Falling In Love with Green Beans ♥ Favorite Recipes

Favorite Green Bean Recipes from A Veggie Venture, including insider tips, nutrition, Weight Watchers points.
graphic button small size size 10 Every year, I seem to fall in love with a new vegetable. One year beets, another year corn. Then one year something hit me about green beans – and I haven't looked back since, collecting one new green bean recipe after another. Here are my favorite recipes. Perhaps this is your year to fall in love with green beans too? graphic button small size size 10

Great beans may start with the beans – fresh, snappy, fragrant – but it takes two more things to draw out the most flavor. Once I learned these two "secret" ingredients, wow, there was no not falling in love with green beans.

WATER Cook green beans in what will seem like a lot of water – that means eight full cups for every pound of beans.

SALT What does "well-salted water" mean? Salt the water with a full tablespoon of table salt (or two tablespoons of kosher salt).

BUT AREN'T WE ALL SUPPOSED TO AVOID SALT? Yeah, yeah, I know, salt is supposed to be bad for us and we're told to avoid it. But that advice is directed at the "average" eater who often eats salt-laden processed food and fast food. When we cook at home, when we use whole ingredients, we leave room in our diets for salt – especially when it makes us go crazy for green beans! (More info: According to Salt-Reduction Efforts May Need Different Approach from the Wall Street Journal, 75% of our salt consumption comes from packaged food and restaurants.)

FOR THE RECORD There's no saving woody green beans. When the fresh green beans are woody, go for frozen whole green beans. In fact, frozen green beans may well be 'fresher' than fresh green beans because beans lose sweetness very quickly, even in cold storage. (Believe it or not, I actually think that canned green beans have their place, they're the starting point for my Satisfying Lunch in One Point.)

WHY ARE GREEN BEANS CALLED 'STRING' BEANS? Only heirloom varieties of green beans still contain 'strings', long fibers that connected the two halves of the bean at the seams.

What Are Your Favorite Green Bean Recipes? There's a pile of garden green beans waiting on the counter -- and I'd love to find a new favorite recipe. How do you cook green beans? Leave a note in the comments! (Shy e-mail readers: Yes, that's you, right? Feel free to just hit 'reply' to your e-mail, I'll add the comment for you, using just your first name.)

Green Beans with Lemon & Pine Nuts


The best way to cook green beans, in my opinion, is in well-salted water. I love this simple treatment, just fresh green beans cooked in well-salted water and tossed with a little lemon and if you like, some pine nuts.

Green Beans with Lemon & Pine Nuts (pictured)

But green beans cooked in the microwave are also delicious.

Green Beans with Tomatillo Salsa Dressing
Simple Skillet Green Beans
Another quick way to cook green beans comes from Saveur.

Simple Skillet Green Beans
Green Beans with Mayo-Soy Sauce
Don't you just love to toss fresh just-cooked vegetables with a pantry ingredient or two? Weight Watchers, you'll love this recipe!

Green Beans with Mayo-Soy Sauce (pictured)

The mayo-soy sauce works beautifully with frozen green beans too. In fact, green beans are my my favorite frozen vegetable, the freezer is rarely without at least one or two bags. I even collect simple ways to "doctor" frozen green beans, see Quick Ways to Doctor a Bag of Green Beans.
Garlicky Romano Beans


Watch for "romano beans" at the farmers market! They are flat, more tender and slightly velvety. So good!

Garlicky Romano Beans
'Best Ever' New Potatoes & Green Beans


Seems like, green beans nearly always stand alone. But one of my very very favorite recipes on A Veggie Venture pairs green beans with something creamy – new potatoes.

"Best Ever" New Potatoes & Green Beans (pictured)

But you can go the other direction, too, and pair green beans with something acidic – like tomatoes.

Healthy Red & Green Green-Bean Salad
Chilled Green Bean Salad with Rosemary & Garlic Oil


This is my favorite simple green bean salad, one so good, you can make a meal out of it.

Chilled Green Bean Salad with Rosemary & Garlic Oil
Fresh Three-Bean Salad


But I also like to transform favorites recipes usally made with canned green beans into their fresher counterparts – what a revelation!

This is the traditional three-bean salad, except with fresh beans.

Fresh Three-Bean Salad
Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing
This salad has an Asian-style dressing. Don't skip the soy-glazed almonds on top!

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing
World's Best Green Bean Casserole
The real life-changer, however (for me, quite literally! someday I'll tell you that story ...) is what happens when you make the traditional green bean casserole with fresh green beans. That's when you create the ...

World's Best Green Bean Casserole
Favorite Green Bean Recipes by A Veggie Venture


I hope this list of favorite green bean recipes is helpful. But if you still haven't found the one recipe you're looking for, yes, there are more! Don't forget to leave me your own favorite way to cook green beans!

~ more green bean recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ more green bean recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

~ A-Z of Vegetables ~

A Veggie Venture is home of green bean lover and 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2011,2014

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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


  1. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    Pan/skillet fried are the way we eat them most often. Hot skillet, a bit of oil and stir now and again until done and a few flecks of browning. While beans are cooking, paste fresh garlic with some salt and add a bit of olive oil. Tip the cooked green beans into a bowl large enough to ensure they get evenly coated with the garlic/salt/olive oil. Her favorite way to eat them according to a 12 year old former, 'take 'em or leave 'em' kid. Yes, you may eat them with your fingers! Polly

  2. I was always rather ho-hum about green beans until I started growing them and had to find ways to use them and then I realized how good they can be. Your recipe ideas look great!

  3. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Once the onions are soft, add fresh washed green beans. Saute another minute. Then add fresh, chopped Roma tomatoes. Cover and cook over low heat until the beans are tender and the tomatoes have cooked down to a sauce. Add a pinch of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with a twist of salt and pepper and crumbled feta or Parmesan cheese and a hunk of crusty bread. This is a dish from Italy and will turn any green bean hater into a fan. Yummy!

  4. Oooo, I'm loving' these quick 'n' easy recipes, all, keep 'em comin'!

  5. The latest issue of cooking light had some great green bean recipes! I made a sesame soy version that was fantastic!

  6. Great recipes, so excited to try a few! My favorite is the green beans with potatoes too.


  7. Great post! I'm collecting summer veggie recipes on my site - stop by and link up your favorite(s)!


  8. Maybe too simple, but I love fresh, and I do mean freshly picked, lightly coated with Italian dressing (Newman's Own) and grilled over charcoal (chunk) and served with steak and grilled garlic.

  9. AnonymousJuly 13, 2011

    Alanna, I just today picked enough beans for dinner - and so it begins! Tonight, I'm going to cook them simply in salted water, with maybe a bit of lemon, but I've bookmarked this post to come back to in, oh, about 2 days. :)

  10. Hi Alanna,

    I just came across your blog and its great..

    my recent favourite way of cooking green beans is just a quick saute with crushed red pepper, garlic and sesame seeds or almonds. Add a splash of soy sauce and just stir all this until bite tender. The beans should still be crunchy..

    a slight variation on the above is using almonds and balsamic vinegar..

    This is pretty guilt free and low carb..



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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. (So sorry, as of 4/23/22, I’ve had to turn comments off to prevent hundreds of spam comments a day. Stupid Spammers.) ~ Alanna