Want to make great tasting frozen green beans? It’s easy! Start with a bag of petite green beans (this is key!), add a generous amount of garlic and black pepper, and you’ll make some really fabulous frozen green beans.
How to Cook Frozen Green Beans (So they taste amazing!)
Step One: Buy the Right Green Beans
Good frozen green beans start at the grocery store. Seriously. When shopping you want to select thin green beans. It really matters!
Look for bags labeled
- thin green beans
- petite/tiny green beans
- green beans”
- haricot verts.
- regular green beans. These are often tough and flavorless.
- cut green beans. These tend to be watery
- French cut green beans. These are thinly sliced and, like cut green beans, tend to be watery and bland.
Step Two: Thaw
Remove the green beans from the bag. Place them in a microwave-safe container. Add water and cover. Heat until the green beans are just warm. You don’t need to get them piping hot at this point. Drain the green beans and set aside.
Step Three: Saute with Garlic and Black Pepper
Heat some olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or nonstick frying pan. (You can also use butter for this.) Add several cloves of minced garlic. You want to use way more than you think you need. Then add lots of freshly ground black pepper.
Cook until the garlic is golden brown. Stir the garlic occasionally while cooking it. This prevents it from burning.
Then add the green beans. They’ll sizzle nicely when you add them to the pan.
Cook until they’re bright green. There shouldn’t be any water left in the pan. Shake the pan occasionally as the beans cook.
Salt to taste and serve.
That’s really it. Simply start with a good bag of petite green beans, add a generous amount of garlic and black pepper, and you’ll make some really fabulous frozen green beans.
How to Cook Frozen Green Beans
Great tasting green beans from the freezer? Yes! Start with petite green beans, add some garlic and black pepper and you're all set!
- 1 (12 ounce) bag Petite whole green beans, see note
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced or put through a garlic press
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt, to taste
Place green beans in a microwave-safe container. Add water. Cover. Microwave until green beans are thawed but not hot, about 45 seconds. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until oil shimmers but does not smoke. Add the garlic and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is light brown.
Add the drained green beans to the skillet. Shake the pan to coat the beans in the oil. Cook until beans are hot, about three to four minutes.
Season with kosher salt to taste.
It's important to use petite (thin) green beans in this recipe. Traditional green beans are too large and cut or French cut green beans are too watery. Be sure to check the bag before buying.
Green beans have always been difficult for me to cook, especially frozen green beans! They’re either too crunchy or too mushy. This recipe has helped me master cooking green beans, they come out perfect every time!
Ann Maureen says
Perfect for a fast side dish. Tastes more like fresh than frozen done this way.
perfect that’s what i was looking for – something to take away that “frozen” taste!
These were deliciously tasty. Unfortunately our chicken wasn’t quite done, so they spent extra time in the hot pan and weren’t as perfect as when I turned off the heat and tested them, but still – I will always make them like this from now on!
PATRICIA Harrington says
Love the recipe. Sew
PATRICIA Harrington says
Quick tasty and easy.
Not good! They really don’t crisp up at all. Made the recipe as listed and it really tasted bland. Had to add tons of salt afterwards and ended up with soggy salty bland potatoes. Will not make again.
Did you make potatoes or green beans?
Came out great! Could not tell from fresh! Beans had snap, not mushy. Finally a freezer vegetable and recipe that work great. Thank you!
Jim, instead of ordinary salt, try adding Herbamare or Herbed sea salt. Its an organic seasoning by A. Vogel. Makes veggies taste awesome with less sodium.
What is the exact brand and type of green beans you used for the photo and recipe?
I’ve tried three different kinds of “frozen whole green beans” and none of them are whole when I open the package (they all have cut ends) and are watery/bland. Thanks in advance!
There are two brands that I use regularly. It’s either Hanover or Aldi. I honestly can’t remember which is in the photo.
If you have blanced your fresh green beans and put them in the freezer, how long do you need to cook them? I want to use them for my Thanksgiving green bean casserole but not sue if I need to cook them before adding the other ingredients. Thank you.
Good question! Since you’ll be cooking the casserole, you can use the blanched green beans without additional cooking. I like to thaw the green beans and drain before adding them to a casserole. If you don’t do this, the casserole can be watery.
Hope this helps!
Yes, this was very helpful advice! Thank you and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Lois Fussi says
Aldi has the best frozen green beans anywhere. I always tell people to go there for the best ones and they are reasonably priced.
Aldi has great green beans. You’re right!
Look for whole green beans in the freezer section in the market. That’s the item in the photo, whole green beans. I only buy the whole green beans, store brand, Birds eye, Hanover. Whichever is on sale.
I don’t own a microwave. Can I thaw in water on the stove?
Yes! To thaw the on the stove:
1. Place the frozen green beans into a 2 quart saucepan. Add about ¼ cup water.
2. Heat over medium-high until thaw and warmed through, this takes about 8 minutes.
3. Drain before using.
It came out delicious! This is a keeper!
(But it took a lot longer than 45 seconds in the microwave…)
Glad you liked the recipe! Microwaves are so funny. Sorry that yours took longer to lightly thaw the beans!
Dio C says
These were the most delicious potatoes I’ve ever made. Not salty or soggy at all!
This is a green bean recipe…
Right? Where are these potato comments coming from??
Tu hearts says
I don’t like fresh garlic cloves can I use granulated garlic?
Great recipe, thanks! The Organic Green Beans from Costco turned out perfectly using your method.
Mary Burgdorff says
I’ve made this recipe multiple times, and they always turn out great!
The only way I make green beans now. Thank you for this recipe! I even put some freshly squeezed lemon to jazz it up even more. 🙂 Appreciate this simple tasty recipe!