Boiled Fresh Green Beans

I've had an ongoing indifference towards green beans since I moved out. Canned beans were a standard staple growing up, and the mushy texture was not my favorite, despite the amount of butter we used to add some flavor. Frozen green beans weren't much better: On the rare occasions we had them, they were kind of bitter with an even stranger texture.

Now that I've tried fresh green beans, I think I'm ready to add them back to my table. Though washing and cutting the beans takes a bit of work, the end result is worth it.

Green beans being served alongside chicken parmesan

You Will Need

Optional Additions


Prepare the beans by washing and cutting off stems and tips. Chop into 1-inch long sections.

Bring a small amount of water to a boil. Add salt, then add green beans. Return to boil, and cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until tender.

Add butter, salt, pepper, garlic, or otherwise, and serve.


Green beans in a plastic bag next to a canister of salt

Like most fresh vegetables, we begin with a wash.

Green beans being washed in a colander

Make sure to get all the garden gunk out of your beans, including any twigs or other inedibles.

Green beans being trimmed on a cutting board

Once we've given our beans a bath, we can trim the stem and tails, if any. These parts are not appetizing.

Green beans chopped into sections on a cutting board

Now trimmed, we can cut into chewable sections. Try to keep your chunks evenly-sized to ensure even cooking.

Green beans chopped and waiting in a colander

Here's our 2 pounds of beans ready to go.

A pot of boiling water

Prepare a pot with some water, enough to cover the beans, and set it to boiling. Remember to cover the pot to make it boil faster.

Green beans in pot of boiling water

Add the beans, cover, return to boil, and let cook for 10-15 minutes.

Boiling pot of green beans, covered

The beans are done when they are tender. You can test their tenderness with a fork.

Green beans fully cooked

Notice that the cooked beans have darkened slightly.

Cooked green beans being rinsed in colander

Drain the beans, and then return them to the pot.

Green beans in a pot with salt and butter

Finally, we can season with salt, butter, pepper, garlic, or other things we might like. I've seen people recommending ginger, and I've got to try it.

Green beans serve well as a side dish to a main course of chicken or beef. I decided I liked the splash of color it brought to my chicken parmesan.

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