Bright green and loaded with flavor, steamed green beans are a side dish everyone will love. Learn how to steam green beans with these easy instructions.
Do you hate mushy vegetables as much as I do? Don’t fear that outcome with these simple directions. You’ll get perfect slightly crisp green beans every time!
Steamed Green Beans
Keep these tips in mind when making steamed green beans:
First, trim the tops of the green beans, as needed. While you certainly can cut the green beans into bite-size pieces, I typically prefer them full length.
Second, set a timer when steaming green beans. This will prevent you from oversteaming them.
Third, remove them from the heat they have just the slightest bit of crunch remaining in the middle. They will continue to cook while you get everything plated.
How to Steam Green Beans
Here are the step-by-step directions on how to steam green beans:
Prep the pot: Add two inches of water. Insert the steamer basket. You can also use a metal strainer or colander. The water should be completely beneath the basket. (I use this basket all the time!) If you can see the standing water over the bottom of the basket, pour some out.
Boil the water: Set the pot over a burner and turn it to high. Cover the pot. When you hear the water bubbling rapidly, lift the cover to check. If steam billows out, you’re ready to begin steaming.
Steaming Green Beans: Place the green beans into the steamer basket. Cover the pot again, and lower the heat setting to medium.
How Long to Steam Green Beans
Not sure how long to steam green beans? The answer depends on whether you are cutting them into pieces or steaming them whole, how crisp you want them, etc.
Start checking the green beans after 5 minutes have elapsed. You can use the tip of a sharp knife to test their tenderness, or just taste one. If still too firm, check again in 30 seconds.
Remember to remove them from the heat while they still have some crunch remaining; the residual heat will continue to cook them as they cool off.
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.
There are so many great ways to cook green beans! Once you’ve mastered steaming, you may want to try sauteeing, boiling, or even roasting them.
How to Steam Green Beans
- 1 pound green beans ends trimmed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper adjust to taste
- Bring two inches of water to boil in a large pot.
- Place the green beans in a steamer basket and put the basket into the pot of boiling water. Cover the pot, and lower the heat to medium. Steam for 5 minutes.
- Remove them from the heat when the green beans are bright green and still slightly firm. Season with salt and pepper.
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