Think green beans are boring? Think again. Green beans are much more versatile than we give them credit for. From simple sides to decked out casseroles, they really can elevate any dish. You probably already know how to cook green beans, but changing up your method can make them taste like a totally different vegetable.
When you’re shopping for green beans, look for ones that look crisp enough to snap cleanly in half. Avoid limp or bruised beans at the grocery store or farmers’ market. To prepare green beans for cooking, make sure to snap off the stem end of the vegetable if it is still attached. To trim the beans in bulk, line them up on a cutting board and slice off all the stems at the same time.
Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated
Once your prepped and ready, it’s time to start cooking. Here are our eight favorite (and super simple) ways to cook with green beans:
1. Roast them.
French fries? Who needs ‘em! Roasted green beans are the healthy side dish you never knew you needed. Simply toss some beans in olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake them at 425 degrees for 15-30 minutes.
Get the recipe: Oven Roasted Green Beans
2. Fry them.
Because we don’t always want to be healthy. To prepare fried green beans, you’re going to want to use a deep-fryer or large saucepan. A simple breading made with flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs will take your beans to another level.
Learn more: Frying 101
3. Pickle them.
Pickled green beans are not only delicious on their own—they make an excellent garnish for cocktails. We see a bloody mary in your future.
Get the recipe: Spicy Pickled Green Beans
4. Steam them.
Steamed green beans might not be the most exciting dish in the world, but they are easy and reliable. Make the process even simpler by using your Instant Pot.
Get the recipe: Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing
5. Sauté them.
There’s a reason simple sautéed green beans have stood the test of time—you can’t beat a classic. Check out our Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic recipe here.
Learn more: How to Successfully Sauté
6. Blanch them.
Blanching—quickly scalding in boiling water or steam—is an essential step if you’re planning to freeze your green beans for later. Since blanched green beans are nice, crunchy, and perfectly green, they're also great for for mixing into salads or for a quick sauté.
Learn more: How to Keep Green Beans Fresher Longer
7. Cook them in a Crockpot.
Slow-Cooker Green Beans
A Southern favorite, slow-cooked green beans free up precious stove-top space. Bonus points if you add an indulgent meat like ham or bacon to the mix.
Get the recipe: Slow-Cooker Green Beans
8. Make a green bean casserole.
Fact: A classic green bean casserole will never disappoint. Your mama might’ve made it with canned soup (no judgment here, that stuff’s delicious), but our favorite green bean casserole recipe calls for a rich and chunky homemade mushroom sauce.
Get the recipe: Green Bean Casserole
9. Make green beans almondine.
Green beans almondine, or green beans with almonds, is a traditional French recipe is an easy way to make a weeknight dinner feel like a classy affair. Julia Child, is that you?!
Get the recipe: Green Beans Almondine
10. Make a simple green bean salad.
Adding green beans is an easy and healthy way to spruce up any plain old salad. Blanched green beans work especially well in bright, crispy salads. To make your salad even better, whip up a simple dressing—without a recipe.
Get the recipe: Tangy Potato-Green Bean Salad
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