Transform a bag of Frozen Green Beans into an incredibly flavorful side of tender-crisp sautéed green beans! This delicious side dish takes 10 minutes to make and pairs with practically any main course. Perfect for weeknight dinners and special occasions.
This easy-to-follow frozen green beans recipe will show you how to cook frozen beans in a skillet without the beans turning into a bland, mushy mess. Instead, they retain the right amount of juiciness and *snap!*.
The frozen green beans get sauteed in olive oil with juicy-sun-dried tomatoes, warming spices, and plenty of garlicky goodness. As a result, this is a truly restaurant-quality side of green beans.
You can easily make these tasty green beans during the week and serve them with simple protein entrees like roasted salmon or baked rainbow trout. However, they’re also perfectly practical for holiday feasts and fancy dinners!
Best of all, no thawing or blanching is necessary – so grab a bag of green beans directly from the freezer, and let’s cook!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Here are three reasons why this recipe is a keeper:
- This healthy side dish requires very little effort. Follow along with this easy green bean recipe, and you’ll make delicious, fork-tender green beans, regardless of your skill level, in 15 minutes!
- It’s allergy-friendly. These delicious green beans are made with inherently dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free ingredients. Not to mention that green beans are very nutritious.
- This simple recipe is budget-friendly. Frozen green beans are relatively inexpensive compared to fresh, plus they’re harvested, blanched, and flash-frozen at their prime. In other words, frozen green beans are always in season!
Here is an overview of the ingredients you will need to make sauteed frozen green beans:
- Extra virgin olive oil – With so few ingredients in this recipe, each one considerably impacts the flavor of the finished dish, so be sure to use good quality olive oil for sautéeing.
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil – They have an intensely concentrated sweet-tart tomato taste and a pleasant chewiness that livens up the dish and adds some textural dimension.
- Spices – I used smoked paprika, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt. These seasonings won’t make your beans spicy, per se, but they do enhance the dish with an aromatic and warm flavor profile.
- Frozen green beans – This can be a bag of whole green beans, cut green beans, or French-style green beans, aka haricots verts -which are slightly longer and thinner than regular green beans and harvested before maturity, so they’re usually more tender and sweet.
- Garlic cloves – This is added to the dish when the beans are almost finished cooking for an aromatic, savory flavor. If you’re a garlic lover, adding an extra clove or two (or three!) is always a good idea. I use fresh garlic in this recipe, but you can also use garlic powder.
How to Cook Frozen Green Beans
No one likes soggy green beans, so here’s how to make frozen green beans with a tender-crisp texture:
Step 1: Sauté the sun-dried tomatoes.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sundried tomatoes and cook, occasionally stirring, until heated through and fragrant (about 2 minutes).
Step 2: Toast the spices.
Stir in the smoked paprika, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the spices become fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Step 3: Prep the frozen green beans.
Before adding the beans to the skillet, shake the bag to separate any frozen clumps of beans so the ice crystals fall to the bottom.
Step 4: Sauté the frozen green beans.
Grab the beans from the bag and place them in the hot skillet. Toss to coat in oil and spices and sauté until the beans are almost cooked (about 5 to 7 minutes).
Step 5: Add garlic.
Add the minced garlic, and cook just until the garlic is soft and fragrant (about 1 minute).
Step 6: Serve.
Season to taste with sea salt, and serve hot.
Here are a few tips on how to cook frozen green beans so that they taste amazing:
- Separate the beans from the ice crystals. The ice will add excess liquid to the skillet and make the green beans soggy, so before adding the frozen beans, shake the bag to break up any frozen clumps, so the ice crystals fall to the bottom.
- Don’t just dump the whole bag into the skillet. You don’t want ice crystals in the skillet, so grab the beans from the bag with your hand instead of tossing in the whole thing.
- Don’t overcrowd the skillet. If your skillet is too small, the beans will steam and turn soggy rather than cook up crispy. So use a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and sauté the beans mainly in a single layer.
- Do not cover the skillet. If covered, it will cause the beans to steam underneath the lid. Instead, cook uncovered, so the moisture can escape as it cooks off.
- Cooking time may vary. For instance, if you’re using thin green beans (i.e., French green beans, aka haricots verts), they will cook faster than the thicker varieties.
- Taste before seasoning with salt. Sun-dried tomatoes can be very salty, so you may only need to add a little salt (if any) to the dish.
The simplicity of this delicious recipe leaves plenty of room for customizing with your preferences. Here’s some add-in inspiration:
- Veggies – If you want to bulk up this recipe with more veggies, it’s best to sauté them until fork-tender before adding the frozen green beans to the skillet. Carrots, red bell peppers, and mushrooms would be great!
- Bacon – Chop and cook until crispy, then toss with the green beans when they have finished cooking.
- Nuts – Toss cooked green beans with sliced almonds (aka green beans almondine), pecans, pine nuts, or walnuts.
- Cheese – Finish the dish with freshly grated parmesan cheese or feta cheese crumbles before serving.
- Lemon and herbs – Top the dish with chopped fresh parsley, basil, or chives and fresh lemon juice and/or lemon zest before serving.
Storing and Reheating
Storing leftovers: Let the green beans cool to room temperature, then place them in a shallow, airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. Do not freeze leftovers.
Reheating leftovers: You can reheat the beans in the microwave for a minute or warm them in a skillet over medium heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do frozen green beans need to be thawed before cooking?
No, you do not need to thaw green beans before cooking them (unless the recipe specifically says otherwise). That’s what makes this frozen green beans recipe so quick and convenient!
Can I cook these green beans in butter instead of olive oil?
That’s totally up to you. Butter and olive oil are both great for sautéeing any frozen vegetable over moderate heat. You can also use ghee or avocado oil.
Should I blanch frozen green beans before cooking?
Blanching helps preserve the crunch and color of the vegetable, so while you can quickly blanch the beans before sautéeing, it isn’t necessary for this recipe.
Can I use fresh green beans to make this recipe?
Absolutely! Just keep in mind that fresh beans cook faster than frozen ones.
More Sauteed Vegetable Recipes
Here are a few other healthy recipes you might like:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes in oil
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pound frozen green beans
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt to taste
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sundried tomatoes and cook them, occasionally stirring, until heated through and fragrant, for about 2 minutes.
- Add the smoked paprika, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir. Cook until the spices become fragrant, for about 30 seconds.
- Add the green beans and toss to ensure they are coated in oil and spices. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are almost cooked through, for about 5 to 7 minutes. If your beans are thin, they might be done faster.
- Add the minced garlic and stir. Cook for a minute or so until the garlic is cooked. Season to taste with salt.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 123Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 0mgSodium 171mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 4gSugar 4gProtein 3g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.