The Canned Vegetable That’s Really More Like a Guilty Pleasure

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

We often tout the benefits and virtues of frozen vegetables, but totally side-eye the other wondrous prepared vegetables sitting, ready to go, in the canned goods aisle. Even worse, canned vegetables are usually looked down on for the very trait that makes them inherently good: They are often cooked in the can in a sodium-rich broth, which makes them incredibly tender but also satisfyingly briny.

There’s actually a lot to love about canned vegetables. For one, they are fully cooked and can be served at room temperature — right out of the can. This fact alone makes our favorite canned vegetable feel more like a guilty pleasure than the virtuous green vegetable that it is.

(Image credit: green giant French Style Green Beans)

Can a Vegetable Be a Guilty Pleasure?

Canned French-style green beans are so delicious and easy that it almost feels like we shouldn’t be allowed this kind of convenience and flavor. Tender, old-school French-cut green beans, straight from the can in their savory broth, are our weeknight vegetable crush when we need a super-fast dose of something green.

While we were compiling this list of our 100 essential groceries, we realized that quite a few Kitchn editors admitted to eating these things straight out of the can. (Seriously, as if they’re potato chips!) And all of us agreed that Green Giant’s canned option is the best.

Buy: Green Giant French Style Green Beans, $22 for 24, 14.5-ounce cans

When we’re not snacking on them, we put them in a bowl and give them a quick spin in the microwave with a dab of butter, which makes them feel like a luxurious side dish to a weeknight dinner. You can also drain the broth and broil the tender beans until browned (ditto sautéing them in a hot skillet post-draining).

More Ways to Use Canned Green Beans

Do you love French-style green beans as much as we do?