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With garlicky flavor, a squeeze of lemon, and a simple secret ingredient that takes it up a notch, this sauteed green beans recipe is your solution for a flavorful, quick, and healthy side dish. Unlike sauteed zucchini or sauteed broccoli, which tend to be more tender, these pan fried green beans stay nice and crisp, making them a fresh addition to any meal. Plus, they are on the table in just 10 minutes!
Why You’ll Love These Sauteed Green Beans
- Bright lemon and garlic flavors
- Perfect balance of tenderness and crispness
- 5 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- Just 10 minutes from start to finish
- Nutritious and satisfying
- Versatile side dish that goes with anything
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for pan fried green beans, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – For sauteing, of course! You can use other heat safe oils, such as avocado oil, coconut oil, or ghee.
- Green Beans – Look for fresh green beans that are firm and crisp. Trim the ends. Sauteing frozen green beans technically work, but they will have a much softer texture.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Unsalted Butter – My “secret” ingredient! It’s not suitable for actually sauteing because it will burn, but adding just a tablespoon at the very end adds so much richness and flavor to the sautéed green beans. I use the same method for sauteed mushrooms and sauteed zucchini!
- Garlic – Use fresh minced garlic for the best flavor, or substitute 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic for convenience instead. If you have neither, you can just season the green beans with garlic powder, but they taste better using fresh garlic cloves.
- Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice tastes best, but you can take a shortcut and use bottled if you like.
How To Saute Green Beans
This section shows how to make sauteed green beans with garlic, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Pan fry green beans. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (I love this one!) over medium-high heat. Add the green beans. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until they become a bright green color and are just slightly under-done.
- Saute the garlic in butter. Push the green beans to the sides of the pan and make a well in the center. Add the butter and let it melt, then add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Combine. Stir the green beans and garlic together. Remove the sauteed green beans from the heat and toss with lemon juice.
How Long To Saute Green Beans?
Saute green beans for 4-5 minutes, or until they are crisp-tender.
- Store: Transfer green beans to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Warm them in a skillet over medium heat for best results. You can also microwave them, but they tend to be less crisp that way.
- Freeze: Sauteed green beans won’t retain their crisp texture after freezing, but you can still freeze them if you like. Cool completely, then place in a zip lock bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
What To Serve With Sauteed Green Beans
This sauteed green beans recipe can pair with just about any protein or main course, and they make the perfect quick and easy side. Here are some other fast recipes to make with them:
- Chicken – Whip up some honey garlic chicken in the oven or chicken thighs in the air fryer for a complete meal in less than 30 minutes.
- Fish & Seafood – Simple veggie sides like this one always pair well with fish, and you can make baked cod or baked salmon in the oven while you’re sauteing green beans on the stovetop. For date night, try seared scallops or air fryer lobster tail.
- Steak – For a classic steakhouse meal, pair these veggies with a simple sirloin steak, or a quick and easy air fryer steak.
- Pork – Combine this easy side with a comforting main like a pork sirloin roast or Crock Pot pork tenderloin.
- Holiday Mains – If you need a quick side dish for the holidays, sauteed garlic green beans make a quick option so that you can focus on your main dishes. Try them with a rump roast, spatchcock chicken, or even your Thanksgiving turkey. For a smaller gathering, make a Crock Pot turkey breast or filet mignon.
- Sauce – For even more flavor, drizzle some tahini sauce or basil pesto over your pan fried green beans when serving.
More Easy Green Bean Recipes
So many ways to cook this veggie! Here are some of my other favorite green bean recipes:
Sauteed Green Beans
Sauteed Green Beans (10 Minutes!)
Make this easy sauteed green beans recipe with garlic, lemon, and a secret ingredient, in just 10 minutes! Pan fried green beans make the perfect side dish.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the green beans. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 4 minutes, until bright green and just slightly under-done.
Push the green beans to the sides of the pan and make a well in the center. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the minced garlic and saute for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Stir the green beans and garlic together.
Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
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Serving size: 1 cup
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