Sauteed green beans are the side dish you'll have on a weekly rotation--made in just minutes with fresh lemon juice and a splash of white wine! This recipe comes together in just 10 minutes, and everyone loves it. Grab a bag of already cleaned green beans at the store, and you'll be half way there.
Sautéed Green Beans
If there's a thing that every summer dinner needs, it's a pile of fresh sautéed green beans on the side. You can make a double batch of this recipe and bring it to an outdoor picnic or potluck, too! Whether you grow your own beans in the garden or grab a fresh bag at the farmer's market, just make sure you get more green beans on your plate this summer! Once you have had enough green beans and potatoes, try this recipe next!
I have also been finding bags of washed and trimmed green beans at Trader Joe's lately, and they make this recipe even faster. Just note that the organic bag of green beans at Trader Joe's doesn't contain trimmed beans, but the conventional bag does. Buy whatever you're most comfortable with, ok? If you have to trim the beans yourself, simply snap off the stem end. I leave on the other end that sometimes looks like a thin tail, but you can trim off that end, too, if you like.
This recipe for sauteed green beans goes beyond a little salt and pepper and squeeze of lemon juice. It also contains a splash of white wine, garlic, and the zest from the lemon. These green beans are a notch beyond just lemony green beans, though, because the lemon zest balances with the spicy garlic to create a super savory flavor profile. The white wine gives the beans something to simmer in, and the beans soak up the flavors of the wine. Be sure to use wine that you love drinking!
I like to think of green bean casserole as the way to enjoy green beans in the winter, and these sauteed green beans as the way to enjoy green beans in the summer months.
- green beans: one pound of fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed of stem end
- white wine: a dry white wine (not a sweet wine). If you don't want to use wine, just use lemon juice instead.
- lemon: We only need the lemon zest for this recipe, so save the juice for something else. Alternatively, you can use lemon juice instead of white wine. The best way to get lemon zest off a lemon is by using a microplane grater.
- salt and pepper: I will suggest an appropriate amount of salt and pepper for this recipe, but you can add more or less to taste.
How to make sautéed green beans:
- Gather your ingredients: clean green beans, butter (we're using unsalted because we're adding our own salt levels), a splash of white wine, lemon for zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
- In a 3 to 5 quart stock pot, add half of the butter (one tablespoon) and let it melt over medium heat. When the butter is melted and starting to sizzle, add all of the green beans at once. Toss the beans in the butter, and let them cook for about 5-7 minutes, or just until they turn a bright green coloring. Stir them occasionally.
- After 5-7 minutes of cooking, the beans are going to start looking like they need some liquid to continue their cooking process. Stir in the white wine and garlic, and place the lid slightly ajar on the pot. Let the green beans steam in the white wine and finish cooking, about another 3-4 minutes.
- At the end of 3 minutes, give the beans and taste. They should be cooked all the way through but still have a crisp bite. If you're happy with their level of crispness, turn off the heat, and then stir in the remaining one tablespoon of butter, salt, pepper, butter and lemon zest.
- Give the green beans a good stir to melt the butter, and a final taste before serving. Add any additional salt and pepper you may prefer. Serve the beans immediately.
How to store leftovers:
If you have any sautéed green beans leftover, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, either place them in a saucepan with another splash of wine or vegetable broth, and heat until warmed through. Or, you can always crisp any leftover green beans in a toaster oven, which is my personal favorite.
Can you make sauteed green beans with frozen green beans?
Yes, you may use frozen green beans for this recipe, but with a few changes to the recipe. When it comes to using frozen green beans, try to find frozen whole beans, not the chopped green beans. Do not defrost the green beans before cooking, simply add extra minutes to the cooking time when they're cooking in butter in step two. The rest of the recipe remains the same. If you only have frozen chopped green beans, you'll want to reduce the second cooking time in step three (when they're cooking in wine) because they're chopped smaller and will cook faster at that point.
What to serve with sautéed green beans:
Anytime we grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, these beans are always served alongside in my house. I tend to think of sauteed green beans as the perfect side dish to almost any protein: oven baked salmon, rosemary lemon chicken, any type of pork, seafood or even a veggie burger.
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided use
- 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a 3-5 quart stock pot, add 1 tablespoon of the butter, and turn the heat to medium.
- When the butter is sizzling and melted, add all of the green beans. Toss the green beans in the butter, and let cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
- When the green beans are just starting to turn bright green, but are still too crisp, add the wine and garlic.
- Place the lid slightly ajar on the pan, and let the beans cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Finally, stir in the lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and the remaining tablespoon of butter and taste the beans.
- Add more salt or continue to cook them for a few minutes, if you like them softer. Serve.
white wine: a dry white wine (not a sweet wine). If you don't want to use wine, just use lemon juice instead.
lemon: We only need the lemon zest for this recipe, so save the juice for something else. Alternatively, you can use lemon juice instead of white wine. The best way to get lemon zest off a lemon is by using a microplane grater.
salt and pepper: I will suggest an appropriate amount of salt and pepper for this recipe, but you can add more or less to taste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 111Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g