Simple and full of flavor, this recipe for garlic green beans is truly amazing whether cooked quickly in a skillet or grilled – the more charred, the better! Take a look at more Quick Healthy Recipes.
Super flavorful garlic green beans is one of our family’s favorite recipes when green beans are in season. Well, it’s also our favorite way to eat our frozen garden green beans, too, but in the summer when the beans are coming on strong we eat our weight in garlic green beans almost weekly.
This easy recipe is deceptively tasty. Seriously. I know it has, like, only 3 or 4 ingredients, but I can’t just have one helping…or even two. And since I can’t possible have a third helping of anything, I just pick the beans out of the serving bowl.
I know. But it’s not a real third serving, right?
I grow a couple of types of beans, but my favorite variety that I have grown every year for more than 10 years is a pole filet-style bean called Emerite. You can pick it short and skinny for the true filet style beans (which I do at the beginning of the season), or leave them to grow longer and thicker. Either way, they stay tender and yummy and never have any strings.
I can’t be bothered with “snapping” one bean at a time- I lose more bean than I want and it takes longer- so I pile up a bunch of similar lengths and cut just the tips off all at once. For this recipe, cut the beans in the length you’d like to serve. Sometimes I leave them long for that restaurant look, but most of the time I cut them into 1 to 2-inch pieces because they are easier to eat.
Garlic Green Beans Recipe
Use a shallow pan large enough to hold the amount of beans you have. I like to use my 10-inch cast iron skillet. It’s a quick three-step process to cook them in a skillet – basically we’re sautéing, steaming, and then charing them a bit to resemble roasted, but without turning on the oven!
For the first step you’ll sauté the beans a bit, in a mixture of olive oil and butter for a few minutes.
The second step is to add garlic (with red pepper flakes, if using) and some water, then cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how you like your beans. I like them crisp-cooked, not mushy, so 3-4 minutes is usually good.
In the third step remove the cover, turn the heat to high and quickly cook the liquid away, stirring gently a few times, until the beans are sizzling in the pan and some are starting to char.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve right away.
New Grill method:
The grilling method is more simplified, since all the charring takes place at once on the grill.
Prepare beans as you normally do, but use only olive oil to coat them, adding the other seasonings (garlic, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes) at the same time and tossing together.
Using a high-sided grill pan with holes, grill the beans over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until done, tossing frequently. Like the skillet method, these are so good with little charred areas on them, so make sure to grill long enough to get them.
Either way you make them, the beans become nicely coated with buttery-garlicky goodness – and a little spice if you add the red pepper flakes – which pretty much makes them so hard to stop eating! And come on, healthy green beans you can’t stop eating? That’s a good thing, right?
Amazing Garlic Green Beans (with Skillet and Grill Options)
- 4 cups trimmed fresh* green beans cut as desired
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to taste optional
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Skillet method:
- Prepare green beans.
- Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat in a large, shallow pan.
- Add beans and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes, if using, and stir.
- Add water and cover. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on desired doneness.
- Remove lid and, turning heat to high, cook stirring constantly until liquid evaporates and some beans start to brown.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
- Grill method:
- Prepare beans.
- Coat beans with only olive oil (no butter) and toss with garlic, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Using a high-sided grill pan with holes, grill the beans over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until done, tossing frequently. Make sure to let some of the beans get a little charred on them…oh SO good.
Note: this classic AOC recipe was originally published in 2010 and has been updated with all new photos, formatting and printable recipe. The amazing results are the same!
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