How To Cook Green Beans In Minutes That Actually Taste Good!

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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 of 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!

close up of how to cook green beans - in red mug

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!

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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):

  1. infusing flavor early
  2. using the correct cooking oil
  3. 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
  • butter
  • fresh garlic (chopped)
  • chopped fresh onion (optional)
  • salt & pepper

That’s all folks!

How To Cook Green Beans Like A Boss!
  • 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
  1. Melt oil and butter in the center of a cast iron skillet.
  2. Meanwhile, cut up one piece of fresh garlic.
  3. Optional: chop and cook 1/8 of an onion.
  4. Add garlic and onion and cook in grease 2 minutes.
  5. Add green beans and salt and pepper seasoning and toss to coat beans until thoroughly coated..
  6. Cook at medium/high heat for 5 minutes
  7. Turn burner to lowest heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Easy Peasy!


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).

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I’d love to hear if this helped you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Delicious easy recipes in this series:

Slow Cooker Soups

5 Minute Fudge

Smokey Tuna Dip

Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

How to Cook Rice

Wacky Cake

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!


Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Jamie
    August 30, 2016 / 8:58 am

    Definitely have to try this! I am not a fan of soggy green beans and these sound amazing!

  2. Jasmine Eclipse
    August 30, 2016 / 11:46 am

    I need this recipe! My beans always seem to be either too soggy or too crunchy. I also love that you included links in this post to a bunch of other recipes as well, that will come in handy!

    • Shan
      August 31, 2016 / 11:05 am

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one, Jasmine! Mine were too. Hope this helps you make rock star green beans and WOW your family. Let me know how it goes!


  3. Cait
    August 30, 2016 / 11:23 pm

    I love fresh green beans. The bacon grease probably gives them such a nice flavor!

    – Cait

    • Shan
      August 31, 2016 / 11:03 am

      Yep, Cait! Nothing like that bacon grease. haha Gotta love it. Thanks for hanging around.


  4. Erin @ Stay at Home Yogi
    September 1, 2016 / 10:22 am

    Dang it, I’m a vegetarian so this method isn’t going to work for me! 🙁 This is a really cool series though, so I’m off to check out some other yummy posts! 🙂

    • Shan
      September 1, 2016 / 10:28 am

      Oh no, Erin! Use another oil, then fill it with your own seasonings. You can make still make them work. 😉


  5. Kaylin Zimmerman
    September 20, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    These beans sound amazing! I might have to try them tonight with supper. 😉

  6. De Bolton
    October 4, 2016 / 8:29 am

    That sounds like a fantastic idea. We don’t eat pork but I am sure I can do turkeyham or smoked turkey instead although it doesn’t have much fat. I need to figure it out and make this! Great suggestion!

  7. Vickie@Vickie's Kitchen and Garden
    November 1, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    I would love to make beans like this! Sound so good. We also use bacon or bacon fat it makes them so flavorful!

    • Shan
      November 9, 2016 / 6:06 pm

      Thanks Vickie! I hope this was helpful. sure does make it easier to find tricks to healthier food that isn’t hard.


  8. Kelly Bolen
    October 16, 2018 / 7:54 am

    A must try and I already saved the pin! Looks delicious! =)

    • Shan
      October 16, 2018 / 9:51 am

      Yay, Kelly! Let me know what you think when you do!

      much love,

  9. candy
    October 16, 2018 / 7:57 am

    I love to throw green beans into our cast iron skillet, add some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic or onion and sauté them. So good and so easy.

    • Shan
      October 16, 2018 / 9:51 am

      Yes, Candy! You are on the right track. Country cooking at it’s best!

      much love,

  10. April at LoveOurRealLife
    October 16, 2018 / 10:08 am

    Yum! This green bean recipe reminds me of eating at my grandmother’s house when I was small. Bacon makes everything better;-)

  11. Jennifer
    October 16, 2018 / 11:43 am

    You have inspired me!!! My family love green beans, by I am not their biggest fan! I will have to give the recipes a try, and will pull out my cast iron!

    • Shan
      October 16, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Woohoo, Jennifer! Try it a couple times and give it a chance. Let me know if I can help further!!!

      much love,

  12. jenna | the urben life
    October 16, 2018 / 11:47 am

    This post is perfect for me! I love green beans but can never make them taste awesome like my moms. I’m totally giving this a try soon 🙂 Thanks, Shan!

    • Shan
      October 16, 2018 / 12:33 pm

      Aw, I hope they live up to the expectation of “MOm.” Ekkk, the presure! lol Seriously though, let me know what you think!

      much love,

  13. Ayanna
    October 16, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    I love green beans, but never make them because they lose their crispness. So I will have to try this recipe the next time I want them.

  14. Amy
    October 16, 2018 / 9:54 pm

    This is how my grandma cooked green beans, right down to the bacon grease (with yummy bacon pieces) and cast iron skillet. I can testify that they are THE BOMB! I could live on them!

  15. Samara
    October 17, 2018 / 7:15 am

    Love the idea of broiling them with butter and parmesan! Yum! Every time I make green beans for my family they leave them on their plate untouched… I will have to try these suggestions!

  16. Nicole Kauffman
    October 17, 2018 / 8:50 am

    Love this!! I never thought of doing it in a cast iron!

  17. GiGi Eats
    November 6, 2018 / 9:37 am

    I had Green Beans the other night (and again last night) and hot damn, I am now addicted all of a sudden!!! So dang good! Thanks for the tips! I personally love Roasting them in the oven with salt – they remind me of french fries! 🙂

  18. Kate Loves Travel
    November 6, 2018 / 10:08 am

    What a great way to cook green beans – I’m definitely going to use this recipe next time we have them!

  19. Alyssa
    November 6, 2018 / 10:58 am

    Yes! I love green beans! (said not a lot of people ever lol!) But definitely will be trying this out! Thank you for sharing!

    Alyssa //

  20. Neely Moldovan
    November 6, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    Perfect timing because this is my dish for Thanksgiving and I really want to nail it! Thank you!

  21. Joshua
    November 6, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    Yum, bacon butter and garlic on green beans. How am i supposed to resist the 3 delicious temptations!

  22. Krysti
    November 6, 2018 / 3:54 pm

    I love green beans cooked well and this sounds like such a great method. I’ll definitely try it out!

  23. Stephanie
    November 6, 2018 / 3:55 pm

    I’ve only used fresh green beans a few times, and could never get them right. I think my temperature was off, because the rest sounds similar to what I was doing!

  24. MAYSZ
    November 6, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    I love green beans. Actually soaking fresh green beans looks so healthy and delicious <3

  25. Jennifer
    November 6, 2018 / 10:34 pm

    I am not a huge green bean fan but my husband and mom are! I will have to try making them this way next time I make them!

  26. Christa
    November 7, 2018 / 12:32 pm

    I love green beans! I often prepare them with a garlic butter. So yummy. 😀

  27. Flossie McCowald
    November 7, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    YES! There’s nothing quite like green beans in bacon grease!!! And the recipe you describe here is exactly how my husband cooks them, only he also adds toasted almonds instead of the onion – so yum!

  28. Helene Vlacho
    November 8, 2018 / 1:16 pm

    Useful tips Shan! I love green beans and we cook them no matter what the season is. During summer it’s one of our favorite plates, cooked with oil and fresh tomatoes.

    • Shan
      November 8, 2018 / 5:23 pm

      Same here, Helene about eating them all year long. That summer dish with oil and fresh tomatoes sounds heavenly!!! We’ll have to try that next year!


  29. Sue Esopo
    June 16, 2019 / 6:25 am

    Thank you for this quick green bean recipe. I love the idea of using bacon grease (which we save in a coffee mug-my husband won’t eat eggs cooked in anything else)! I sauteed a few slices of onions,then added the beans,coated them with salt,pepper& a dash of garlic powder (didn’t have any cloves left). After a few minutes I added a small can of tomato sauce and a little oregano,put the lid on and cooked it another 5 minutes or so.It came out delicious!

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