Sautéed Garlic Green Beans is healthy, easy vegetable side dish ready in under 15 minutes. Fresh green beans are tossed with olive oil and savory garlic, then ready to be enjoyed year round or at Holidays.

Looking for more side dishes? We also love this healthy green bean casserole.

Garlic green beans served in a bowl.

This easy garlic green beans recipe will change your perspective on bland string beans. Perfectly cooked until firm but tender string beans, then quickly sauteed with lots of garlic in butter or olive oil, they are slightly crisp with so much flavor!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Simple ingredients: 5 ingredients plus water is all you need for these green beans with garlic.
  • Quick and easy: Ready in under 15 minutes and in one pan.
  • So much flavor: Quickly cooked garlic adds sharp flavor to otherwise bland green beans.
  • Versatile: Enjoy these green beans year round whether with a sirloin tip roast, Instant Pot lasagna or grilled salmon.
  • Healthy: As per Healthline, green beans are a low calorie vegetable loaded with vitamins A, C and K. A single serving size can also provide you 1/3 of your daily intake of folate!
  • Diet-friendly: When using olive oil, this green bean recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, whole 30, paleo and keto friendly!

Ingredients for Garlic Green Beans

Garlic, green beans, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Green beans: You can use fresh green beans or frozen green beans.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is the all star ingredient in this garlic green beans recipe. I don’t recommend to use garlic powder.
  • Olive oil or butter: Extra virgin olive oil will add a light nutty undertone to the beans, whereas butter is creamier and sweeter and will result in perfect garlic butter green beans.
  • Salt and pepper: To season and taste.

How to Make Garlic Green Beans

Here is a quick overview how to make garlic green beans. There is a full recipe card below. 

washing fresh green beans in colander
  • Wash frozen or fresh green beans: Sadly, they are on the dirty dozen list which means they are high in pesticides. Washing helps to remove them, so wash well and then drain thoroughly too. Pat with paper towels, if you wish.
Step by step process how to cook greens beans with garlic in a skillet.
  • Cook green beans: In a large preheated skillet, add beans along with 3 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Beans should be “al dente”. If you are using frozen beans, cook on the skillet without water. After 3 minutes, check to see if they need more water or time to cook.
  • Season sauteed green beans: After pushing the beans to one side of the skillet, add butter or olive oil and minced garlic, then saute for about 30 seconds. Sauteing garlic makes it more flavorful and less spicy.
  • Combine it all together: Finally, mix string beans, garlic, salt and pepper together and cook for 30 more seconds. Serve warm.


There are so many ways to change up this recipe and add a different flavor. Here are some of my favorite things to add:

  • Lemon: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the sauteed garlic string beans.
  • Parmesan cheese: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese after cooking.
  • Bacon: Cook up 3 slices of diced bacon in a skillet then stir into the sauteed green beans. Or here is how to bake bacon in the oven. This gives the beans a salty, smoky taste just like in Ukrainian skillet potatoes.
  • Almonds: 1/4 cup of skillet toasted slivered or sliced almonds is the perfect addition to this side dish. Other nuts would be delicious, too! Try toasted walnuts, pecans or even mixed nuts like I use in grilled chicken salad.
  • Ran out of garlic? Try a shallot! Use half a teaspoon to a whole teaspoon of minced shallot in place of one clove of garlic.
  • Bourbon: Add just a splash at the end, then saute for an extra minute or two to give them an extra special holiday flair.
  • Maple syrup: It contrasts well with the savory garlic. Add just a small amount near the end of cooking time.
  • Balsamic vinegar: Adds some depth and sweetness, add just a splash at the end and stir.
  • Fresh herbs: Toss with a few tablespoons of fresh minced herbs at same time as garlic. Savory thyme, rosemary or fresh parsley would work best.
  • Chinese garlic green beans: Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and red pepper flakes, it pairs well with cauliflower fried rice.

Recipe Tip

Pair these additions wisely! For example, bourbon and maple syrup with savory bacon, lemon with Parmesan cheese or balsamic vinegar with almonds.

Tips for Best Results

  • Freshly minced garlic: Mince your own garlic clove for truly garlicky green beans. Do not use jarred minced garlic, granulated garlic or garlic powder.
  • Olive oil substitution: You can use avocado oil or coconut oil, they might lend a different taste to end results though.
  • Get the pan hot: For best results, you will want your pan hot so you can quickly cook garlic, then toss with the beans. It helps to infuse oil with more garlic flavor and not burn it.
  • Sauté garlic long enough: Use the full 30 seconds to saute the garlic to get the delicious garlic flavor without the garlic bite.
Garlic green beans in a white bowl with towel and pepper mill on a table.

Serving Recommendations

For everyday healthy side dishes, serve easy garlicky green beans with:

Sauteed green beans with garlic will also add a vibrant punch of color to your Holiday table along with:

Making This Recipe in Advance

Prep green beans: You could trim your green beans in advance then store them in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, I don’t recommend making this recipe in advance, as green beans do go somewhat limp in storage.

Store: Green bean leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Freeze: Do not freeze.


Should I soak green beans before cooking?

No, green beans don’t need to be soaked before cooking.

Do I have to cut or trim green beans before cooking?

If you are using fresh green beans, you will want to trim the tip of the stem where it was once attached to the rest of the plant. You can cut them if you would like but keep in mind that shorter green beans might cook faster.

Should I boil green beans before sauteing?

This recipe lightly steams green beans before sautéing them all in one skillet. I love this method as it prevents beans from overcooking as well as it retains their vibrant color. So no need to boil your string beans before pan frying!

Why are my garlic green beans tough?

You may have overcooked them or they might have been freshly picked past their prime. If you see the green bean seeds bulging from their pod, this could be a sign they are overripe. You could try shelling the beans from their pod or boiling the whole green bean for 20-30 minutes then adding to Instant Pot jambalaya or vegetable soup.

More Side Dish Recipes to Try

Closeup of cooked green beans topped with garlic slivers.
garlic green beans

Garlic Green Beans

Sauteed Garlic Green Beans are a healthy, easy vegetable side dish in under 15 minutes. Fresh green beans are tossed with olive oil and savory garlic, then ready to be enjoyed year round or at the holidays.
5 from 6 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 71
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes



  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add green beans and 3 tablespoons of water.
  • Cover with a lid and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the lid and if there is any water left, cook green beans until water has evaporated.
  • Push beans to the side and add butter or olive oil and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and then stir with green beans.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper; and sauté for another 30 seconds.
  • Serve warm.


Store: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days in an airtight container. Do not freeze.
How to use frozen green beans:
  • Wash frozen beans well with cold water to remove dirt and pesticides. No need to thaw. Skip this step if you washed vegetables before freezing.
  • Then add to the skillet without water, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat. Frozen green beans will release their own water during cooking.
  • Check after to see if they need more water or more time to cook.


Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 235mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    Easy and best don’t usually go together, but this recipe is a snap and so very delicious. Used butter and added fresh crumbled bacon at the end. It wowed everyone. and I now consider this as one of my go to recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Made these today they have a light garlic garlicky flavor they were really superb! Thanks for all your hard work. P.s. my husband would like to know if you have a chicken wing recipe that could go in the instapot ??

  3. 5 stars
    My husband hates vegetables and especially green beans. He said now that he is a grown up he doesn’t have to eat them. Well, he was just diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and is more open to eating healthy. I made these green beans and he LOVED them! They will be a regular veggie side dish at our house. THANK YOU!

    1. Sounds like your husband has a new favorite, Brenda. I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback!

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