beans in a bowl.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

This easy recipe combines sautéed green beans with butter, garlic, and lemon for a fresh side dish that pairs with all kinds of main dishes. It’s easy enough for weeknight dinners and great for holiday meals, too.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, stems trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While it heats, cut the green beans into thirds. 
  2. Add the green beans to the hot pan and cook them for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the butter, garlic, salt, zest, and lemon juice and cook them for 5 minutes longer or until they are crisp-tender. Add the parsley, stir again, and serve!


  • Calories: 124
  • Sugar: 4.1g
  • Sodium: 163.8mg
  • Fat: 9.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.9g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Protein: 2.4g
  • Cholesterol: 15.3mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.


  1. I added toasted thinly sliced almonds and diced dried cranberries. Mixed them in after cooking the green beans and hot. With the garlic and lemon, it was so delicious!!

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