Learn how to saute green beans perfectly with these step-by-step instructions. If you want the delicious taste of roasted green beans in a fraction of the time, then break out a skillet and turn up the heat.
Every good meal deserves an awesome side dish or two, and green beans are a versatile addition to any dinner. You can get adventurous with herbs, or just add butter, salt, and pepper.
Sauteed Green Beans
Want to make perfect sautéed green beans? Follow these tips:
First, it should go without saying, but high-quality produce is going to always taste better. Be choosy at the store, only selecting the firm green beans with no withered tips or brown spots.
Second, heat the pan before putting in the oil. This eliminates cold spots and helps to cook the green beans evenly. Also, use an oil (or clarified butter) with a higher smoking point instead of regular butter.
Third, toss the green beans. Sauté comes from the French word for “jump” because of the way this cooking technique keeps the food in motion, letting it rest only long enough to slightly sear.
You can use the pan itself to toss the green beans. I typically prefer to use a utensil to stir them or tongs to turn them over.
How to Saute Green Beans
Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to sauté green beans:
Prep the green beans: Clean the green beans and trim the ends, then pat them dry. Any excess water will result in steaming the green beans.
Prep the pan: Get out your largest skillet (with sloping sides) or a sauté pan (with vertical walls). For me, this Misen pan is the perfect skillet for sauteeing. Put the pan on a burner set to medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
Saute away: Drizzle oil into the pan, then add the green beans and seasoning. Because this method uses relatively high heat, you’ll need to tend them somewhat frequently.
How Long to Saute Green Beans
Wondering how long to saute green beans?
That will depend on how crowded your pan is, but it should only take about 6 to 9 minutes. Start tasting them a few minutes into cooking, and pay attention to the way they taste.
I can’t overstate the importance of testing with a fork and also tasting the vegetables when trying new cooking methods.
We prefer our vegetables more firm than soft, with a solid bite to them. If you prefer your vegetables to be a bit more cooked, just add a minute or two to the provided cooking times. It’s always better to err on the side of undercooked versus overdone.
Keep in mind that cooking times are estimates and adjust them to be exactly what you like best.
Don’t worry if you move past tender crisp. A lot of us are still recovering from the limp, overcooked vegetables of our childhood. You too will recover and get there someday.
How to Saute Green Beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound Green Beans ends trimmed
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ¼ tablespoon pepper adjust to taste
- Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Add oil and green beans to the skillet and toss to coat. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cover with a lid. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Uncover and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking uncovered, while stirring frequently, for an additional 4-6 minutes to the desired doneness.
- When green beans are tender crisp, remove them from heat. Adjust seasoning to taste.