These sautéed green beans are a quick side dish that you can whip up and serve with dinner tonight. They’re crunchy, garlicky and so easy to make. Once you have sautéed green beans, you’ll never go back to boiled.
It’s July and that means green beans are in season and abundant at the farmers market. They are so good freshly-picked that I can eat them raw. Something about it gives me the summer vibes. What about you?
And all that inherent deliciousness means it doesn’t take much to transform them into a yummy side for your dinner. In our case, we’re just using butter, garlic and salt to create these sautéed green beans.
If you have only ever had them boiled (or the ubiquitous American green bean casserole) I think it’s safe to say that you won’t want to go back to boiling after you experience green beans sautéed.
Forget soggy and lifeless green beans and say hello to deep green, crisp and flavorful deliciousness.
Oh and IMO you can sauté green beans in the same time it takes to boil them – and what’s not to love about that?
Ingredients You Need for Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
So simple, so easy…
Yep, this feels so obvious to say.
As for quantity, I’ll assume you’re making enough to serve two adults a side of green beans – so two large handfuls. Honestly, you can eyeball this. No need to weigh and measure, just grab what looks like two servings.
If you’re serving more people, or want leftovers, then increase all ingredients proportionately to the increase in green beans.
For two handfuls of green beans I use 1 tablespoon of butter. We aren’t baking a cake so the measuring doesn’t need to be exact.
One medium clove of fresh garlic, finely diced. Fresh (rather than powdered) is key because you want those little pieces of lightly-browned garlic mixed in with the beans. Don’t worry about overdoing it with the amount of garlic, if anything – worry about not using enough.
Salt is key, don’t omit it. Lots of fresh garlic is also key.
Secrets to the Best Sautéed Green Beans
I’ve made these green beans MANY times and have learned a few things. 🙂
Secret #1: Cook on medium high heat to blister the green beans
When you sauté green beans at a medium high temperature, the outside of the green bean will actually blister. This is the secret to the deliciousness.
You can see the little blisters form and then they brown. The perfect sautéed green bean is blistered and brown all over.
Secret #2: Add the garlic after the beans are done cooking
I’ve made the mistake of adding the garlic too soon and it burns. Garlic, especially finely diced garlic, cooks really fast – and I mean in seconds.
So here’s what I do to avoid burnt garlic. When the green beans are done cooking, I turn the heat off the burner but leave the pan of green beans on it. I then add the garlic to the still-hot pan and stir the beans and garlic together until the garlic is softened and lightly browned.
Secret #3: Salt
I’ve tasted these with and without salt. Salt really brings out the flavors. I don’t recommend omitting salt unless you need to for health reasons.
Steps to Make Quick Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
1. Clean and destem the green beans
Before starting, rinse the green beans with water and pat them dry. You won’t want water on the beans when you add them to the hot butter as it can cause spattering.
Now that the greens beans are clean, slice off the stems, or cut them off with kitchen shears. Leave the beans at their full length for the best presentation, no need to cut them into short pieces.
2. Heat the pan and dice the garlic
Now that the beans are ready to go, it’s a good time to heat your non-stick pan. You’ll want the pan about medium high in heat, but closer to medium than high. The exact setting on your dial depends on how hot your burner gets. I cook them between 6 and 7 out of 10.
While the pan is heating, dice the garlic into small pieces.
3. Sauté the green beans
Drop 1 tablespoon of butter into the hot pan. When it’s close to almost melted, and starting to bubble, add the beans to the pan. Stir to coat them in the butter.
Then let the green beans sizzle in the pan for about 3 minutes. You’ll see them start to blister and then the blisters will brown. You want them nicely browned, then stir so the other side can blister and brown.
Toss the green beans as needed until they are blistered and browning all over (about 3 to 4 minutes per side) then turn off the heat but leave the pan on the burner.
4. Add seasoning and serve
With the green beans still in the pan, add 4 dashes of salt and the diced garlic. Stir until the garlic starts to brown on the edges. Watch carefully as this takes less than a minute.
Remove from heat and they are ready to serve!
Can you reheat sautéed green beans for leftovers?
If you’re wondering if these sautéed green beans can be reheated as leftovers – the answer is yes!
To reheat, just add them to a hot frying pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the green beans are hot.
You shouldn’t need butter as the beans already have lots of butter on them from cooking the first time. But, if the pan looks dry as they warm up, feel free to add just a bit of butter in there.
QUICK SAUTÉED GREEN BEANS WITH GARLIC
- 2 cups fresh green beans
- 1 clove garlic medium
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 dashes salt
- Rinse the green beans with water and pat them dry. Trim just the ends.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium high heat. While the pan heats, dice the garlic into small pieces.
- Drop the butter into the hot pan. When it is almost melted, add the green beans and stir well to coat in butter.
- Let the green beans sizzle for about 3 minutes until they blister and brown on one side. Then stir so the other side can blister and brown. Continue turning and tossing until they are blistered and brown all over.
- Turn off the heat and add the garlic and salt to the pan with the green beans. Stir frequently until the garlic starts to brown on the edges. Remove from heat and serve.