Microwave Green Beans with Easy Tomatillo Salsa ♥

Microwave Green Beans with Easy Tomatillo Salsa, another quick, fresh salad or side dish ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Gluten Free.
How to cook fresh green beans in the microwave, it takes just minutes and the beans turn out perfectly crisp or perfectly soft, depending on how you want them. Once the beans are cooked, here they're toss in a quick tomatillo salsa, just a few fresh ingredients puréed in a food processor.

Real Food, Fresh & Flexible. Budget Friendly. Little Effort, Big Taste. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

Hey, all. It's your lucky day, two recipes for the price of one!

#1 How to Cook Green Beans in the Microwave

How have I missed cooking green beans in the microwave? (Perhaps because I didn't have one for so many years? Perhaps because the one in the kitchen is serially referred to as the Popcorn Maker and the Butter Melter and the Water Boiler?) Call me hooked, fresh green beans cooked in the microwave are excellent.

THE SHORT VERSION, the very short version. Cut fresh beans into lengths and put them in a microwave-safe dish with a tablespoon of water. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and pierce the plastic with the tip of a knife in a couple of places. Cook on high until done but still bright green, check after 3 minutes, then cook another minute at a time if needed. Why no specific detail? Microwaves vary in power, microwave dishes vary, some time the moon's in the east and the sunflowers face away from the sun ...

#2 Tomatillo Salsa: A New-to-Me Flavor Profile

It comes courtesy of my new favorite cookbook, Mexican Everyday (affiliate link) by Rick Bayless. These green beans are the cookbook's maiden recipe but I've been pouring through the pages, bookmarking recipes, underlining ingredients, strategizing what to make when. Once again, call me hooked.

Mexican Everyday is home cooking, Mexican style. The ingredients are (mostly) familiar and (mostly) available. And it doesn't endorse cooking by prescription but by taste. Every single recipe includes adaptations and embellishments.

The Easy Tomatillo Salsa is a perfect temper for the green beans. And hmm, what about cauliflower, sweet potatoes, or a dipping sauce for grilled meat ...

The cookbook suggests serving the beans at room temperature as a salad. It can also be served hot as a side dish. You won't go wrong, either way.

And if you like green beans, they're especially good in summer, beautiful color, easy to make-ahead, easy to adapt. Here are a few more ideas! They're all quite simple. Try Summer Green Bean Salad with Corn & Pickled Onion or Chilled Green Bean Salad with Rosemary & Garlic Oil.

Microwave Green Beans with Easy Tomatillo Salsa, another quick, fresh salad or side dish ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Gluten Free.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4

The Tomatillo Salsa makes about 1/2 cup, only two tablespoons are use per pound of green beans. Use the remainder for other vegetables, tacos, salads, etc.

1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped, left in lengths or broken into bite-size pieces

1 small (2g) garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 medium (112g) tomatillos, husks removed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon minced jalapeño
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cooked Beans, still hot
2 tablespoons Easy Tomatillo Salsa
Salt to taste
For garnish, a little thinly sliced red onion or Spiced Pickled Red Onions
For garnish, chopped cilantro

BEANS Place the beans and a tablespoon of water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap, then pierce in two or three places to allow air to escape. Cook until the desired doneness is reached, I prefer green beans "less cooked" (with a little crunch) if serving chilled as a salad and a little "more cooked" (and softer) if serving hot. If needed, drain off any water but leave the beans in the same bowl.

SALSA While the beans cook, in a small food processor, pulse the garlic and salt together until the garlic is finely minced. (This is a great trick with other recipes too, the salt helps grab the garlic so it minces really fine without needing to scrape the side of the food processor a hundred times.) Add the remaining ingredients and pulse several times, until all the ingredients are evenly mixed but before it all turns to a liquid. Makes about 1/2 cup.

COMBINE & SERVE Toss the Cooked Beans and 2 tablespoons Easy Tomatillo Salsa. Taste and season with additional salt. Arrange on a platter and garnish. If serving hot, serve immediately. If serving cold, cover and chill until ready to serve.

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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2007 & 2020

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I love tomatillas, and am guessing I'd love this. My brother used to see Rick Bayless at the gym all the time when he lived in Chicago! How about if we make sure we eat at both his restaurants when we go to Blogher!

  2. I have that cookbook sitting on my shelf - maybe it's time to dust it off.

  3. Kalyn ~ Great idea!

    Cate ~ Do!

  4. I followed your recipe precisely and it came out a little too warm for my taste. There was a lot left over so I added an equal amount of rice wine vinegar to cool it off. I had it again today. Realy realy good. Ron

  5. I will try this and let you know how it went.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna