Easy Green Bean Sauté With Garlic (With Variations)

sauteed green beans
Green Bean Saute. Gumawang Jati/EyeEm/Getty Images
Ratings (17)
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
259 Calories
6g Fat
42g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 259
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 13g 45%
Protein 11g
Calcium 147mg 11%
*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.)

Fresh green beans, also known as string beans and snap beans, make a colorful, delicious side to many main dishes. They can be boiled or steamed and then sautéed with lots of garlic and seasoned to taste with salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne for Moroccan flair.

The beans can be prepared a day in advance and reheated. They make an excellent accompaniment to Moroccan grilled lamb chops or Moroccan kefta meatballs in butter sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
  • 2 to 4 small cloves garlic (pressed or very finely chopped)
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • Dash cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Trim or snap off the ends from the green beans, removing any stringy fibers which may 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.

  3. Wash and drain the beans.

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

  5. If boiling, drain and submerge the beans in an ice-water bath for a minute or two, and drain again.

  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.

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

  8. If using parsley, gently stir it in and sprinkle over the top as a garnish.

  9. Serve immediately.

Variations

These green beans are delicious all on their own, but if you want to gild the lily, try these variations:

  • Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest along with the optional parsley.

  • Toss cooked green beans with 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese.

  • Add 1/4 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds along with the optional parsley.

  • If boiling the green beans, use half chicken broth and half water in place of all water.

How to Select Green Beans

When buying green beans, choose brightly colored, unblemished ones. Beans that look dull or have brown spots are usually woody. Younger, thinner beans are preferable, as are beans that are firm enough to easily snap in half. If you're not cooking the beans right away, refrigerate them in a plastic bag with a paper towel inserted to absorb excess moisture.

Health Benefits of Green Beans

Green beans are low in calories and fat and contain no cholesterol. Plus they’re a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, folic acid, iron, and fiber. 

Green beans contain a high amount of chlorophyll, which potentially can block the carcinogenic effects of highly charred meats.

A study conducted by Harvard Medical School revealed that consuming iron from plant sources like spinach, beans, pumpkin, and green beans might promote fertility in women of child-bearing age.

The vitamin K in green beans can help prevent bone fractures because it improves calcium absorption.