Buttery Garlic Green Beans

published Aug 25, 2022
Garlic Green Beans Recipe

This quick and simple way to cook green beans will become an instant favorite.


Prep5 minutes

Cook6 minutes to 10 minutes

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Photograph of garlic green beans on a white plate with kitchen towel on a marble countertop.
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

A quick and timeless combination of garlic and butter make this simple skillet of sautéed green beans an instant family favorite. It’s a 15-minute, five-ingredient side dish that pairs with chicken, fish, steak, and more. Make it once, and you’ll hardly need to look at the recipe when you make it again and again (which we guarantee you will).

How to Make Garlic Green Beans

This recipe relies on a two-step method to achieve perfect green beans. First, you’ll sauté the beans in melted butter until they are bright, glossy, and browned in spots. Next, you’ll steam them by pouring in water and quickly covering the pan. This allows the green beans to become juicy and tender rather than rubbery. A finishing squeeze of lemon juice right after you pull the pan from the heat brightens and rounds the side dish out.

How to Serve Garlic Green Beans

This quick preparation is well-suited to cozy up alongside pretty much any main dish. Here are some ideas.

Garlic Green Beans Recipe

This quick and simple way to cook green beans will become an instant favorite.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 6 minutes to 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    fresh green beans

  • 3 cloves


  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1/3 cup


  • 1/2

    small lemon


  1. Trim the stem end from 1 pound fresh green beans. Thinly slice 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans and cook, tossing with tongs frequently, until the beans are bright, glossy, and browned in spots, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  4. Carefully pour 1/3 cup water into the pan. Cover and cook until the beans are bright green and crisp-tender and water has almost completely evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes.

  5. Uncover and remove from the pan from the heat. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 small lemon over the beans and toss to combine.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.