Sautéed Green Beans with crispy bits of garlic is an easy, classic preparation for a green beans side dish. Though not the most explosively exciting recipe on my website, it’s a life essential recipe that will serve you well for the rest of your days!
I serve this as a side with all cuisines. Yes, even Asian food – read on!
Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
I have a surprising number of recipes starring green beans on this website. From sides to mains (Sichuan Green Beans with Pork, anyone??), it turns out that green beans may just be my favourite vegetable. Second perhaps only to potato which, as my mother would quickly point out, doesn’t have great nutritional value and thus qualify as a vegetable whose vast intake you ought to boast about.
Saying I love green beans on the other hand does make me feel somewhat virtuous.
Having said that, to date all the green bean-centric recipes have been things I classify as interesting or just plain fabulous (pretty sure there’s been an excessive use of both these words in all these recipes). Like Ottolenghi’s herb loaded Green Bean Salad. Or a luxe Green Bean Casserole. And this Green Bean Salad with a Creamy Avocado Dressing.
All worthy dishes, but they’re either a wee bit on the rich side and/or are a little more involved. In other words, not the simple green bean side that I make “all the time”. Rather that place is often filled with today’s recipe: Sautéed Green Beans with crispy little golden garlic bits!
Handy tip: Prepare ahead!
To get ahead, boil the beans then let it cool, dry, and store the beans in the fridge. Then when you’re ready to serve, you just need to toss with the garlic which takes a mere 2 minutes. An instant side dish, ready on demand!
What you need to make Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
Here’s what you need to make Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic:
Green beans – Look for fresh perky ones, not sad and floppy ones speckled with black dots.
Garlic – Two smallish cloves or one large one. Finely mince the garlic using a knife. Do not use a garlic press/crusher. This makes the garlic go wet and pasty so you won’t get nice golden bits, like pictured. In fact, the garlic will just spit when it hits the skillet.
As for jarred garlic paste? Not on my watch! This stuff doesn’t really taste like garlic and it’s oddly sour due to the preserving agents. Plus it’s wet so it too will spit like crazy.
Olive oil or butter, if you’d like a buttery flavour on your beans. If you want to dial up the butter factor, use clarified butter / ghee instead!
How to cook Sautéed Green Beans
Boil the beans for 4 minutes until they become bright green and are barely tender. Drain and then toss the beans in a skillet with the garlic.
Well … you could toss … or be a normal person and just STIR!!! I promise it works just as well. 😂
What to serve with Sautéed Green Beans
The beauty of this dish is that it’s so simple and neutrally pitched that it goes with almost anything. It would be great with an elegant piece of fish with white wine sauce or a big juicy steak, or from a giant pan of paella to a big cosy lasagne.
And although you wouldn’t think of it, this dish works alongside Asian foods too! Either serve it as-is, or give it an Asian-inspired touch by adding a bit of minced ginger, and finishing with a drizzle of sesame oil or a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
No recipe video is included today because it’s a quick and easy side! However if there’s a process in this recipe you’d like to specifically see, I’d be happy to do a quick little video for you. Just leave your request in the comments section below! – Nagi x
Overloaded with green beans? More ideas!
Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic
Blanched Green Beans:
- 250g/ 8oz green beans , trimmed (Note 1)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or… butter!)
- 2 garlic cloves , finely minced (~ 2 tsp), do not use jar or garlic crusher (Note 2)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Blanch beans: Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add beans, cook for 4 minutes (they will turn bright green), drain, then rinse under cold tap water to cool. (There's really no need to shock in ice water). Shake off excess water.
- Sauté: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add green beans and garlic. Toss (or stir!) for 2 minutes until the garlic is golden and crispy. Add salt and pepper, then toss.
- Serve: Transfer beans to serving dish. Serve warm!
- Prepare ahead: Blanch beans per step 1, cool and dry, store in fridge until required. When ready to serve, just toss with garlic. It's an instant on-demand side!
Life of Dozer
Cookbook prospective recipe. He doesn’t realise it’s meat free….😂 Well, possibly he doesn’t care.