My favourite fresh green beans to cook are bigger flatter type of green beans available mainly during summer months, and right now is the time. I picked up 4 lbs of scarlet runner green beans at the farm stand and cooked like my grandma and aunt used to make – with salt, pepper, garlic (of course!) and Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. So simple and fresh, summer cooking is the best – Greek yogurt potato salad for days, cooked corn for lunch and cold watermelon for dessert.
You can use string, wax, green or yellow beans, any fresh beans. I like flat variety just because they are faster to trim and chop. Other than that, no difference. These creamy green beans are super easy to make, and the best part – leftovers do not have to be reheated, they taste amazing cold. In true Ukrainian style, I like to serve this dish with boiled potatoes in butter and dill, they replace meat magically with their high fiber and protein content, as well as heartiness.
How to Make Creamy Green Beans
To make creamy green beans, all you need is fresh green beans, plain Greek yogurt (preferably organic), garlic, salt, pepper, oil and water.
For this recipe, I used scarlet runner green beans, trimmed their the ends over the sink and cut the beans into 2″ long pieces right into the bowl using kitchen shears. Super fast recipe without dirtying the cutting board.
To cook green beans, you will need large vessel with higher sides like ceramic non-stick skillet or a dutch oven. Cook covered for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. If during one of the stirring times you will notice green beans start burning, add a splash of water. I prefer sautéing to boiling to save another dirty pot and add more flavour.
See some charred green beans? I like that, not too many though. Green beans are cooked when they turn olive green colour and are tender but not mushy. At this point, I turn off the heat and move skillet to the nearest cool burner to let skillet and beans cool off a bit before adding Greek yogurt (otherwise it will curdle). Then I add salt, pepper and garlic.
I used 10% organic Greek yogurt. I would say fat content above 3% will yield creamy green beans. For the reference, a 32 oz tub of Greek yogurt lasts us about 10 days. In Ukraine, my aunt always used sour cream (we simply didn’t have Greek yogurt) and I like that version too; it’s just American sour cream (even organic) has too many additives, so I avoid it, but I mean if that’s what you absolutely have to use, I mean it’s possible.
Creamy Green Beans
- 2 lbs green beans (string, wax or I used scarlet runner), trimmed & cut into 2” pieces
- 1 tbsp avocado or extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp water
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, fat content higher 3%
- Preheat large deep non-stick skillet on medium heat; add oil, water and green beans. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until green beans are tender, stirring every 5 minutes. If green beans start burning, add a splash of water.
- Turn off heat (I also move skillet to next cool burner to prevent yogurt from curdling) and add salt, ground black pepper and garlic; stir to combine. Add Greek yogurt and stir; adjust seasoning to taste (mainly garlic). Serve hot or cold, both way are delicious!