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Tired of not knowing how to cook green beans – because they’re tasteless, soggy, or too crunchy – and then take forever to cook?! You’re about to learn how to rock this yummy Southern green beans recipe like a boss and be done in minutes. I struggled for years to know how to cook green beans that actually had incredible flavor and were just the right amount of crunchiness while remaining in the healthy vegetable category. There are just a couple secrets to learn and you’ll be on your way to healthy green bean recipes on your own (that don’t necessarily taste healthy!). This just may be your family’s new favorite vegetable dish of the future!
If you’ve been around THTG at all, you know I adore sharing easy recipes, stress-free travel tips, and cleaning, cozying, and family-friendly entertainment hacks. Enjoy a solution to this age-old struggle of having your family actually like the green beans on their plate!
HOW TO COOK GREEN BEANS SECRETS
Knowing how to cook green beans (frozen green bean recipes) in the quickest and easiest way is simply knowing how to “saute” green beans. The following sauteed green bean recipe secrets include three key things (especially when cooking frozen green beans):
- infusing flavor early
- using the correct cooking oil
- using the right temperature at the right time
#1 infusing flavor early ~ It’s imperative that you add the oil and seasoning early on into the green beans so that they will soak up the flavor. This is accomplished by only adding the green beans into the skillet after the oil/butter/garlic is hot and then seasoning immediately.
#2 using the correct oil/butter ~ In order to give green beans the most flavor, use a combination of one of the following three oils with a pat of butter. Choose from bacon grease (best flavor), olive oil, or coconut oil and combine with a small pat of butter before seasoning.
#3 using the right temperature at the right time ~After melting the oil/butter mixture, heat skillet to medium/high. You’ll saute’ garlic and then green beans at this higher temperature before turning to low. It helps to give a result of a crispier but done green bean and not a soggy, tasteless one. More specific cooking instructions below.
The ingredients and instructions for a printable recipe card on how to make frozen green beans taste good are below but here’s the basic idea:
After melting a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease (or coconut oil or olive oil), cook garlic (can be garlic in a jar) for a couple of minutes before adding green beans. Don’t gasp too loudly about me suggesting bacon grease! The key to amazing green beans is infusing them with flavor early on. The facts: bacon grease gives vegetables flavor that nothing else can. Otherwise, they might taste like a limp dishrag hanging on the towel rack!
Don’t worry – I won’t force you, though. I’ve listed the other options.
Just like 95% of my recipes, how to cook green beans the best is in a cast-iron skillet. It’s not mandatory to use a cast-iron skillet but it sure does seem to help. Don’t have a cast-iron yet? My most used piece is this old-school, heavy-duty Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet.
Using fresh green beans is wonderful, but for this quick hack, we’re using frozen green beans (using the healthiest canned green beans would work too without the liquid but probably not as nutrient-dense).
The bags of frozen vegetables I always mention when I share about how to save money on groceries applies here too. The Kroger green beans are blanched slightly (that means they are partially cooked) without any flavoring, only take a few minutes to cook, and are usually the best bargain for me. When I need them, they’re in the freezer waiting for us.
Important: When using frozen green beans, make sure you thaw and towel blot as much water as possible before cooking – you don’t want that extra water in your pan – that will cause sogginess.
All the exact measurements are on the printable recipe card below, but here are the ingredients at a glance. ->>>
Melt bacon grease (or butter, coconut oil, or olive oil) in the center of a cast-iron skillet. Meanwhile, cut up one piece of fresh garlic (you can totally use garlic in a jar instead). Optionally, chopping and cooking 1/8 of an onion as well will amp up the flavor also. Cook in grease for 2 minutes. Add green beans that have thawed, along with salt and pepper seasoning. Toss to coat beans until thoroughly coated. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes Turn the burner on low heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- bacon grease, olive oil, or coconut oil
- fresh garlic (chopped)
- chopped fresh onion (optional)
- salt & pepper
That’s all folks!
- 2 Tablespoons bacon grease, olive oil, or coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 bag frozen green beans, thawed & patted dry
- 1 clove garlic or 1 tablespoon jarred garlic without juice
- optional: 1/8 chopped onion
- dash of salt
- dash of pepper
- Melt oil and butter in the center of a cast iron skillet.
- Meanwhile, cut up one piece of fresh garlic.
- Optional: chop and cook 1/8 of an onion.
- Add garlic and onion and cook in grease 2 minutes.
- Add green beans and salt and pepper seasoning and toss to coat beans until thoroughly coated..
- Cook at medium/high heat for 5 minutes
- Turn burner to lowest heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Easy Peasy!
BONUS WAYS TO COOK GREEN BEANS
Although not my favorite ways, there are other options:
How to boil green beans (basically -> how to cook frozen green beans)
You can pour frozen or canned green beans into a boiling pot of rich broth with seasonings and cook for ten minutes on medium. Turn down to low and cook for five to ten minutes more until done. Trust me when I say that this is the best of frozen green bean recipes.
How to cook green beans in the oven
You can pour thawed-out and towel-patted green beans on a cookie sheet, coated with butter, seasonings, and Parmesan cheese to broil for 10 minutes to fifteen minutes until done and slightly browned at 400 degrees.
How to cook frozen green beans so they are not soggy
Most of the time when frozen green beans are soggy, it’s because the melted ice from the packaging is adding into the skillet and is too much liquid, or the beans are placed into oil in the skillet that isn’t hot. For best practices, thaw green beans and strain extra water out before cooking, and wait until the oil in the skillet is hot before adding beans.
But let me say that the first way I’ve shared is the most flavorful way I know how to cook green beans, not to mention the quickest and easiest.
This is one of those dishes I call no-brainers or emergency meals. I hope you enjoy this simple hack to get some vegetables on the table that are not only healthy but that also have tons of flavor (which is typically hard to give to vegetables like this).
- CHEESEBURGER PIE: LOW CARB + EASY + YUMMY
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- PUMPKIN MUFFINS RECIPE & 10 FABULOUS PUMPKIN SPICE DESSERTS & SOUPS
I’d love to hear if this helped you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Delicious easy recipes in this series:
Low Carb Cheeseburger Pie
We seriously use this recipe so many times a month because it’s such an easy vegetable to get on the table quickly whether a weeknight or Sunday dinner. Enjoy, friends!