How to Cook Fresh Green Beans – 6 Easy Ways

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Want to learn about all the ways to cook green beans? Here are some fail-proof methods for you to try at home to master cooking fresh green beans. In the Air Fryer, Oven, Instant Pot, Crockpot, and stovetop.

Chilli Garlic Green bean recipe on plate with some salt and napkin

Are you a fan of green beans? Got a bag full and not sure how to cook fresh green beans? I’ve got you covered today with this simple recipe guide on five different ways of cooking green beans from the stovetop to the oven to the pressure cooker and even the air fryer.

When you’re done, use them in a salad, as a side dish for the whole family, or even on their own as a snack if that’s how you like your green beans! 

There are many ways to serve them that you can manage to convince even the picky eaters to try them at the dinner table.

Green beans are one of those vegetables that go with everything so you’re going to want to learn how to cook green beans perfectly.

Cooking fresh green beans is quite easy once you get the hang of it. This post will show you some fail-proof ways to cook your fresh green beans. Ps you might be interested in How to Boil Broccoli and this How To Boil Carrots post.

Please not this post does not cover cooking with frozen green beans or canned green beans. I will do other posts that cover these.

garlic butter sesame instant pot green beans served in a blue bowl with a fork and spoon

What Are Green Beans

Green beans, also called snap beans, french beans, or string beans are vegetables made up of small seeds encased in long pods. Green beans are in season year-round with a peak in the months of May to October.

Why Cook With Green Beans?

  • Green beans are easily accessible and low in cost to buy.
  • The mild subtle flavor of green beans makes it easy to pair them with all sorts of different spices and seasonings.
  • You can use green beans add crunch and color to salads, pasta, casseroles, and more!
  • They are low carb and gluten-free, making them suitable for a variety of dietary considerations.

How To Pick Fresh Green Beans

It’s best to buy green beans that are loose and not packaged so you can pick the freshest ones. Look for crisp bright green ones that are free of black spots and blemishes. Try to get similar length ones so they cook at the same rate

fresh green beans on a countertop

How To Store and Prep Green Beans Before You Cook Them

If you are not using them right away, fresh green beans should be refrigerated in a plastic bag and used within one week. Before cooking them, be sure to rinse them under cold water and then trim the stem end.

However you cook them, the key thing is to cook the beans for the shortest time possible to preserve their flavor (trust me – your family and friends will thank you for not serving them soggy brown tasteless beans).

Tools Needed

Here are some easy ways to cook fresh green beans and how long to cook fresh green beans for each method.

How To Cook Fresh Green Beans on Stove Top

  1. Step 1. Wash and trim green beans with a sharp knife.
  2. Step 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over medium heat, add green beans into the boiling water and boil green beans for 2-4 minutes until they are crisp tender but have a little bite and are still bright green
  3. Step 3. Drain beans and plunge the beans into ice water to stop cooking, and drain again, season as desired.
  4. You blanched beans are ready to serve immediately.

Here is one of my best beans recipes made on the stovetop:

green beans in a white pot with some water

How To Cook Fresh Green Beans in the Oven

  1. Step 1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F / gas 6.
  2. Step 2. Add the green beans to a lined baking tray, drizzle some oil and some salt, and mix well.
  3. Step 3. Roast green beans for 20 minutes and serve topped with some extra salt, and chopped herbs if you like.
fresh green beans that have been topped and tailed

How To Cook Fresh Green Beans in the Instant Pot

  1. Step 1. Add chicken stock to the Instant Pot insert.
  2. Step 2. Add the green beans.
  3. Step 3. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the valve to the sealing position.
  4. Step 4. Set to manual/pressure cook on high pressure for 0 minutes. Then Natural Pressure Release. Serve topped with some extra salt, and chopped herbs if you like.
cooked garlic butter sesame instant pot green beans inside the instant pot and ready to be served

Here’s my Garlic Butter Sesame Instant Pot Green Beans recipe

How To Cook Fresh Green Beans in the Air Fryer

  1. Step 1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 F / 200C.
  2. Step 2. Add the green beans to a mixing bowl and spray with some low-calorie spray and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. Step 3. Place the beans into the air fryer basket and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning a couple of times during cooking so that they brown evenly.
  4. Step 4. Remove and serve topped with some extra salt, and chopped herbs if you like.
Air Fryer Green Beans inside the air fryer basket

Here are my tips on air frying and my fresh green bean recipe.

How To Cook Fresh Green Beans in the Crockpot

  1. Step 1. Place green beans and other ingredients into the crockpot.
  2. Step 2. Mix, cover, and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours -3 1/2 hours, without opening the lid.
green beans and bacon inside the slow cooker

Here is my recipe for Crockpot Green Beans And Bacon.

Ways To Add Flavor To Fresh Cooked Green Beans

  • season your sauteed green beans with a combination of basil, oregano, parsley and thyme, and lemon juice
  • finish your green beans with garlic and shaved parmesan
  • season with a generous portion of chopped bacon and butter

Other optional flavors include

  • Extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • Garlic powder or minced garlic
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Bacon

Tips

  • Feel free to spread out your blanched beans on paper towels to dry them completely before serving or storing.

Some FAQs

Can You Overcook Green Beans?

Yes, perfectly cooked green beans should have a vibrant green color. Overcooked green beans will be an olive green color and can become mushy.

Can You Freeze Cooked Green Beans?

If you want to freeze green beans I suggest freezing them raw before cooking.

How Long To Cook Fresh Green Beans

This depends on the cooking method and how you want to serve them. They are best cooked tender crisp for salads but softer for adding to soups and stews.

If you are not sure, then it is always best to cook them for less time than you think. You can then always add another few minutes cooking time if you need.

Prep Ahead And Storage

How to Prep Ahead of Time

If you want to save some time on the day of cooking the fresh green beans, you can top and tail the green beans ahead of time and store them in a container in the refrigerator. 

How To Store Cooked Green Beans

Refrigerate the green beans in shallow airtight containers or wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Cooked beans will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

More Green Bean Recipes

Serving Suggestions.

Weight Watchers Points

A serving is a 0 Blue Plan SmartPoints food if prepared without any oil or butter.

Originally published Aug 2013.

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5 from 5 votes

How to Cook Green Beans – Fresh Green Beans 5 Ways

Here are 5 fail-proof methods to master cooking fresh green beans.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Western
Servings: 4
Calories: 66kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces (500g) of green beans (french beans, string beans) topped and tailed

Stovetop Method:

  • water
  • salt

Oven Method:

  • olive oil
  • salt

Instant Pot Method:

  • 1 cup chicken stock

Air Fryer Method:

  • low-calorie cooking spray
  • salt

Crockpot Method:

  • 8 slices cooked bacon  cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter or bacon drippings
  • 1 onion sliced and sauteed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic puree
  • salt to taste
  • red pepper flakes optional

Instructions

Fresh Green Beans on the Stovetop Instructions:

  • Top and tail the green beans.
  • Bring a pot of salted water pot of water to the boil, add in the green beans and cook 3-4 mins until they are tender but have a little bite.
  • Drain the water and plunge the beans into some cold water and drain again before seasoning and serving.

Fresh Green Beans in the Oven Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6.
  • Add the green beans to a lined baking tray, drizzle some oil and some salt, and mix well.
  • Bake for 20 mins and serve topped with some extra salt, and chopped herbs if you like.

Fresh Green Beans in the Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Add chicken stock to the Instant Pot insert.
  • Add the green beans, place the lid on the Instant Pot, and turn the valve to the sealing position.
  • Set to manual/pressure cook on high pressure for 0 minutes. Then Natural Pressure Release.
  • Serve topped with some extra salt and chopped herbs, if you like.

Fresh Green Beans in the Air Fryer Instructions:

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400F / 200C.
  • Add the green beans to a bowl and spray with some low-calorie spray and salt. Mix to combine.
  • Place the beans into the air fryer basket and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning a couple of times during cooking so that they brown evenly.
  • Remove and serve topped with some extra salt and chopped herbs, if you like.

Fresh Green Beans in the Crockpot Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients into the crockpot.
  • Mix, cover, and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours -3 1/2 hours, without opening the lid.
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Notes

How To Store Cooked Green Beans

Refrigerate the green beans in shallow airtight containers or wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Cooked green beans will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

How to Prep Ahead of Time

If you want to save some time on the day of cooking the fresh green beans, you can top and tail the green beans ahead of time and store them in a container in the refrigerator. 

Can You Overcook Green Beans?

Yes, perfectly cooked green beans should have a vibrant green color. Overcooked green beans will be an olive green color and can become mushy.

Ways To Add Flavor To Fresh Cooked Green Beans

  • season with a combination of basil, oregano, parsley and thyme, and lemon juice
  • finish your green beans with garlic and shaved parmesan
  • season with a generous portion of chopped bacon and butter

Can You Freeze Cooked Green Beans?

If you want to freeze green beans I suggest freezing them raw before cooking.

What To Serve With Cooked Fresh Green Beans

Weight Watchers Points

Fresh green beans are a ZERO SmartPoints food if prepared without any oil or butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 362mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 978IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    There is definitely a science to cooking green beans, I’ve had bland green beans more times than I can count. You absolutely have to cook them in something whether it’s bacon, lemon or broth. Thanks for the share!

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for the extra tip about overcooking grean beans! Now I not only for 4 ways to make it at home, but a clear idea of what it SHOULDN’T look like. Time for some perfect green beans! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. 5 stars
    I love green beans and hope my garden is good to me this year. I think steaming them in my favorite way.

  4. 5 stars
    I had green beans that weren’t from a can for the first time a few weeks ago and now I’m obsessed! I can’t wait to try making them myself at home!

  5. Green beans are my cheat vegetables. Always so easy to cook and can blend with lots of main dishes. Can’t wait to see the rest of the spotlights.

  6. I always cook my green beans like this so they still stay a bit crispy. Growing up all we had were soggy green beans so I didn’t like them. But trying them cooked this way made me fall in love with them!