This sautéed green beans recipe is an easy side dish full of flavor. Fresh green beans are sauteed in a skillet with garlic, butter, and fresh herbs until they are crisp-tender. It’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner and great for holiday dinners, too.
I like to think that these sautéed green beans are like the little black dress of side dishes: simple, classic, and perfect for any occasion from weeknight dinners to special occasion meals. It’s a green bean recipe that goes with everything.
And they combine 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.
Altogether it’s a fresh, easy side dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make.
- Fresh green beans
- Olive oil
- Fresh garlic
- Lemon zest and juice
- Fresh parsley
Remove the stems from the green beans and cut them in thirds. You can gather a bunch at a time and chop, chop!
Mince the garlic. Chop the parsley. Zest the lemon. Zip, bam, boom.
To make things easy, I like to buy the packaged French green beans – the stems are usually removed making the prep easier, but you can use any string bean or haricot vert.
How to Cook Green Beans
Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan and then sauté the green beans in it for 10 minutes. Stir them often so they don’t brown too much.
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.
Right at the end, add the parsley give them a good stir and they are ready to serve.
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 butter instead of waiting until the end.
If you want to change the flavor, try subbing shallots for the garlic or do a mix of both.
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 overcook.
Cooked green beans will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days as long as they are stored in an airtight container.
I like them crisp-tender, which means they are 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.
For this recipe, you don’t. Blanching is a quick-cooking method that I’ve used for other recipes (see: pesto pasta salad) that lightly cooks the green beans, so they retain their bright green color. It’s not necessary when you saute them.
I haven’t tested this recipe with frozen ones, so I can’t say how they will turn out. They will take longer to cook, and frozen green beans don’t always look as nice as fresh ones once cooked. Feels judgy, but it’s true.
Main Dish Ideas
Looking for some main dishes to go with your garlic butter green beans? Here are some weeknight-friendly recipes you might like:
- Breaded Baked Chicken is my easy baked chicken with a quick breading method, so you get juicy chicken with a crispy coating.
- Sesame Crusted Chicken Tenders – I love the texture and flavor of sesame seeds, and they make a great coating for chicken!
- Oven-Roasted Pork Chops – these have a delicious honey-mustard sauce that will pair well with the green beans.
- Honey-Mustard Salmon – you only need 20 minutes and a sheet pan to make this salmon recipe!
The garlic butter green beans would also go great with roast turkey and baked ham for holiday dinners.
I hope you give this recipe a try! Butter, lemon, and garlic is a flavor match in heaven with the green beans. It’s the perfect side dish for any occasion.
More Easy Side Dishes
Looking for more veggies to make for dinner? Here are a few more side dishes you might like to try:
- Green Bean Potato Salad
- Lemon-Honey Glazed Carrots
- Roasted Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Bacon-Roasted Green Beans
Sautéed Green Beans
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.
- 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
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While it heats, cut the green beans into thirds.
- Add the green beans to the hot pan and cook them for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- 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!
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- 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
Keywords: sautéed green beans, garlic butter green beans, how to cook green beans
Made this for a holiday dinner with my family and everyone loved it and ate it all.