Easy Garlic Green Beans

Easy Garlic Green Beans

The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 22 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
92 Calories
6g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 92
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 127mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 15mg 74%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 263mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Green beans are a classic side dish and a crowd-pleaser. Toss in some garlic, and you've got a winning vegetable for any occasion.

For the perfect texture, the beans are briefly boiled or steamed and transferred to an ice bath. This keeps them crisp-tender and preserves their beautiful green color. Then they are sautéed with butter and garlic, adding lots of flavor while still letting the green beans shine. Serve as is or add your own twist with spices, a sprinkle of cheese, or nuts.

Green beans are a favorite side dish on weeknights as well as holiday meals. This simple but delicious preparation pairs nicely with a wide variety of mains, from pork chops to roast chicken to tofu.

"This is a classic green bean sauté made extra delicious by a generous amount of garlic. You could always skip the ice bath and simply drain the beans and add them directly to the pan, but they won't be as wonderfully green." —Laurel Randolph

Green beans with garlic
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 pound fresh green beans

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, or olive oil

  • 2 to 4 small cloves garlic, minced

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy Garlic Green Beans ingredients

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  2. Trim or snap off the ends from the green beans, removing any stringy fibers which can run the length of the bean (not all beans will have this fiber). If the beans are excessively long, they can be cut or broken in half for easier eating.

    Trim the ends of the green beans on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  3. Wash and drain the beans.

    Green beans in a colander

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  4. Boil or steam the beans just until crisp-tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

    Green beans in a pot

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  5. Drain and submerge the beans in an ice water bath for a minute or two. Drain again.

    Drain the beans and submerge in ice water bath

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  6. Melt the butter or heat the olive oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and sauté just for 1 minute until fragrant; do not burn.

    Butter and garlic in a pan

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  7. Add the green beans to the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently and cook just until the beans are heated through.

    Green beans in a pan with butter and garlic

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  8. Sprinkle parsley over the top, if using, as a garnish. Serve immediately.

    Easy Garlic Green Beans in a pan

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

Recipe Variations

  • Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest along with the optional parsley.
  • Add a little spice along with the garlic with a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
  • Include a couple of tablespoons of finely minced onion or shallot with the garlic.
  • Toss cooked green beans with a tablespoon or two of grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Add 1/4 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds along with the optional parsley.
  • Toss in some crisped, chopped bacon at the end.
  • You can also roast or steam green beans.


  • When buying green beans, look for firm pods that are bright green. Avoid beans that are wrinkled, have brown spots, or mushy ends. They should snap when broken.
  • Store green beans in a bag in the crisper for up to five days but use them as soon as possible for the freshest results. Don't wash them until just before cooking.

How to Store

  • Leftover green beans will keep for up to three days in a covered container in the fridge.
  • Reheat gently in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat.

Should I soak green beans before cooking?

Unlike dried beans, fresh green beans do not require any soaking before cooking. Simply give them a rinse, trim the ends, and cook them as desired.